I can’t tell you how many times while traveling, I’m surprised by the inability to find tampons.  I’m there, in some fantastic tropical locale, trying to enjoy some beach time and “Aunt Flo(w) pays a visit”.  I stop into the local convenience, grocery, market, pharmacy, peruse the isles and finally hit the area where such things live, only to find that in this place, “such things” are pads…and they just aren’t for me.

You’re right, I could probably plan ahead a little better, but when you like to pack as light as I do, you’re bound to make a few assumptions about what you can leave “here” in favor of buying “there.”  The problem is that what gear is available to take care of your monthly visitor can be culture-bound and influenced by a broad range of things such as local religion, customs, and access.

So what’s a girl to do when you’ve sufficiently embarrassed enough local women on the road with questions and gestures to learn your lesson, but you still want to pack light?  You can do yourself and the earth a favor and eco your Aunt Flo(w)!

I’m talking about a little gem called the menstrual cup.  These little numbers are made of medical-grade silicone or organic natural gum rubber, and there’s a good argument for switching to them no matter what type of product you currently use, and whether you’re abroad or at home.

Longer use- up to 12 hours
Less in the landfill- Billions of tons of pads and tampons are dumped into landfills each year, while menstrual cups are reusable
Save money- women in the U.S. spend approx. $150-200 annually on pads & tampons, while a reusable menstrual cup is $35 or less and can last up to 10 years
Eco & woman friendly- most models are phthalate-free, plastic-free and BPA-free, and if you’re allergic to latex, you can choose a latex-free model

Check out the literature and see if one’s right for you. You may be able to reduce, reuse, recycle and pack a little something that will ensure you’re always good to go and prepared for Aunt Flo(w).

Learn more-

DivaCup
The Keeper & Keeper Mooncup
Lunette
Miacup

5 Responses to “Eco Your Aunt Flo(w)- This One’s for the Ladies”

Comments (5)
  1. I heard about the Diva Cup this year when I was in India! I’d love to give it a try because I so love the idea of reducing my waste to landfills but unfortunately, I’ve been traveling non-stop all year and 1) don’t have a permanent address to have a Diva Cup shipped to and 2) can’t find it in maxi-pad happy Asia.

    Hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on one sooner rather than later!

    • thanks connie! don’t know how i missed your comment until now! i LOVE my diva cup. slight learning curve for me, but no more than tampons, and soooo much less maintenance, zero waste, and one stop shop. let’s keep in touch and if you still don’t have one when i hit the road for my RTW, we can meet up and i’ll bring you one! :)

  2. Lorna, I’m currently using a disposable version. I like it but I’m finding that the clean up would be difficult at best in a public restroom with the reusable version. I love them though. The 12 hr use is excellent. This brand is Softcup, in the US, I wanted to test them out before going with the permanent eco reusable version.

    • thanks lisa! you know, i was worried about public restroom cleanup too, but i’ve become really good at it. i think it’s like anything, it just takes some figuring out. so funny that you found this post now! it’s an oldie that i wrote before i really talked details about myself and i was just thinking in light of living in the chinook, that i should revamp this post and dish the details. you’ve inspired to really make that happen now! so happy to hear you’d consider it! feel free to email me questions for tips- no question is too personal or embarrassing to me :)

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