When my children were babies I used cloth diapers. And for a long time, I made all my own body products including soap, scrubs, and lotion. I suppose it makes sense then that I would be thinking up ways to make reusable feminine hygiene products for myself. Really, when you think about it, how much waste is that? Every woman in the world, multiple times a day, for a week every month throwing used products in the garbage.
The following excerpt was taken from natureswizard.com if you'd like to read the full article:
"The effect your disposable feminine hygiene has on our environment
Every year over 45 billion feminine hygiene products are dumped somewhere. This means that over 12 billion sanitary pads and liners are buried in landfill or incinerated every year in the United States and Canada. It takes approximately 500 years for a pad to break down into tiny pieces in a landfill site. This breaking down into small pieces is called Degrade and is very different to the process where things Biodegrade.
Over 90% of a sanitary pad is made of crude oil plastic; the rest is made from chlorine-bleached wood pulp. If you think about the impact on our environment of making the absorbent material that fills out the pad, which includes chopping down large areas of forests to source the wood and then chlorine bleaching the pulp, the use of crude oil plastic is a massive burden on the environment. We are rightly concerned about the billion plastic shopping bags given away daily, but by using plastic laden feminine hygiene products, each year we add the equivalent of 180 billion plastic bags to our waste stream.
According to the Algalita Marine Research Foundation, 80% of the plastic floating in our oceans comes from land as waste under 5mm passes through the filters and enters our streams, rivers, oceans and the stomachs of birds, fishes and other wildlife. If plastic is burnt in an incinerator, it will release dioxin into the air that we all need to breath, and will eventually go on to also pollute the water we need to drink and the soil that we depend on to grow our food."
Crude oil plastic and chlorine-bleached wood pulp? That sounds like just the sort of thing we ladies should be putting near our nether regions, don't you think? I decided that I was going to do something for the earth (and my lady parts). So I made some of these:
I purchased Kam Pliers from Etsy to add the snaps. I wasn't sure how absorbent these would be and I was a bit skeptical about them at first. But honestly, I have now made and used many and I love them! I like making them out of fabrics that I love. It may sound weird, but it makes it kind of fun to have your period.
I mean, c'mon. What woman doesn't want a Star Wars maxi pad? This one is actually for a friend of mine who requested I make her a couple.
In keeping with my reusable theme... today I also made some UNPAPER TOWELS! Again I used the snaps and rather then buy terry cloth (which you can find at JoAnn's or any other big box fabric store) I opted to use a couple of beach towels that were headed to Goodwill anyway. I armed myself with this tutorial and had a set done in about half an hour.
The use of my serger made the process a lot quicker, but I prefer the more finished look of the towels in the tutorial. Just a note if you decide to make these... terry cloth is a pain in the a$$!!!!! It is shifty and stretches out as you sew it. Go slow, use your walking foot if you have one, and pin like crazy. If you use a serger like I did, a little basting spray might be a good idea.