I am very proud to announce that I have become an Ambassador for Lunapads, a Vancouver-based “social mission driven business.” Lunapads sells cloth and reusable menstrual products, as well as many other environmentally-gentle items for your healthcare and household.
Reusable Menstrual Pads
I have been using Lunapads products for about 10 years and over that time have seen my relationship to my period, my body and my health in general change immensely. As a teenager I was grossed out during menstruation and as a young adult I took The Pill in order to remove the pain that my period caused, but now I enjoy what happens during my cycle and my awareness of where I am within it has vastly improved.
The act of cleaning my reusable pads and DivaCup (an insertable cup that has become one of my favourite monthly products!) has allowed me to value what my body goes through every month and reminds me of how astonishing it is to be a woman. Fuck being ashamed.
I made the switch to reusable menstrual products in my early 20s, when I began thinking more about the environmental consequences of my actions. Like many other women, I would throw numerous pads and tampons into the garbage every single month. According to the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, a woman who uses tampons every month will buy more than 11,000 of them in her lifetime.
Reusable Menstrual Cup
The FDA guidance document for menstrual product companies (in the USA) identifies the following risks for tampons and pads: adverse tissue reaction, vaginal injury, vaginal infection and toxic shock syndrome (TSS). It recommends that tampons and pads be free of chemical residues or that they are present at acceptable levels. But what are “acceptable” levels of toxic chemicals, especially when they are found in internal products?
When chemicals like dioxin (which comes from the bleach used to whiten pads and tampons) and added fragrances, as well as pesticides from conventionally-grown cotton, are not required to be included in the labelling of products – even if they are present – how can consumers make informed choices about their usage?
Because this information is absent, it’s not certain what the long term side affects are of using disposable menstrual products. I’m not willing to jeopardize my health and add to the environmental waste I would produce by paying for these items anymore.
Empowering Women in Uganda and Beyond
Lunapads runs programs to assist women in other parts of the world during their periods. Their main one, One4Her, follows a similar business model to Lunapads and is in partnership with an organization in Uganda called AFRIpads. Whenever an eligible purchase is made through Lunapads (pads, pantyliners, DivaCup Kits and Lunapads Kits), proceeds from that sale are used to purchase sanitary pads from AFRIpads, who manage and distribute these to girls who need them in East Africa. The girls are also given information about health and hygiene.
What I love about One4Her is that the program is not only about giving materials as a donation, but also supports the efforts of a Uganda-based social business that provides jobs to (mostly) women and uses local materials as often as possible. Other NGOs and customers also purchase from AFRIpads, keeping the company sustainable.
The goal is to encourage girls and women in East Africa to go to school during their periods, as an inaccessibility to menstruation products often limits them from travelling to school, work or doing domestic activities.
Focusing On my Menstrual Cycle
For all of the above reasons, I am proud of my new role as an Ambassador for Lunapads. You can change your relationship to your body, health and the environment by switching to reusable menstruation products (or buying them for the females in your life). Use this discount code to receive 5% off your Lunapads purchases – AMBFIVE – and then add my Ambassador Referral Number during checkout – 616025 – so that I can buy even more pads to support the One4Her program. Win-win-win!
Note: The views expressed are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Lunapads.