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How I got rid of packaging during my periods

Ladies products. Sanitary items. Never thought I'd be so damn interested in writing about this subject.

Since jumping on board the Plastic Free July bandwagon and deciding to continue on with it, my shopping habits have been scrutinized. Everything I buy has been put under a microscope. And this includes below the waist line products. I have already reviewed alternate to tampons and had such a lovely response that I thought I'd go ahead a try cotton pads.

The concept of the menstrual pad has not changed much. The fibers used today are less natural than what our ancestors used back in the day. Wool, papyrus, sponges, grass and cotton (to name a few) have been used as different methods across this mighty globe. They were organic and went back into the earth.

I am a woman that had not used any of the above (or would want to, lets be honest). But I am a woman that has become interested in less plastic. And this means tackling the issue of the products I use down there, each month.

Of course the items we used today fit out lives. Our days are different to what we did hundreds of years ago, we move in different ways. What works for us has led to the current design of the modern pad. But with the design and our on the go life, other elements have crept in that are not organic and won't go back into the earth. Plastics. Chemicals.

So when I went looking for a product that would replace what was familiar to me I was naturally drawn to Luna Pads.

Image from lunapads.com
Luna pads is a fabric pad that fits just like your regular, run of the mill menstrual pads that you buy. Except, they are made of cotton and are washable. Yep, you wash these in your washing machine (or by hand). It's not as gross as it sounds. Really. Again, this is the type of product you need to use if you have a comfortable relationship with your body. So far I have enjoyed two months with them (I use them with my mooncup because I am a lady that has been blessed with a more generous flow) and had no trouble. The clip onto your regular underwear and off you go. 

You might be thinking how do I carry them when they are not wrapped in plastic? Luna Pads has thought of that. These little beauties fold up and you can purchase a washable bag that you carry them in. No one is the wiser. Plus you get to choose the fabric for all the products you buy. I picked the mermaid pattern!

While there are many brands that offer the same product I decided on Luna Pads (Luna? Moon goddess...Moon cup. What's with the nocturnal references?) because of their dedication to providing girls and women a free pad for each one purchased by you and me through their One4Her program. And the wonderful ladies at Luna Pads shipped my goods out here with no plastic, which was an added bonus! 

I'd love to hear from you. Have you tried cloth fabric pads?

12 comments

  1. Thank you for writing this article! I'm really interested in trying this out. If I may be honest (with a complete stranger) I have a very heavy flow and am unsure if it would work for me. I've also looked into the diva cup. I've always had a hard time with tampons (they never seem to open up for me), so I'm still very skeptical that the products will work for me. Any advice? Reducing my impact is my number one goal, but I also want to be comfortable.

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    1. I will be honest with you - I have a heavy flow too. I bought ones that are for nighttime/heavy flow and I use in conjunction with my mooncup for the first couple of days. Then towards the end I use just the pads. I have not had any trouble with the pads when I have used them without the mooncup. They are comfortable and work well. I recommend them to everyone!!

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  2. I went to the local big box store and bought a package of terry cloth wash cloths for about $5 USD. That was.. gee... at least 4 years ago and I still use them every month. Just a cheapskate's way of doing it.

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    1. Now that is resourceful and cost effective!

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  3. Anonymous11/25/2015

    Hello Erin, nice to meet you!! I finally found somebody who struggles with plastic even much more than I do! It is good to see that we are not alone. By the way, I still oppose a little resistance to the use of reusable pads: when I was a young girl my mother taught me to use a bent piece of cloth - that was my first pad, and believe me if I tell you that the disposable ones were such a great thing for me!! I see from your description that these new pads would work much better of the ones in my old memories, so I WILL TRY!! I also want to tell you that all the nocturnal references are maybe related to the fact that someones says that the Moon has influence on periods.... thank you and regards from Francesca - Italy

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    1. Please give the new cloth pads a go. They are very comfortable! I love mine so much. Plus, the money saved over time is a lovely bonus. Thanks for the info about the moon having an influence on periods. That is interesting to know.

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  4. I am going to jump on board with this idea. I actually have been using the Diva Cup for a few periods now and I am getting used to it to where I almost forget I have my period. *Weird concept* because I also have a very heavy flow. These cotton pads will be way more comfortable than the plastic ones that irritate my skin.

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    1. I am glad to hear the diva cup works for your heavy flow. A lot of women get nervous about it, especially if they have a heavier flow. I LOVE my cloth pads and rave about then to anyone who cares to listen. I hope you like them too.

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  5. Anonymous2/15/2016

    Hi Erin,

    I'm really interested in using these pads as I too would like to reduce the amount of waste I produce. I'm just wondering if these stain? I wouldn't particularly mind too much, but I don't think my partner would be very comfortable with the idea.

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    1. I am going to be honest - yes, they can stain a little. But if you use a stain remover, like BunchaFarmers, it will help reduce. My partner does not mind, but thats because he does not see them ;)

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  6. I know this is an old post but I have information about all the moon references :) My understanding of it is back in the day before chemical hormones, electric lights and screentime, women's cycles were actually in tune with the cycle of the moon (the level of moonlight would signal women's bodies, I suppose?) Anyway, fun fact! I'm working on switching my feminine products over to re-usable but I'm a stubborn DIYer so it's going to take the time for me to make it all.

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    1. That makes a lot of sense. I used to be in sync with the moon but slowly changed when we got another female housemate. Women's bodies are fascinating! Nothing wrong with being a stubborn DIYer :) All the best with it.

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