Update on the ‘poo sitch, and my sister’s inventions

January 23, 2009

Two unrelated things for today’s post:

1. When Miss Crunchy decided to take on the No ‘Poo challenge seriously, I decided I’d follow her lead and, instead of just doing a one-off baking soda and vinegar experiment, I stuck with it. Well, it’s been a week and three washes without shampoo and while the results are decent, I’m starting to think my scalp might feel a little itchy. Anyway, I wrote about this more formally in the pages of the National Post, where I have my regular Sense & Sustainability column — in fact, one of you erudite readers had mentioned you’d like to hear what a dermatologist has to say about not using shampoo; well, check out the article and see for yourself!

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2. In non-enviro-related news, my sister has started blogging. A word of warning: She may look like me, but we are nothing alike in personality! Actually, that’s not entirely true… we’re fairly similar, especially when it comes to cynicism. But I’m definitely the older, serious, competitive, concerned-about-many-things-such-as-the-state-of-the-environment sibling, whereas she’s more into fashion and luxury indulgences. Emma is currently working as a copywriter at a Toronto ad agency, but she’s using this new blog to write about all the other ideas that pop into her head (they’re basically inventions she comes up with that are genuinely cool but she can’t be bothered to patent any of them). It’s called Emma’s Tea Shop for Old Ladies because that’s always been her career back-up plan. Oh, and another word of warning: I gave her a DivaCup for Christmas and she had some… er… issues with certain steps in the… er… process, so apparently she’s gone back to tampons for now (don’t worry, though — I haven’t given up on converting her yet!).

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Finally! (Day 238)…

October 24, 2007

Diva Cups

Of all the suggestions people have offered me throughout this challenge, there’s been one that has continued to come up over and over again. It has nothing to do with recycling, or tote bags, or going vegetarian. It’s the Diva Cup. Seriously, at least 50 women have written in recommending this alternative menstrual device (or The Keeper, which is rubber instead of silicone), and since the very first day I’ve been waiting to try it; the problem was, I’d gone off the pill and that time of the month was gradually turning into that time of the century — my progesterone had gone into hibernation, my ovaries had gone on strike, and my little cup was left sitting under the bathroom sink gathering dust.

But finally — FINALLY — the time came, and I was able to test it out. Unfortunately, things started progressing in the middle of the night without any warning cramps, so the whole … um … insertion process was accomplished in a hurried, somnambulant daze. When I woke up the next morning, there was a slight complication (OK boys, really, feel free to stop reading now): The cup got stuck.

Reading through Crunchy’s blog posts on this topic, I’d noticed that she and a few other women felt they needed to trim the little stem, but in my case I would’ve been more than happy to have had a longer one, or at least something that was easier to grab onto. Either way, I remained calm and went over to the troubleshooting page at Diva Cup headquarters, where they explained precisely what to do in this situation. I followed the instructions, and presto, problem solved.

This is definitely something I’m going to continue using. Not only is it easier to manage, far more comfortable and less expensive, but it also reduces all the waste that comes with using disposable feminine hygiene products. As the manufacturers of the Diva Cup point out, over 7 billion tampons and 13 billion sanitary pads, plus all the associated packaging, ends up in landfills and sewage systems every year in the U.S. alone. Sick! Who wants to be part of that statistic?

Not me, and I hope not any of my fellow green chicks.

So here’s the fun part! I’ll be interviewing the mother-daughter duo behind the Diva Cup — Francine and Carinne Chambers, from Kitchener, Ontario — and posting it on Green as a Thistle either this week or next. Feel free to submit any questions you have for them below; whoever has the most original question wins a free Diva Cup!