Posts tagged "periods"

How can I reuse or recycle menstrual blood?

In honour of International Women’s Day on Monday, we’re having a week of women’s & sexual health themed posts (and giveaways!!). Check out our older related posts too – such as unused disposable sanitary products or end-of-life menstrual cups.

I thought long and hard about whether to feature this because it’s the type of green action that makes Daily Mail readers exclaim “bloody hippies!!” and pledge to not reduce, reuse or recycle just to annoy us filthy, poor Good-Life-wannabes. But in the end, Cipollina’s comment yesterday convinced me – it’s not for everyone but blood is a cracking fertiliser.

The fluid emptied out from your Mooncup or pink water from rinsing out from your washable sanitary towels is a great source of natural nitrogen – it replenishes overworked soil and feeds the plants. People buy blood meal — the dried & powdered blood from livestock — as a non-synthetic fertiliser but why not cut out the middle man/middle cow? It’s as organic as you are.

There are some potential problems with just pouring it straight on the garden – some blood-borne pathogens can be transferred around and apparently it can attract ants – but one way to minimise the risk of that sort of thing is to put it through a hot compost heap. If you know you have a blood-borne pathogen, you might want to look into the situation with your condition further – although apparently even hepatitis, one of the longest surviving blood-borne pathogens outside the body, only manages about 30 hours before breaking down (shorter if heated/exposed to sunlight).

I found two very interesting discussions on the topic – this one and this one – explaining about different people’s experiences and methods but I wonder if anyone has used it for anything a bit more out of the ordinary…

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

What can I reuse to make washable sanitary pads?

In honour of International Women’s Day yesterday, we’re having a week of women’s health and sexual health themed posts here on Recycle This – with lots of related giveaways.

Yesterday, we were talking about how great reusable, washable sanitary towels are – much better for your body, your wallet and the environment than plastic disposable ones. Rachael from Moon Times has given us some wonderful handmade, super-soft pads to give away – if you’d like to be in the draw, just leave a comment on that article before Friday lunchtime (GMT).

But I know there are a good number of crafty people here who would prefer to make their own – and would prefer to make them by reusing and recycling old fabrics that might otherwise go to waste. Our grandmothers would probably have made them out of old sheets and the like but jersey cotton fabrics from old tshirts or baby clothes are probably better now – very widely available, thicker more absorbent and softer too.

I’m pretty sure I’ve seen knitted or crocheted pads too – although I can’t any details now — does anyone know anything about making those?

Has anyone got any patterns or had any experience of making their own? Anything to try? Anything to avoid? Is it worth adding wings and if so, what fixing works best? Any suggestions welcome!

Oh and stay tuned – I’ve got another giveaway for later today!

(We all wear white jeans while on our periods, don’t we?)

How can I reuse or recycle (unused) sanitary towels & tampons?

We’ve had an email from Estelle, asking us if we could promote the mooncup: an environmentally friendly alternative to sanitary towels & tampons. She says: “I’ve had one for three years and am really pleased not to be dumping ‘feminine hygiene’ products into the environment. I’m also happy not to be spending money on them either.”

I’ve heard a lot about them from a number of different sources and the general consensus seems to be they’re fantastic once you get the hang of them.

Estelle’s email reminded me about the stash of towels & tampons I have in my bathroom cupboard. I stopped having periods about five years ago but used to buy-one-get-one-free quite a bit, so collected quite a stock before they became redundant. I thought about giving them away to friends but none of my friends have periods either for one reason or another (the most common reason being that they’re mostly male).

So what can be done with them? Does anyone know of any charities that collect them for redistribution in developing countries or the like? What about reuses – surely their liquid-absorbing qualities must be good for something around the home?