Transitioning away from plastic in your daily life can be challenging, but replacing disposable straws with reusable ones doesn’t take all that much effort to get used to. After 15 years though of quietly tending to my monthly needs with bleached cotton and plastic wrapped plastic, transitioning into a waste-free period has been quite the learning curve.
Like with everything, small steps are usually the best approach for big changes.
I didn’t just wake up one morning and be comfortable with switching to a silicone cup and reusable pads, it was a surprisingly long process to switch over. I blame the out-of-sight-out-of-mind theory and my poor memory on this one because when my period showed up I would think,
“dang! I wish I had that cup, next month.”
Then I would forget about it, the next period would come and the cycle would continue. Then one day I was just so sick of buying tampons and running out of tampons and throwing away bits of plastic consistently for 5 days a month. So I bit the bullet and went out to buy a DivaCup.
This blog isn’t about my experience with a DivaCup, but in short, it is a wonderful alternative to tampons that creates less waste and lasts much longer than a tampon. This blog is more about the learning curve, and how it took me a few months with the diva cup before I trusted it, or before it started to work well. I would wear it around the house, but never out to work or leaving the house, just in case.
But this is part of the learning curve that comes with a brand new product that you only get to try a few days every month - and then it's back to learning how to do it again. I mention this because it is easy to give up at this point and go back to disposable tampons because they are easier.
The DivaCup became a normal thing and I felt better about using less bleached products inside of my body.
The final step for me to move into a waste-free period is to find an alternative to the disposable plastic lined pads. I use a combination of both pads and my DivaCup for my period, for example at night or during cramps I prefer a pad.
After a lot of research, I landed on a Canadian company called Lunapads, that make reusable pads with a changeable liner. I liked the functional design of the pad and have ordered a starter kit from them! I can't wait to see how they feel, and how the logistics of transitioning to a reusable pad will change my habits and very likely challenge me.
The cost was a big deterrent for me in changing over to the DivaCup and reusable pads.
It was hard for me to drop $40 on the cup because I didn’t even know if I would like it or if it would work. The reusable pads felt very expensive to me, at around $80 for a starter set of 4 pads and 4 extra liners.
I do not have $80 to throw around, and I really struggled to hit the purchase button on this one. But my justification was that by investing around $120 for my diva cup and a reusable pad set, I could now go the next 3-5 years without having to buy period products, and more importantly not contribute to more waste on the planet simply because I happen to bleed.