Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PeriodConfidence #TryTheDivaCup #CollectiveBias
No one really likes getting their period. Let’s face it, they can be a real pain. Especially when you seek to live a zero-waste lifestyle at home.
Since the summer of my sixth-grade year, when it came to using tampons, I’ve always been a box a month kind of girl. Because for me, tampons were a means to an end when it came to my feminine health each month. In fact, my grandmother initially discussed the use of tampons with me as if they were a wearable badge of honor. Those small, gleaming white spirit sticks became the official mascot of my high school years.
But how do tampons and pads get that fresh and clean look? Chlorine bleach. A dioxin that may be linked to abnormal endometrial tissue growth and immune system suppression. That many tampons are derived from genetically-modified cotton and contain a smorgasbord of chemicals including cotton crop pesticides, odor neutralizers, artificial fragrances, synthetic dyes, polyester, adhesives, polyethylene, polypropylene, and propylene glycol, contaminants linked to hormone disruption, cancer, birth defects, and infertility.
A particularly scary set of fact for someone who lives with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, or PCOS, and knows first-hand how out of whack hormone levels can affect all aspects of your life!
With this knowledge in mind, in my early 20’s, I moved onto using organic tampon products. While organic products are a better idea than non-organic tampons, they are still not a perfect solution. Even reusable period pads require the added cost of water, detergent, and laundering with each use. Not to mention they could not be recycled after they are no longer usable at home.
Reusable products that will eventually become part of what the Environmental Protection Agency lists as the nearly 30,000 articles, the 300 pounds of period-related garbage headed to landfills in the average American woman’s lifetime. Making their overall environmental footprint smaller but still impactful all the same.
So what’s a girl to do when she wants an affordable, less-wasteful period product that doesn’t leave my hoo-ha souped-up on pesticides while not depleting the eco-friendly values of my zero-waste home? She opts for a menstrual cup, a medical-grade silicone cup that you insert into your va-jay-jay, where it collects blood throughout the day. And my menstrual cup of choice? The DivaCup®.
The DivaCup is a reusable, bell-shaped, medical grade silicone menstrual cup, suitable for girls and women of all ages. The DivaCup® offers women 12 hours of clean, leak-free protection. An all-around better, more zero-waste femcare option than tampons and pads!
The DivaCup® comes available in two sizes, Model 1 and Model 2. The DivaCup Model 1 is recommended for women under the age of 30 who have never delivered vaginally or by cesarean section and DivaCup Model 2, recommended for women age 30 and over/or for women who have delivered vaginally or by cesarean section. Making this product perfect for every woman, no matter her current season of reproductive life.
What makes the DivaCup® unique is that it features 100% healthcare grade silicone, which provides users comfort and durability with each use, from playing sports to going to sleep each night! The DivaCup® is also free of chemicals, including plastic, BPA, latex, and artificial dyes. I also love that the DivaCup® provides women a zero-waste, eco-friendly tampon alternative.
The best part about the DivaCup®? It’s uber comfortable to use. The DivaCup® sits low at the base of the vaginal canal for easy insertion and removal. It collects, instead of absorbs menstrual flow, which will not dry out or disrupt delicate vaginal pH. When positioned correctly, the DivaCup® is so comfortable you can’t feel the cup at all!
It’s also simple to know when you need to empty your DivaCup®. Each cup hosts easy-to-follow measurement lines that help you track your flow. Twice a day, every 10-12 hours, you can easily empty your DivaCup®, wash DivaCup® with DivaWash and warm water, and then reinsert for continued femcare protection. Further instructions on how to clean the DivaCup can be found here!
I love that the DivaCup® provides women a zero-waste, eco-friendly tampon alternative that’s available in many local markets. I was able to purchase both my DivaCup® and DivaWash right at my local neighborhood Rite Aid, right in the femcare aisle. I think it’s awesome that healthy, zero-waste, affordable, non-ick alternatives to traditional feminine hygiene products are affordably available to women in your local pharmacy!
The DivaCup® can also help you save money! The DivaCup costs only $39.99 at retailers. As the average woman can spend in excess to $150.00 on femcare, that’s a saving of over $110.01 the first year alone. With the DivaCup® paying for itself after just one season of use!
For me, the DivaCup® has been a life-saver. Mind you, the first month of use there was a learning curve. But once I became comfortable with the DivaCup®, it was a breeze!
