Singing to a different Lunapad (Day 212)…


OK, so…


Hey. Yeah.

[Looking around]

What’s up?


[Awkward pause]

Well, hopefully that got rid of at least half of the Thistle readership today, which is fine by me as Change #212 involves something I don’t really want to go into detail about. Somewhat like Change #188, I’m tempted to just say this instead of this. But then again, if Crunchy can discuss the issue of eco-friendly feminine products with words like “mama pads” and “intense suction”, then who am I to chicken out?

(Visions of father, boss, writing mentor, chummy male acquaintances and potential boyfriends reading this)

OK, I’m chickening out. Basically, it’s much better for the environment to invest in reusable pantyliners like Lunapads at that special time of the month instead of the disposable plastic variety, so that’s what I’ll be doing.

Also, while I was away recently, the fine folks at Lunapads sent a package of complimentary pantyliners and a pair of organic cotton underwear to my office (on a side note, my editor, assuming it was the standard media swag, took it off my desk and gave it to another guy as a last-minute birthday present — didn’t go over so well). So, in the name of journalistic integrity, I’m going to give away this deluxe menstruation package to the first person who can give me an original idea for another green change. And don’t be afraid to think outside the box! (Did your mind just go to a dirty place there? Because mine totally didn’t)

48 Responses to Singing to a different Lunapad (Day 212)…

  1. Julie says:

    Something going around knitting blogland that came to my attention yesterday was a knitted swiffer cover to replace the disposables. I’ve seen a number of different variations but here’s one with a pattern done on one of those little round loom things you can buy at any fabric or craft shop:

  2. patti says:

    How about making your own laundry detergent instead of buying? It’s mostly water, if you make it yourself you don’t have to lug it home from the store, it saves trucking energy, and you are re-using your jug.

  3. Erin says:

    I’m trying to picture the guy opening his present of reusable pantyliners. HA! I guess your boss won’t be touching your stuff anymore! Here’s a unique idea for you that one of my readers gave to me — laundry nuts. Seriously. Instead of soap, they are 100% natural, fall off a tree – nuts.

    You can check them out here –

  4. Malva says:

    A few more ideas, I hope you didn’t cover them already:

    No more air travel unless it’s already booked.
    Not buying new stuff, ala compacting.
    No new books, only used/borrowed.
    No more disposable paper towel.
    No more disposable tp.
    Paperless options for banking, bills, paystubs, newsletters.
    100-mile Thanksgiving meal.
    “Green” Christmas.
    How low can you go with your thermostat this winter? We leave ours at 15C/55F.
    Community involvment with local non-profit organizations dealing with environmental issues (also a good way to meet green minded guys *cough*).
    With the Ontario election next week, contacting the candidates in your riding and finding out about their plans in regards to the environment.

  5. Mark says:

    How about asking your male guests to pee in the bathroom sink? Saves a lot of water, and offers a certain pleasurably-guilty frission besides, especially if you have lots of little soaps and tiny towels in the vicinity. If we’re going to weather this post-oil decline with any grace at all, we’re all going to have to get more comfortable with bodily fluids anyway.

  6. If your males guests start peeing in your sink I am never coming over again.

    As for the commercial pads… beyond the enviro risk is also the known carcinogenic dioxin risk from bleaching and processing- where even the tracest amount chills out in our system, collecting in the fatty tissue of our bodies (read: boobs) and reproductive organs for the rest of our lives, unless of course we get pregnant and then we can detox by passing it on to the wee little one in the belly.

    And if I may:

  7. besweet says:

    No corn. Ethanol demand driving up prices, subsidy-supported monoculture crop, etc. (This one would be harder than you think, I suspect. Challenge builds character!)

  8. Mariana says:

    I’m not sure if you’re doing this yet but a unique green thing to do is to vow to only wear recycled jewelry.
    On you can buy necklaces and earings and such made from old soda/beer cans and for instance wedding rings can be bought made from recycled gold at They sell other things too.
    So there’s a unique swith to make.

