Monday, July 02, 2007

why is it called being "crunchy" if it makes your life so soft?

(Please note the the following post discusses alternative menstrual products and toilet cloth. If that isn't up your alley, you may want to skip over this one!)

Ru and I have been thinking a lot lately about how we can reduce our impact on the environment. Now that Signal is here, we seem even more concerned than we were before with how our actions impact the planet. And in that spirit, we have recently made some changes in our home to reduce our use of disposable products. This has moved us into what some might refer to as the "crunchy" camp.

The first thing we decided to do was to find alternatives to the tampons that were using. Since being a member of MDC, I have learned a lot about the types of products that are out there on the market and how they are better for our bodies and the environment. So, when two different co-ops came up allowing us to order both menstrual cups and cloth panty liners at a reduced rate, we jumped at the chance!

Our menstrual cups are Moon Cups by the makers of the Keeper. They are silicone, and reusable. They will last for up to ten years, and since they are not absorbent, they are easier on your system. Our cups arrived at the house just in time for my last cycle. After an initial learning curve (and boy, it's a bit of a steep curve!), I'm really loving it. You never have to worry about being without supplies, and it's very comfortable, despite what you might think when you see it for the first time. If any of you have been on the fence about trying out a menstrual cup, I highly recommend them.

Our cloth liner order has just been placed with Mother and Maiden. Since Carrie, the owner, makes each pad to order, it will take a while before they come in. Ru and I are waiting with bated breath. I mean, who doesn't want pads with sock monkey fabric tops? No one, I tell you. We're really looking forward to getting in the habit of using these too. Again, less waste, less chemicals, better for the environment. And cute to boot!

But perhaps the "crunchiest" venture we have embarked on is the use of toilet cloth. Toilet cloth, you say? Yep! Think toilet paper, not made of paper. Again, it's a concept that I first came across at MDC, and Ru and I were really interested in trying it out. After reading about a fellow MDC member and blogger, mamamilkers, who was actually trying it out with her family, we decided to take the plunge.

We cut up some receiving blankets into 6x6 squares and have put them beside the toilet.

I then put a metal garbage can with a lid in there as a receptacle for the used cloth. I sprinkled the bottom of the can with baking soda and some Oxyclean to absorb any odour.

We have now been using our toilet cloth for 4 days, and we are LOVING it. The flannel is soft and absorbent. It's great! Right now, we are only using the cloth for pee, because of the lack of laundering options in the apartment's laundry room. We can't presoak, or do an extra rinse, or any of those nice things. Which is also why we're not cloth diapering. But even the amount of toilet paper we're saving from using the cloth just for pee is astounding. Hooray us!

Okay. That's all. I promise our next blog post will be about Signal.


mamamilkers said...

Hooray!!!!! So awesome.

kidletsmum said...

yay! I can't wait til we get our receptacle. I am soooo ready to start!
I have tried the menstrual cups; I guess the learning curve was too steep for me. But when this new baby is born and I start bleeding again, I'll be using Sea Sponge reusable tampons. Love them!
Hooray for fellow crunchies!

BabySpice said...

Well girls - Good for you, but not my style....

So what about the amount of phosphates dumped into the sewer system with the increased need for laundry????

Have jumped Mr E to cloth diapers???

M said...

We're putting the cloth in to launder with our towels, so it actually doesn't increase the number of loads we do each week. Thanks heavens. I'm not big on laundry.

And we'd do cloth diapers if we could launder them ourselves, which we can't because the washers in the apartment don't have enough functions. I don't like all of the heavy duty detergents that diaper services use, so disposables it is for now.

Alex Elliot said...

I went to a women's college so of course I was very intrigued by a blog post on menstrual products. I've used the menstrual cups before, but not the one you have listed. I'll have to check that one out. Actually the main reason I liked it was that there wasn't a string hanging out of me. Good for you for making your family more environmentally friendly!

zozosmamma said...

I love my Diva Cup and cloth liners...good for you!!

As for the cloth toilet paper...I'd do it for pee but not...umm...the other one. But I am pretty sure DH would ixnay that one!!!