A fellow pastor has a blog entry entitled “keepers” for this week. My blog post will be nothing like his. Although, his made me think about the fact that it was about time for me to write this post.
If you are not a woman, you might want to skip this post. Just come back in a few days and read about something completely different.
If you get grossed out really easily, you might want to do the same.
Because, I have a completely different type of “keeper” to talk about.
About once a year, I like to do my own public service announcement about the joys and benefits of menstrual cups.
Yes, you read that right.
In college, I began to learn about being eco-friendly. I was about a decade behind my friends who went to the other elementary school in our district. They put on this awesome musical called, “Recycle It” in 2nd grade or something. They continued to sing the songs through high school… but I never really got into the whole recycling and environment thing. I was a republican, after all. And we lived in the country. And we burned our own trash. It was just how we did things.
But in college… wow – my whole world turned upside down. In a thousand different ways. And perhaps the best way was this amazing group of men and women who cared about the world and the people in it and continually challenged me to make a difference – even in the small things that we do.
We served at the Catholic Worker House. We protested. We reduced, reused, and recycled. We lived in community (most of the time successfully!). We slept outside in winter to raise awareness about homelessness. And we had lots and lots and lots of conversations.
One of the conversations that personally impacted me the most was the one about menstrual products. For years, I had done what most women in the United States do. I went to the store every month and plunked down my dollars for pads and tampons. I had no idea that there was any alternative. Suddenly as a result of that conversation though, keepers, and lunapads and natural sponges were on my mind. I was intrigued. I was curious. I decided… what the heck! I’ll try it.
It has now been seven years since I purchased my first lunapads and my keeper. I spent a grand total of $65 and since that time I have spent NOTHING on disposable pads and tampons. My keeper is my go-to for my menstrual cycle, but I like the flexibility of having the lunapads if I want to use them overnight.
My first major traveling experience with my keeper was a two week European trip, and it got me through all sorts of different kinds of bathroom experiences. The best part was that I could empty it in the morning and when we got back at night and never worry about it during the day when we were unsure about the bathrooms we would find. It works wonderfully for swimming, it is comfortable, and most days I don’t even notice that it is there.
My husband never has to run to the grocery store to stock the cabinets with feminine products. And for that he is grateful. We don’t have heaps of trash to deal with. (For a REALLY stunning picture of the difference for the environment this switch can make check this out!)
I really feel like it is one of the best decisions that I have made for myself and for the environment. And if you have any questions, feel free to ask me!