  9. Nicole says:

    Put a rain barrel on your small deck.
    Create a piping system to resue your grey water (like from the bathroom sink to fill the toilet)
    Join a food co-op/ CSA
    Only buy eco-friendly clothing (bamboo, organic cotton, etc.)
    Don’t buy any food that comes from a box or package
    Make your own eco-cleaners
    Get a solar-powered lamp, phone charger, etc.
    Use cloth bags at every store, not just the grocery
    When buying something that is shipped, include a note each time to limit extraneous packaging and not put you on their mailing list
    Do the opt-out for credit offers to decrease junk mail
    Call every company that sends you unwanted flyers to be removed from their list
    Stop printing receipts, and if they are printed, use the backside to make your next shopping list
    Join a book swap/book share
    Only get books, magazines, videos from the library
    Stop subscribing to papers and magazines
    Use only reusable batteries
    Use only low-wattage light bulds (and CF’s of course)
    Only drink water (it’s all your body needs)–and not the kind from a jug/bottle in the store
    Invest in a dehydrator for more food cooking/preserving options

  10. emma says:

    Am I even related to you? For sure?

    haha kidding…sort of. The idea is fine..but then you have to wash it!! ahhh I guess drastic times call for drastic measures.
    All the power to u! xo

  11. GreenYogini says:

    Here are a few more:

    * Use the library or video rental instead of purchasing books and DVDs, etc.
    * Purchase music only in digital form
    * Replace all household cleaners with only baking soda and vinegar
    * Start a recycling program (even if only “grass roots”) at work
    * Send only e-cards instead of greeting cards (
    * Purchase solar/wind/bio-fuel-powered utilities – I think even some web servers and/or internet service providers are available
    * Carry a Coleman camping utensil-combo (like a swiss army knife, but contains a knife, fork, and spoon) if eating away from home
    * Purchase beverages only in glass or aluminum containers
    * Use recycled printer paper (only when necessary)
    * Use recycled paper (or alternative paper) for notes – still using both sides and writing small – OR – take notes only in digital format (and back them up often!)
    * Reduce the number of beauty products you use by 1/3 or more
    * Purchase a low-flow shower head
    * If curling hair, use foam rollers or cloth strips to tie up overnight instead of a curling iron
    * Go for a walk – and pick up any trash (or recyclables) you see along the way
    * Start a “tip a day” sign or display on your desk at work – where you advertise/suggest to your coworkers the changes you’re making each day (or post the list of changes you’ve made somewhere inside your office). If it’s in your space, it’s not “propaganda” so mauch as inspiration. 🙂
    * Pack your lunch, and use reusable lunch bag, food containers (glass), utensils, cloth napkin
    * Use a caribiner clip to help you carry your reusable mug attached to your purse
    * Ban wrapping paper (unless reused)

  12. Sarah says:

    Hey Vanessa, if you want to check out Karma, re-food coop post above, I would be happy to give you a tour. I really really love it, I am such an eco-nerd.

  13. teaspoon says:

    I know I’ve said this before, but check out the Keeper or the Diva Cup instead. Much less icky than reusable panty liners.

  14. chile says:

    I can’t believe you wussed out on this one, Vanessa. I’ve been meaning to blog about ordering even MORE luna pads. Actually panty liners. Used daily, they extend the freshness of jeans by several days for considerably less laundry.

    So, my original idea is to change your mind and try the pads. C’mon, you can do it!

  15. Samuel says:

    Continue all your green changes past day 365.

  16. JKelly says:

    No! What happened was, he brought them to dinner to give me as a present! It was great pulling out some ecofriendly panty liners in the middle of a nice French restaurant…

  17. Jane says:

    How about giving up tissues and switching to cotton hankies? I made the switch, and I love using flower-print hankies from antique stores now.

  18. magda says:

    are you line drying your laundry yet? seriously, i do this in my tiny apartment- it’s not that big a deal. it takes about the same amount of time as using the dryer, your clothes last longer, AND you save all of that energy (and quarters!)

  19. pat farquharson says:

    How about blowing your nose on Lunapads?