Each morning on my period I start my day my cleaning DivaCup® with DivaWash and reinserting before starting my day. Then after dinner each night, and again before bed, I rinse and repeat the process. Unlike tampons, I don’t have to remove my DivaCup® each time I go to the bathroom, it just stays put! When I am ready to remove my DivaCup®, I just tug on the little silicone pull at the end of my cup and it comes right out. The first time, every time.
In full disclosure, I didn’t go at using this product alone. I first used the DivaCup® User Guide before trying the cup for the first time and consulted my healthcare provider. It gave me a piece of mind on what I could expect on DivaCup®in regards to my overall vaginal and gynecological health. You can also reach DivaCup®directly.
Their Consumer Care Team is available to answer all your questions and concerns. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, phoned at 1-866-44-3482, or reach out to them via their social media networks listed below. This team is super helpful to customers and zero-wasters, like me. Everything from insertion to removal, they’re there to help! To find out more about how to properly use your DivaCup®, click here!
I say all that to say this: The DivaCup® changed the way I view my adult life as a menstruating woman. I am a better steward of my home, my body, and my environment for being a DivaCup® user! So now that I’ve shared my favorite zero-waste product at home, I also want to share with you a few other tips I’ve found to radically revolutionize my period at home.
Here are 7 zero-waste tips for rocking your next zero-waste period at home too!
Carve out time to rest: The first day of my period brings with it an overwhelming desire for peace and rest. I listen to my body. I don’t pressure myself to carry on as usual. To keep up with my usual tasks, to plaster on a smile on my face and pretend my body isn’t cramping beyond belief. I use the week of my cycle as a sacred pause. Rather than fighting my period, I allow myself a few hours each afternoon of my period for nothing but a nap. I consider it my body’s way of resetting its clock each month.
Stock-up for Success: As I mentioned above, knowing the facts about eco-friendly femcare products is key to having a zero-waste period at home each month. As was switching from pads and tampons to a reusable menstrual cup! It goes without saying that I make sure in the days leading up to the start of my cycle each month that my DivaCup® is accessible in my bathroom, I am stocked-up on DivaWash, and I have a stack of fresh, clean, organic towels and bath products ready to use each month. This is a natural, easy, and environmentally-friendly way to take care of yourself during your period.
Keep it oily: I like to diffuse clary sage and frankincense essential oils in the days leading up to my cycle to help clear my mind and support my reproductive hormones. When period cramps start, I also rub peppermint oil on my lower abdomen for cramps, on my lower back for pain, and on the back of my neck and temples to relieve headaches at home.
Focus on self-care: During my period each month I amp up my personal meditation, I make a point of keeping up with my gratitude journaling, and it’s also my time to check in on my personal self-care. All which can be made zero-waste by simply digitizing your notes! Remember, your period is the perfect time for a self-awareness check-in.
Turn on the waterworks: During your period, water is your friend. You’ll want lots of baths and showering. Not because you’re dirty, but because you need time to relax and unwind. Think salt baths, warm showers, and shower steams. Looking for a lower-water solution? Try a reusable water bottle! It’s all about self-care and mindful experiences.
Embrace fashion challenges: Your period is the perfect time to embrace your inner need for warm cozy, comfy clothes. Opt for period-friendly dark colors and flowy dresses. Pieces that are easy to clean and allow for the bloating. Think drapey and feminine. Don’t try to force yourself to wear skinny jeans or your favorite white jeans. Opt for organic cotton clothing. Try the slow-fashion route and go thrift shopping for fun, funky, and frugal period-ready clothes. Work with mother nature. Not against her!
Nourish your body: While it may be tempting to indulge in your carnal craving for all things fatty, salty, and sour, your best bet is to actually use your period as a time to nourish and enrich your body instead! Stock your kitchen with already prepped foods, such as mason jar salads, DIY yogurt, and granola, or simple make-ahead freezable soups that can help fuel your body and stave off food cravings during your most trying time of the month. My favorite period food? DIY Apple Pie Pecan Overnight Chia Seed Pudding.
A recipe that’s quick, easy and delish- perfect for your period cravings at home! This chia seed pudding can be made portable in a mason jar rather than a bowl and can be conveniently made before bed. Then just give it a stir in the morning and you’re good to go, sister!
