Greener Every Week – For the Ladies

For the Ladies: Eco-friendly versions of feminine hygiene products

“Greener Every Week” is my ongoing series in which I do one (cheap, easy) thing every week to make my home or lifestyle more healthy & eco-friendly.

Disclaimer: this is a post about menstrual products – if you don’t want to read about that kind of thing, I totally dig it, but you’re going to want to stop reading now. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Icky girl stuff imminent.

So my introduction to the concept of menstrual cups came, as so many great things do, after a friend and I drank way too much alcohol and got into one of those conversations where you just tell each other tons of embarrassing things. She told me she never used tampons and when I asked what she did use she told me about the Diva Cup. I’ll confess right now that my first reaction was a mature and well-considered: “Ewwwwww!!”

But then I actually looked into it and was convinced to give it a try. This thing is so cool, I seriously don’t know why women are still shoving gross balls of bleached and chemical filled cotton up their business. It’s 2011, it’s time for a better system.

I’ll spare you too many details – just go read the description and reviews on Amazon if you’re interested, or check out their website at But I’ll tell you my favorite things about it:

  • It’s eco-friendly – no more wasting all that paper/cotton/whatever tampons are made out of.
  • It’s cheap – you buy it once and never need to buy tampons again!
  • You will never not have a tampon again. Think about that – since you just rinse it and put it back in, you will never find yourself in an emergency situation involving giant wads of toilet paper or whispered pleas to your friends again.
  • No string or anything else hanging out, keeping it nice and subtle (and way better for the beach!)

And to get extra bonus eco points, you can also switch to fabric pantiliners or pads if you use those (the Diva Cup is pretty good at not leaking but sometimes you still want backup) – search for “organic pantiliners” on Etsy and you’ll have a zillion options. They fold up into cute little packets you can keep in your purse and then just throw in the wash when you’re done with them.

Hopefully I haven’t grossed anyone out with all this information. Anyone else out there use a diva cup or fabric pads or am I turning into a crazy crunchy hippie without even realizing it? Anyone think they might give it a try? I swear these things are so convenient and sanitary I’d totally use them even if I didn’t care about the planet.

UPDATE: I have now also tried these as another option and they work really well too! They are reusable and eco friendly and a lot less messy than you might think!

Note:  Nobody has paid me in any way to endorse these products, I just genuinely like them and want to share my enthusiasm with you.  If you click the link and buy them from Amazon I’ll make like 37 cents through their affiliate program, so that would be sweet, but that’s the only compensation happening around here.

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  • He’ll! Loved the site I’ve been surfin it for a hour now lol. I saw this post and had to look because I know you’re anti chemicals like I am. They are such a better option then bleachy cotton true! But what I wonder is what plastic do they make it with and is it any better than bleach? Bpa and bha concern me… I have used a disposable cup I get from Walgreens and barrels, forgot the name, but have been considering diva cup. Thanks for your post!

    • They are made with medical-grade silicone, which doensn’t have bpa or bha – I feel like silicone is better and healthier than plastic, but it still is a man-made material so if you want to play it super safe you could always try the sea sponges I mention in the bottom of the post!

  • Could you fit the DC in a reusable sealed plastic bag ? For long days when needed have a clean spare . This product sounds fantastic . I’ll pass the info on to my daughters.

  • Thanks for acknowledging my comment! I wasn’t meaning to be a brat, it’ just that I have had to do a lot of painful growing in order to learn that matters of the body don’t have to involve shame. I just wish the world would grow up so we could be able to discuss these matters with ease {and without disclaimers}. I do really enjoy your blog and find it thoughtful which is why I chose to comment! Take care:)

  • Please don’t refer to the menstrual cycle as “icky”. It doesn’t help women accept and love their bodies and it certainly doesn’t help immature men, who have no trouble discussing the vagina in reference to their own pleasure, respect women. Vaginas bleed and that is not icky. Plugging your vagina with a bleached stopper, however, IS icky.

    • My use of the word “icky” was really more tongue-in-cheek (poking a bit of fun at theoretical squeamish people – I doubt very many people actually stopped reading after the disclaimer) I certainly didn’t mean to imply that women’s menstrual cycles are actually anything other than a normal, healthy part of life. I agree with you on the bleached stopper thing though!

  • In my experience I only have to empty it about three times a day so I just time it so I don’t have to worry about it at work. Maybe if I have a really heavy day I will, but for the most part an 8 hour shift isn’t a problem. It’s not like tampons that can be toxic if you leave them in. I love my DC and like someone else mentioned, honestly don’t mind getting my period any more.

  • They sound great in theory, but do you really just rinse it out in the shared bathroom at work in the middle of the day?? I’ve always wondered how ladies handled those sorts of situations.

    • Actually, in a public restroom you just empty it and wipe it clean with toilet paper, works great and you don’t have to leave the privacy of the stall.

  • I use the Diva Cup, and will be ordering some LunaPads when I can afford a set. The DC is amazing. It helps that I’m in the medical field and have no issues w/ blood, but it really changed the way I deal w/ my cycle. My cramps have lessened considerably, which is a miracle, as I have horrible endometriosis. I’m not spending tons of money on bleached crap that can cause TSS and kill me. And no more forgetting the last tampon of your cycle and freaking the eff out! The DC is made from medical grade silicone, so it cannot grow bacteria. I accidentally left it in for over 24 hours once, no problems whatsoever. So funny how I sound a wee bit crazy, but it really did change my life. I’ll never be excited to get my period, but using the DC has made it much more tolerable.

  • Okay, I’m glad you posted this today as I’ve been seeing a good bit about it here and there. I’m all about being eco-friendly and green and try to in SO many other ways and have really thought a lot about the Diva Cup for that reason alone but… honestly, it jeeves me out. Maybe I don’t understand it well enough, maybe I just don’t like things being “up there” for long periods of time, I don’t know. Maybe I’ll reread your post and get a bit closer to it though. We’ll see. 🙂