  20. Rhett says:

    HAH! You know what? Amy and I had a discussion that looked just like this blog post while we were driving home from a Henry Rollins spoken word performance.

    Like you, we’re punting. We’re considering bringing in a guest vlogger who LOVES to talk about that sort of thing. Sure…we’re sex positive people and quite out and open, but eh…still.

  21. dinsky says:

    How about switching to only organic, fair trade loose leaf teas? You could use a tea infuser instead of all the bags involved with bagged tea, and the actual tea is soooo much better! There may be some places in TO where you can order large quantities to avoid excessive packaging, or even buy it bulk and use your own reusable packaging.

    Unless you’ve already done that… I was too lazy to check the list!

    Good luck with the luna pads! I’d like to try something like that someday

  22. emily says:

    Just a quick thank-you note for the let-pasta-sit tip. I tried it out last night and it worked like a charm. And I even poured the water onto the grass after it cooled off and I combined it with the dishwater.

    Lunapads (well, I have Gladrags, but it’s the same idea) rock. Synthetic ones have anti-scent chemicals in them (if not outright perfume), but guess what I found out? That isn’t even an issue with reusables! No problem at all!

    To anyone who’s grossed out by the idea… just remember, you wash and re-wear your undies, right? Why would pads be worse? You’re not bleeding due to disease, after all.

  23. Jennifer C. says:

    How about using no more cooking oil? What is left after a whole food is processed into oil is used for cheap animal feed, fueling the factory farming industry.

  24. Laura W. says:

    This isn’t as hardcore as the other suggestions but all summer I’ve been ordering ice cream in a cone to avoid the dish and spoon.

  25. Go for it! I have homemade flannel ones that are so soft and comfy. One tip from One Who Has Been There: Do not get sick and forget about the soak water. Yucky. Other than that, I’ve used these for years, and it’s a wonderful change.

  26. blah says:

    Sounds like everyone REALLY wants these pads. Ha ha ha….Seriuosly though, I can only imagine what you plan on doing for the next 100 days or so, you’ve done so much already! I don’t know how eco-friendly this is, but why not do away with the whole messy “mess” every month and get on bc that stops your menstral cycle altogether?

  27. Debre says:

    Teach your cat(s?) to use the toilet and eliminate the litter box. If you decide to do this, I’ll even send the little kit to you that you need to do it!

  28. gettinggreen says:

    WOWEE! Holy responses! OK, I think most of these suggestions I’ve already done… the line-drying clothes instead of putting them in the dryer is on my list, for sure. I just HATE crinkly clothes and love my warm towels, especially in the winter, and am putting that one off for as long as possible.

    I love the laundry nuts idea — that just sounds so funny. I’ll have to look into it more, though. How long do they last, I wonder? I’m currently already using natural detergent, which I refill in bulk from Grassroots, so it would need to be substantially more sustainable than that, I think, for me to switch.

    And Chile — I am definitely using the Lunapads, don’t get me wrong! I may be squeamish about talking in depth about it on the blog, but they’re getting used for sure. No more Always. And girls, the Diva Cup post is coming… eventually…

    I think, though, that my favourite suggestion so far has been Laura W’s adorable idea of eating ice cream with a cone rather than a cup. Granted, I’ve already sworn off takeout food unless I bring my own container, and if I get ice cream it has to be organic, but this cone-instead-of-cup idea is just too cute NOT to write about! So Laura, if you want to email me your address at, you can get yourself some Lunapads 🙂

  29. Laura says:

    Learn how to sew or knit and make your own clothes and gifts for people. You can find yarn, old sheets or fabric at thrift stores for your materials, or remake old clothes. You could also probably find local yarn suppliers.

  30. Theresa says:

    Congratulations Laura!

    I’ve just gone and ordered myself a lunapad starter kit myself – thanks for the inspiration Vanessa!

  31. Trina says:

    Using the reuasable pads isn’t nearly as horrible I as I thought it would be. I actually prefer the cloth variety to the disposable. As for Luna Pads, I have several of that kind and I also have the glad rags ( variety and the polar babies ( Of the three, I prefer the glad rags. They have little inserts that you can put in or take out depending on how heavy you are flowing. I think it’s more convenient than having separate pads for the different days.

