Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Twelve Days of Prepping - Day Six

On the sixth day of Prepping, my Prepper gave to me,

... a Diva for the ladies
...canning jars with rings;
... a cast iron skillet;
... a French coffee press;
... black turtle beans;
... and a sapling apple tree.

This whole post is likely to be TMI for some of you, and that's fine, but like all bodily functions, which, in our uber polite society, we don't like to discuss, somethings happen whether we want them to happen or not, and we'll all be a lot more comfortable - in a low energy future when disposables aren't always going to be an option - if we make some plans for those things now.

A few years ago when I was surfing around the Internet on some different prepper sites, I came across an article, written by a man, about storage preps for women. From the gist of his article, it seemed his suggestion was to store up enough feminine hygiene product for every female in the house for her entire life-cycle.

So, I did some figuring. The average woman has a seven-day cycle. During the heaviest part of her cycle, she'll use five pads in a day, averaging two and half to three per day over the seven days. Knowing this, to make things easy for us, manufacturers put them in packages of twenty-four, which is about what the average woman will use per month.

The average woman will menstruate for about forty years (starting at around age twelve and stopping at around age fifty).

Twenty-four times twelve scribble ... scribble ... times four carry the two ...

The average female, if she uses only disposable pads, and if she has no children (which will slightly reduce the numbers of periods she has), and if she only menstruates for forty years, will need over eleven THOUSAND sanitary napkins in her lifetime.

If I were to buy all that my young daughters need, right now, I'd need to buy thirty-three THOUSAND sanitary napkins, at a cost of just under $7000. If we add what I would need for the rest of my lifetime menstral cycle, it would cost over $7000 for the four of us, and that's just for me and the three daughters who live here. That does not include my adult daughter, and her two daughters.

** I won't even go into the whole issue of disposing of said products, which will be a bit more of a challenge in a lower-energy future. **

Maybe we should bring back The Red Tent ...

Or we could, instead, look at non-disposable options.

A few years ago, I came across some information about Diva Cups. I bought one, for the low, low price (comparatively) of $35. I've used it ever since (four years or so). I also made six reusable cloth napkins, which I've also used, and my next project is smaller, cloth napkins (panty-liner sized).

I realize this is a very personal gift, and it's also full of that ookie factor - you know, that squeamishness that's so pervasive in our culture that makes touching things like *our own fluids* so ... eww! On an intellectual level, the squeamishness is utterly ridiculous, but even though I use a Diva cup, and even though the thought of using cloth toilet wipes doesn't send me screaming into the night, I'm still a little ... eww! ... about it all.

The thing is, alternatives (except The Red Tent) aren't any more appealing. Back in the day, the alternative was a rag stuffed in a girls' underwear, and frankly, that's not better than using a glad rad or a Diva Cup.

At worst, if one chooses this as a gift option for a non-prepper-minded friend, it might look like a gag, and everyone will get a good laugh (like the "Rubber Tree" gag gift for single men - or couples with a lot of kids ;) - practical, and, yet ...). At best, one could be saving oneself and/or one's friends thousands of dollars over a lifetime of being a woman.

There are a lot of other non-disposable options. Cloth napkins and Diva Cups are just the two I've used and can personally endorse.

And, yes, Virginia, we have saved hundreds of dollars ... and I used that savings to buy a few more books ;).


  1. Reusable cloth pads are brilliant. I've used them for about six years and would never go back to disposables. The chemicals and level of discomfort from disposables are unbelievable, and so unhealthy for our bodies.

    I have, in the past, given pads as a Christmas gift. You do have to know your recipient well though! LOL!

  2. My daughter uses cloth pads and I love buying them for her because they are so pretty and come in so many fun designs. Plus so much more comfortable.
    If Wendy doesn't mind I am posting a few links of some for sale on Zibbet.

    These are so pretty:


  3. Judy - Thanks for the links! For those who are looking for some ideas/places to buy, Zibbet is a great choice for cloth pads, and all sorts of other handmade gifts.

  4. I use both reusable cloth pads (my favorite are Pink Lemonade on Etsy) and my diva cup. I put in about $75 worth, but have used it for 5 years now. Good bargain if you ask me! :) Plus, no one ever has to run out to the store if I run out. :)