I love chia puddings because they keep me feeling full, satisfied, and nourished. I’m sure you know by now that chia seeds are magical little nutrient-packed powerhouses of goodness packed with fiber, protein, and minerals. This recipe also features a fall-ready apple jam that’s out of this world yummy. Perfect for that time of the month!
Did I also mention that chia seeds are packed with anti-aging antioxidants? Yup, this pudding can help you look and feel good too!
It’s also fall, which means we are entering the full swings of apple season in my neck of the woods. So, of course, this chia seed pudding is packed full of apple pie flavor. I for one can’t seem to get enough apples lately. They’re my favorite period-friendly snack of all time!
In this recipe, you’ll be infusing all that chia goodness with almond milk, cinnamon, and vanilla. Topped off with a delicious apple jam and the crunchy goodness of pecans and walnuts! It’s apple pie, just reimaged in a fun, frugal, and super satisfying too! You’ll want to make this super simple apple pie yumminess, sweetened with 100% pure apple juice and stevia the next time Aunt Flow comes to town this fall!
I start this recipe by washing, peeling, and coring my apples. The scraps from the apples can be used to make DIY Apple Cider Vinegar, dehydrated to make pet treats, or composted!
Much like other chia seed jam recipes, you’ll cook down the fruit along with chia seeds and any desired spices. I sweetened this recipe with 100% apple juice and stevia to give it a little extra fall apple kick. It tasted amazing. I opted to use my pressure cooker, on a 10-minute setting, but feel free to use your stove top instead. I made a fairly small batch the first time I made it, but it disappeared quickly! And by disappeared quickly I mean that I ate the whole batch in less than 12 hours. Can you blame me? I was on my period, after all!
After cooking the apples down the apples and cooling them for about 20 minutes, they will be nice and soft and the jam base will have thickened up nicely thanks to those awesome little chia seeds. to finish the jam, I took a silicone spatula and mashed half of the apple mixture to get a nice, thick consistency. You can mash all of it if you want, but I liked leaving lots of apple chunks for texture. That’s my jam!
Make the chia seed overnight oats was just as easy! Just whisk together to combine the oats, chia seeds, almond milk, vanilla, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Place in the fridge overnight to thicken. The oats are ready when all the liquid has been absorbed and the oats are soft. You can adjust your overnight oats as well. You can thin it out with more milk or thicken it with more chia seeds, as needed.
To assemble my DIY Apple Pie Pecan Overnight Chia Seed Pudding, simply layer the vegan overnight oats with the apple pie jam, a few spoonfuls to each per layer. Add your chopped pecans and walnuts on top of each layer, if desired. Garnish with a cinnamon stick, and you’re ready! This recipe will be your new period-ready go-to! Give it a try, it’s pretty awesome!
So, friends, those are my 7 tips for rocking your next zero-waste period at home. I encourage you all to reexamine how you can not just exist, but thrive, during your next cycle. All while lowering your period’s overall carbon footprint at home this coming season with DivaCup® and DivaWash products. To find a locator in your area, click here!
So, now I have to ask, are you considering using DivaCup® products at home or have you already made the zero-waste switch at home? I’d love to hear about it at below!
Connect with DivaCup®:
- 3 large apples, peeled and diced
- 3/4 cup 100% organic apple juice
- 4 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 cinnamon stick, for garnish
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of sea salt
- 1/2 cup gluten-free organic rolled oats
- 1 1/4 cups almond milk
- 1/4 teaspoon stevia
- 1/4 cup chopped pecans and/or walnuts
- To make the jam: Add all jam ingredients into a medium pot or pressure cooker. Stir to combine.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Stirring every 5 minutes.
- When the apples are fork tender, remove from heat and mash 50% of the mixture to thicken the blend.
- Set aside to cool.
- To make the overnight oats: Combine the oats, chia seeds, almond milk, vanilla, and cinnamon in a small bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add to a mason jar and chill overnight.
- Place in the fridge overnight.
- To make the parfait: Layer the overnight oats with the apple pie jam, in a mason jar.
- Each layer should be a few spoonfuls.
- Add the chopped pecans and walnuts on top of each layer if desired.
- Garnish with a cinnamon stick.
- Serve chilled.
- You can store your leftover jam in an air-tight container jar in the fridge. The jam will last for 2 weeks. The chia oats blend will last 1 week. Enjoy!