The other week I was listening to the cbc and heard a strange new radio advert... this sing-songey voice telling us what not to flush down the toilet: diapers, q-tips, floss, condoms, tampons... People FLUSH those??? In any case, the idea being that since the city sewage processing plant flooded and has been pumping "floatables" into the harbour I guess HRM's approach is to blame it on the people...
In any case, the "tampon" comment reminded just how happy I was that my monthly gift wasn't contributing to the landfills any longer (cuz who actually flushes them? no really... people DO that?). Out of all the weird, green, small or big eco-changes that I've made over the past few years the DivaCup has been THE best! I've talked about it a few times here on the EcoYogini blog (ps- if you're reading this and can't see my new summer banner, then it's been posted without my permission, come on over and join in on the conversation!), and I was surprised just how many other fantastic eco-yoginis out there also LOVE their cup! I've learned a few new issues on the topic and thought I'd share them :)
Quick intro for those that might be new to this awesomely fantastic cup:
For such an integral part of most women's lives, who KNEW it caused SO much waste: an estimated 12 BILLION tampons in American landfills yearly (and I guess in the harbour too!). Our messy, used feminine products, made of plastic and absorption chemicals (placed in such an intimate area, why did I expose my vagina to that?) are never just thrown "away", but are hanging out for years to come. In enters the DivaCup for myself, or one of the other eight or so menstrual cups out there.
Trust me, it took TWO years for me to gather the courage to give it a try and the first few times were a bit entertaining... to say the least (really when the instructions say "DO NOT PANIC" they mean it!! lol). If you're reading this and are nervous about the whole thing, you are not alone! It was weird, but SO worth it! After a few months of interesting experiences and revelations (please check out my "Overshare" post for details) I was STILL struggling with the random "POP" opening surprising me in the most inopportune moments. Andrew thought it was hilarious... but really it was getting off-putting after a year and a half.
Thanks to the wonderful sharing and comments left on my "overshare" post, that no longer happens! Still haven't mastered the "push down" fold (just resulted in more crazy dancing in the bathroom hoping it will open!) and no turning at all was accomplished (Andrew kept asking if I was ok after some banging and swearing like a trucker... hah). The Most Fantastic Tip: HOT WATER. OMG, warming it up prior to doing the crazy, ridiculous wiggle dance to get it in has resulted in no more surprise openings! WOOT!
Seriously, even my yoga practice has changed as a result of wearing the DivaCup. I no longer worry about random leaking, pulling or uncomfortable-ness. After a few weird thoughts of: "ew, during shoulderstand it's just... you know... going around in there!", with no disaster occuring, my moontime no longer affects how I choose to practice yoga. I can travel for 12 hours without worrying about needing a bathroom nearby, or having my purse with me to the bathroom (like no one notices that!). The best: I NEVER have to buy more tampons AGAIN. I've never had an overflow, and didn't think it was possible, but I have friends who do need to empty their cup every few hours and still swear it's fantastic.
Unfortunately, just like the whole "yoga machine" awakening, I recently was made aware through Crunchy Chicken's blog that the DivaCup peeps aren't all out to save women's menstrual cycles. As I'm not an instruction reader (Andrew read out the "DO NOT PANIC" from outside the bathroom for me that very first time) I had no idea that DivaCup recommends that we replace our cup every.single.year. Ahem. Their reason: supposedly Health Canada requires this for safety regulations. According to this article, Health Canada denies any such statements... and that they have no concerns regarding safety of prolonged use. If I have to replace my cup yearly that would be an extra 30-40$ to the DivaCup company per year... and wouldn't make sense economically OR ecologically (as you can't return the cups for recycling) for myself. I'll just continue brushing and boiling away until I hear something a bit more definitive. (A DivaCup knitted case!! SO FUN! Taking from here)
Also, I had NO IDEA that there were other alternatives like "the Keeper" (latex- which has been documented to degrade in contact with biological fluids, unlike silicone) or "The Fleurcup" (France) and have a sneaking suspicion that the ridiculous certification allowing the DivaCup to assure medical grade safety in Canada also means they may be the ONLY menstrual cup allowed to sell in Canada. That's pretty handy for them to have a huge monopoly on price (hence the 40$ price tag) and regulations.
Regardless of the drama, I do continue to HEART my DivaCup!