Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Going Greener

Friends of mine have suggested that I make this blog a go-green-earth-mama blog, which is a direction I'd love to head, along with about fifteen others. Instead of turning the whole shebang into Green Living Central, I think I'll do something like a Go Green Tuesday; a post a week on how to incorporate more environmentally conscious and civically sane practices into motherhood.

Our debut post on Green Tuesday (fret not, I'll make it something catchy later, I'm on my second glass of a smooth shiraz and in no mood to start thinking now) is from one of my dearest friends, Anne. I have not-so-secretly envied her cavalier, earth-friendly lifestyle. She's a vegetarian and a damn good one, healthy and beautiful, and has my dream position as a grad resident at the environmental learning center in Lanesboro, MN. When (when, Anne, not if) she becomes a mama, whenever that may be, she will be phenomenal at it. Without further ado, her post on the....Diva Cup. :) I took the creative liberty of adding a few pictures for your visual enjoyment.

In this episode of Birth Breasts and Beyond I will take you into the beyond. I am not a mother but as Katie’s good friend I like the insight I get from her blog into her life and into the fantastic challenges of being a mom. So in this post I address you not as mother but from our common ground as women.

About a month ago someone posted “You choose to cloth diaper your child, more power to you! You choose to use disposable diaper, more power to you.” Now this is taken out of context. The original context was that moms need to do what they need to do to be happy moms. I think that is a fantastic message, but the phrasing of that comparison has haunted me. With my obvious lack of experience with diapers or anything really related to babies I will leave that one alone from this point on and instead talk about something that I do know about: my Diva Cup. (At this point I feel like I should mention that this post is in no way paid for or endorsed by Diva Cup or any other company).

So women, every month you go through dozens of tampons and pads. Over the course of a year you spend hundreds of dollars on disposable, one time use products that either end up directly in a landfill, or in the water system and then have to be filtered out at a water treatment plant and though a longer process still end up in a land fill. If you flush your tampons into a toilet that is part of a septic system, when they eventually pump the full storage tank, they will pump your tampons with the rest of the waist and it will then be spread on a field – where the waist will act as fertilizer and the tampons will sit useless and ugly for decades to come. When I worked as a wilderness ranger in the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness I was part of teams that would dig new latrines (a hole in the ground with a toilet sitting on top – welcome to the wilderness). We would always know when we dug into a spot where there was an old latrine because, although everything else had already decomposed, we would find old tampons and pads.

If none of that impresses you ladies, know that in an average woman’s life she will use and throw away 15,360 tampons and pads (30 tampons per cycle times 521 cycles in a lifetime). Imagine for a moment that pile of trash.

Switching to a reusable Diva Cup or other similar products takes a bit of patience and practice. I chose to use a combination of cloth (reusable!) pads – I like Party In My Pants – because I get bad cramps the first day of my period and then switch over to my Diva Cup when my body mellows out. It is worth the effort to find a working combination for you! You will save money, you will never miss placing a dry and scratchy tampon inside yourself and every month you will be making a real and positive impact in the world. Make the change ladies! (And if anyone has any questions about their new Diva Cups, Katie will get you my contact info and I’ll happily talk about it!)

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