  32. Liberty says:

    I see that your oven is shut off – maybe consider milling your own grains and having a weekly baking day. I love my mill! Many grains can be bought in large quantities, can be transported in your own containers, and have an almost indefinite shelf life (in ideal conditions). I make most of my family’s sandwich bread – and with a reusable bread bag I can really cut down on the plastic bag useage. =)

  33. shawna says:

    please add me to your list of links, i have u on mine 🙂 check it out. i just made it but have high hopes. thanks

  34. Nicole says:

    You are brave. Brave.

  35. jeremy says:

    Harnessing the energy from the laughs generated by that image? Or even better from the weird faces any male will make from reading what those are? There’s gotta be at least a watt in mine right now 🙂

  36. emily says:

    I have a suggestion for another resolution (though you may find it gross). It occurred to me after I made the last post and had just locked the door behind me.

    What about a “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” policy? I have just started that and quickly realized how much less I have to flush! If somebody stopped by I might have to run in there and flush it all quick, I think. But I figure, if it leads to more cleaning the toilet, then it’s okay because we’re using eco-nice cleansers, right? (Then again, Crunchy Chicken said something about urine being sterile when it leaves the body, so I don’t expect to see living things in the toilet all too soon.)

  37. limesarah says:

    I know you’ve already taken one, but how about learning to preserve food? Then you get all that tasty local produce in winter. Pickling is one of the lowest-energy forms of preservation, but drying or water-bath canning is probably the easiest.

    And while we’re scaring away the menfolk, I have to put in another vote for the Keeper/DivaCup. No rags to wash, and you only have to buy one of them, so it’s much cheaper (unless you make your own of course). And then you can empty them into the potted plants, who will greatly appreciate the fertilizer 🙂

  38. pat farquharson says:

    OMG. I cant believe I just read that!! Feeding menstrual flow to the plants!!! Go for it Vanessa!!!!!!

  39. Sarah says:

    Alright, so I totally miss the boat on this one. Although in my defense I was hanging out with old ppl at the local geriatric hospital.
    I actually have a question for Malva, who posted uh, about 20 posts above me.
    Vanessa, maybe you could make sure she gets it? (You can view the email addresses, right?)
    Anyways, my question is ‘How on earth do you leave your thermostat at 15 C during the cold winter months of Ontario? I’m really interested to know how this works for you.’

  40. senseofbalance says:

    Grow a lot more plants in your apartment! Mammalian respiration inhales oxygen and exhales carbon dioxide, so you and your cat are both emitters. Plants do the reverse (which is why they’re green); so they’ll take in most of the carbon dioxide exhalations.

  41. chile says:

    Ok, let me report what happened when I tried feeding menstrual blood from my Diva cup to plants. I diluted it, not the 10-to-1 recommended, but more like 50-to-1. Poured it around my oak tree outside and watered it in. When I took my dog out to do her thing, she spent a good 10 minutes sniffing around that tree. Considering we have seen a coyote in our yard already and there are a few loose dogs, I think I will pass on this one from now on!

  42. FancyMomma says:

    Wow, you are doing awesome. I have mad a lot of green changes recently, but could not do what you have (well, not with a child and husband anyways…if I live don my own maybe). I love my cloth liners…I use them for back-up with my diva pad as well as everyday for freshness and to extend the wear of my pants.

    I have some Lun-pads…but at $11 eacht hey aren’t cheap. Check out Etsy for some more affordable ones. Go for the Diva…I LOVE it. I have used it aobut 18 months now!

  43. FancyMomma says:

    I also second the if it’s yellow policy..though we do fluch every morning before we all leave for the day (but we usually nedd to anyway…brown stuff and all).

  44. Dee says:

    I love my DivaCup!! Should have been using this years ago. The best price I found is at South Coast Shopping for only $17.99 and arrived in only 2 days! Model 1 and Model 2

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