Gross-out green week - Day three: Feminine Products - Our Daily Green

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Gross-out green week - Day three: Feminine Products

Wow, talk about an awkward, and yes, slightly gross conversation. But I promised "gross out green" and here you have it. (gentlemen readers? you're invited to go play poker or watch football until this post is done, but ladies, I know you'll get it). 

If you think this discussion topic is gross, I understand your pain. I've lived it. Our first home was a lovely Tudor home in an older city. We had hardwood floors, built-in china cabinets, 6 inch wood molding... and old pipes. We lived there seven years. About year 5.5, we decided to re-activate our basement bathroom, which had all the "equipment" but nothing was turned on or functional. We were planning a family and thought a second bathroom would be nice.

We remodeled, replaced a toilet and shower stall, opened the laundry chute, and were ready to go. Within a few weeks, we had pests (drain flies and the sort) in our basement bathroom. After a few attempts to figure the problem, we called the local Rotorooter sort of guy.

He arrived and went to work. After about an hour, he called me into the basement where he was holding a half filled 5 gallon bucket. Of "supposedly" flushable feminine products. I quickly did the math. Yeah, about 6 years worth of female products had clogged our waterflow.

This humiliation was enough for me to reconsider how I handled that monthly time. I spent about a month swaddling and hiding my personal care products in the depths of the nearest wastebasket. It was really inconvenient, and the additional paper used to pretend to camouflage the fact that I am a female also rubbed me wrong.

I wondered what women did in the past. The pre-flush, the pre-disposable world days. Menstrual cycles have existed as long as humanity. What did our sisters in previous decades do?

After a great deal of research, I learned about a number of contemporary solutions for "our time of the month". I'm modest enough to tell you that one of them works very well for me but I draw the line at sharing more detail. Just know that there are a number of options in the eco-friendly realm.

We've pictured a few solutions that may work for you. I encourage all the ladies out there to consider one of these ways to handle their monthly cycle. If you're reading this, you've likely had children (since Our Daily Green's primary demographic base is moms) which automatically reduces your squeamish factor. Ladies, we've been poked prodded and operated on in the presence of  family and medical professionals. I gave birth the first time in a teaching hospital, and had a class of interns looking on. If I was modest or squeamish, I quickly got over it. As parents we have wiped up, cleaned out, and taken care of every possible bodily discharge. All this to remind us that this isn't gross, it's natural. And we're dealing with it in a natural way. And a way that never ever ever will have the Rotorooter guy holding a bucketful of what we thought was a discreet way to handle our monthly cycle. 

*If you ever need to launder fabric that has blood stains on it, hydrogen peroxide works wonders. 

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