This blog post will cover content about menstruation. If that’s uncomfortable for you to read about, click away.
Good with this? Awesome! Because I have some cool stuff to share in this post!
What is Be The Change Check-in?
This is a weekly small group offering with @charlotte where members think of ways they can make an impact on the world. They will come up with an idea for something that they can do in their own lives and talk about it at their check-ins, reflecting on if they were able to do it or not, or adding a new change of action. One student is trying to use less toilet paper. My first action was to only use my own mug or glass whenever I’m getting coffee at a store (so if I don’t have my own mug, I’m not getting coffee!). These are little doable actions that we can all make, and if we all do something, we may have an impact!
We recently hosted a really cool talk at school from a guest speaker, Linda Goodwin, about how to live a lower impact lifestyle by changing household habits. While Linda and her husband have modified their lifestyle to a point of only making 3 trash bags full of garbage a year, she encouraged us not to feel overwhelmed by that. She started slow by just thinking about little things she could do, and encouraged us to feel good about about the little things we can shift in our own lives. She left us with this quote from Maya Angelou:
The focus of the Be the Change Check-in isn’t about feeling bad about what we aren’t doing, it’s about thinking of what little things we want to try out doing. There are many small shifts we can make, and with a little intention and practice, these shifts become easy and simply a new normal for our lives.
I’ve actually never been able to go to a single Be the Change meeting at school. However, in a small school like this, it’s easy to know what’s going on around you through relationships. Even if you aren’t participating in a particular offering, it doesn’t mean that it’s not impacting your life. I know this is going on, it’s set at each Set-the-Week. I’m interested in going, but I have been scheduled to do something else at each check-in so I don’t get to go. However, I’m still making little shifts in my own life to live more harmoniously with the environment and checking in with some of the participants outside of the scheduled meeting times. I include this piece to help us all remember that it’s okay to not join some of the offerings. It’s impossible to be a part of every offering I want to be a part of at school. I’m still exposed to so many enriching activities by just being in the same space as them with others.
Now, Back to Menstruation
So, despite my lack of ability to attend a meeting, I did check in and reflect about my new change of action for this week: replacing my use of tampons with the Diva Cup.
Disposable tampons and pads add up to more items in landfills. According to this article, “the U.S. alone dumps 12 billion pads and 7 billion tampons every year; because tampons are often flushed applicators frequently wash up on beaches (yuck).” Let’s also keep in mind that there are companies and equipment behind the making of more and more tampons and pads to keep us supplied endlessly. You can read this article for more information on that – the point is that the major environmental impact is more than just the tampons in landfills, it’s the fossil fuel use of making the plastic applicators.
After trying out the Diva cup myself, I was able to report back to a couple members of the group about how much liked using it. The benefits I’ve experienced are:
- It’s comfortable
- It holds more liquid so it only needs a change every 12 hours
- It doesn’t leak AT ALL once you learn how to use it properly
- No strings, so I feel cleaner, and this will be great for summer time in a bathing suit
- I feel really amazing about the fact that I didn’t have to fill up my trash can with applicators
- It’s cheaper – a one time $30 expense will last me a decade if I take proper care of my cup
You may think it’s strange for me to blog about this, and admittedly, I pondered in my head if I should do it or not. I have opted to share about it because I think talking about our bodies openly and without shame is a beautiful thing. I’m really grateful that the girls in our school can talk to older females about menstruation and our choices if they want to. The female adults in our school don’t make a big deal of it or act like it’s taboo or weird.
In addition, I was never exposed to the fact that Diva Cups or any non-disposable option for menstruation even existed until Charlotte told me about it when I was 30. It seems like it’s common knowledge for certain circles, but it’s really not talked about in the mainstream world. I’m not trying to push an agenda that everyone should switch to a Diva Cup. I think each woman should evaluate and think about their own needs. However, I would like to see environmentally friendly options like the Diva Cup become a more mainstream option that is normalized. I’m really grateful that the girls in our school have exposure to adult females who they know choose this option. These girls have the exposure to different options available so they can evaluate what’s best for them when it’s time to do so. That is something I think is awesome!
If you are interested in getting a Diva Cup, you can buy them at Amazon for under $30. Wholefoods sells them for $40.