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How to Have an Eco-Friendly Period

Learn how to have a more eco-friendly menstruation with this Howcast video featuring Alegre of Green and Greener.


Hi, Allegra [SP] from Ember [SP] Living here today to talk about how to green your period. And I have to say that I'm so excited to talk about this topic because I've never covered it on my channel because I really thought it was TMI: too much information. But apparently, a lot of people have asked this question and I'm really happy to talk about it, okay? So first of all, one of my mantras is: living green isn't about doing different things, it's about doing things differently. So, you know, you're still gonna have your period and you're still gonna deal with it, but you're gonna do it in a slightly different way. So, the old school way of doing things is to use reusable pads like they have always done for millennia.

You know, basically, rags. It's called your rag for a reason because they were rags and you can just wash them. And, it's kind of like a diaper: it can be kind of bulky, and you have to change it a lot. So, personally not my favorite tool in my arsenal of green period tools. I prefer a menstrual cup. Apparently I've been using menstrual cups for almost 15 years now. So when I was doing research on green alternatives for my period, I found that in the 20s and 30s, dancers would use diaphragms to catch their period blood, and I thought, "Oh my gosh, what a smart idea!" It's completely reusable, it's up there so I won't have to deal with changing it all the time, way more comfortable. The best thing about it, too, is that the insurance covered it. So I used it for years and years and years; a medical grade rubber diaphragm until it finally tore. Now I use something called a Diva cup, which are deeper than diaphragms. So the diaphragms are really comfortable but they tend to leak because they're narrow; they're not very deep. Diva cups are deep, so literally no leakage issues. I can literally wear it for 12, 16 hours at a time.

So I only deal with it in the morning and at night. And if it's in properly, you literally feel nothing. You can just go about your life: go to your yoga class, go swimming, do whatever you want, lift your leg up over your head. No problem. So super easy and it's literally one thing and you spend $40 for it, but no waste. I mean, think about the tons of waste you generate over your lifetime throwing out tampons and disposable pads, which also, the disposable pads, do not biodegrade so horrible, horrible, horrible for trash, okay? The other thing too is period blood is an amazing fertilizer, so if you use reusable pads, what I recommend doing is getting a moon jar,that's what they call them, which can just be a vintage cookie jar or some sort of ceramic jar. Put it on the tank of your toilet, and just soak it in there with some detergent. And that effluent, meaning that water and fertilizer of your menstrual blood, is fantastic for flowering plants. Flowering plants really, really like protein and people are always admiring my roses, and I always say, "You don't really want to know why they're that beautiful."

But they are. And you can do that same thing with the blood from your Diva cup: just pull it out, toss it into something, mix it with some water and throw it on your plants. A couple of other benefits of the Diva cup are no toxic shock issues because there's no place for bacteria to grow in there, you don't have to worry about that. That was always something that freaked me out.

Also, if you have a really light flow, you know, tampons are not so comfortable to get up on those light days. You don't have that issue; Diva cups are made out of silicone so they slide in very nicely once you get used to it, so don't give up. If you get a Diva cup, give it a little practice. Literally, when it's inserted correctly, you shouldn't feel a thing. So there you go, greening your menstrual period; I'm so glad you asked!

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