Zero Waste Period | Christelle Cristina | Skillshare

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Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

26 Lessons (1h 48m)
    • 1. M1: Welcome to Zero Waste Period

    • 2. M2: Health Risks of Pads & Tampons

    • 3. M3: Environmental Impacts of Sanitary Products

    • 4. M4: Price Comparisson of Menstrual Care Products

    • 5. M5a: Cloth Pads: Benefits and Downsides

    • 6. M5b: Cloth Pads: Selecting your Model

    • 7. M6: Period Underwear

    • 8. M7a: Menstrual Cup: Pros & Cons

    • 9. M7b: Selecting your Cup

    • 10. M7c: Menstrual Cup: Insertion, Removal, Care

    • 11. Mod 8 Waste Free Tampons

    • 12. M9: Free Flow Instinct vs. Free Bleeding

    • 13. M10: Reusable Adult Diapers (Post-partum)

    • 14. M11: intro to Zero Waste Period Care

    • 15. M12: Best Practices to Curb Menstrual Cramps

    • 16. M13: Pharmaceuticals & Waste

    • 17. M14a: Tincture: Safety Briefing

    • 18. M14b: Herbs to Ease Cramps

    • 19. M14c: Tincture: Instructions for Cramps Tincture

    • 20. M15: Menstrual Pain Relief: Teas, Syrups, Poultices, Compresses, Foot Soak

    • 21. M16: Honoring your Period

    • 22. M17: DIY Cloth Pads

    • 23. M18: DIY Heat Packs

    • 24. M19: Period Travel Kit

    • 25. M20: Thank You

    • 26. Our Story

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About This Class


Growing up, we learned that periods were a topic to tiptoe around. Even period commercials wanted to keep menstruation as discreet as possible – they wouldn’t utter the word ‘period’ or dare to show red blood on the screen.

Well, we’re breaking the dang stigma for three main reasons. First, periods are gosh darn special and not something anyone should ever feel ashamed about. Second, we deserve to have safe menstrual products that do not contain toxic components. And third, the way we are currently managing our periods is trashing the planet, and there are simple solutions to this.

Consider this your updated sex-ed/biology class with innovative sustainable menstruation alternatives that don’t harm the environment. When we first switched to cloth pads and menstrual cups and period underwear, we SO wish we had had these tutorial videos available about how to choose our products and how in the world to use them. How do I prevent my cloth pad from slipping? How do I measure my cervix to choose my menstrual cup? How the heck do I take out my cup without it hurting like &^%? Is this hand-knit alpaca-wool tampon in the shape of a rocket safe for me to use?!

In this class, we’ll answer all your questions about finding the best low-waste menstrual products for you. And if you experience PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome) or painful periods, you’ll benefit from our section on proven techniques and homemade herbal remedies to support you during menstruation.

To help you in your transition to a safe sustainable menstruation, we’ve gathered the most valuable information for you in this online class: Zero Waste Period.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Christelle Cristina

Environmental Educator


• Permaculture • Sustainable Living • Zero Waste •

Permacrafters is an online Eco School that offers 8 courses on various sustainability topics to over 6,000 students worldwide. The school was founded by the French environmental educator Christelle Siohan and the Peruvian crafter Cristina Rojas. Together, we enjoy crafting our own body care products, cleaners, herbal medicine, and we love to forage, ferment, grow our own food, and thrift just about everything. The guiding ethics and principles of permaculture help us in designing our crafts and our lives.





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1. M1: Welcome to Zero Waste Period: Hi, everyone. I'm crystal from Perma crafters. Today I'm going to be talking about earth friendly menstruation. We feel so grateful to be filming this class at the UN for packed zero waste store here in Basel that lovingly opened their doors to us. So thank you so much to the UN for packed team. In this class, I will be examining the way that we currently manage our periods with single use menstrual products and how toxic ingredients in these products could potentially be putting your health at risk. And then I'll dig into the drastic environmental pollution that's resulted from use of these disposable menstrual products. And next, I'll delve into the many sustainable alternatives to these products, including, of course, menstrual cups and cloth pads. I'll also share practices and zero waste herbal remedies that can ease PMS or period symptoms. And finally, I'll discuss how to begin to mend any negative feelings you might carry that are associated demonstration and how to just fully embrace your period. So if you're ready, get cozy and let's jump into Shark Week 2. M2: Health Risks of Pads & Tampons: you may have heard about how hormone disruptors and banned pesticides somehow made their way into your tampons. Understandably, there's been significant concern about the health effects associated to have cancer causing toxins in product that you insert in your body. So let's explore this topic and determine whether there is, in fact, a cause for concern When it comes to tampons and pads. Tampons are typically made of cotton and rayon, and often plastic is another material that's used, and fragrances sometimes added as well. So let's start by examining health concerns relating to conventional tampons. I always find it senseless that I have to do so much digging to find out what ingredients are present in everyday products that are commonly sold in stores in the States. Tampon and pad companies don't have to list their ingredients on the package label. They do list part of the ingredients online, but they aren't required to list ingredients like pallets, which are known endocrine disruptors that are often contained in fragrance. And remember that fragrance recipes are considered trade secrets, which is why they aren't required to make such disclosures. And France. There's been a lot of concern over the lack of transparency on labels as well. Thankfully, as of 2017 some brands air finally listing their ingredients on tampon boxes. One of the big concerns about tampons has been the presence of dioxin. So dioxins are human carcinogens that can negatively impact fertility and development, damage the immune system and disrupt hormones, not something that you want in your tampons. Up until the late 19 nineties, high levels of dioxin were present in tampons, and this was due to dioxin being a byproduct of bleaching wood pulp to manufacture tampons . Today, the bleaching process is chlorine free and no longer produces dioxin. However, dioxin is still present in minute quantities in all tampons because unfortunately, dioxin nowadays pollutes our water, our air and the ground. That means that buying organic tampons won't change the level of dioxin present in the tampons. But before you freak out completely, you should know that the quantity of dioxin in tampons is minute. And in fact, the food that we consume generally contains thousands of times more dioxin. So that part you can freak out about so you can't run away from toxins altogether. But you can significantly reduce your exposure to them. So even though you're being exposed to trace amounts of dioxin, we used tampons. It could still be enough to cause repercussions on your health over the long term. This is, according to Dr Philip Tierno, who is a top health expert on the risks of tampons and a clinical professor at N. Y. U. So the cumulative exposure to dioxin can have effects decades after exposure began, and especially when the dioxin can easily be absorbed straight into the reproductive organs and when the average woman uses 11,000 tampons in her lifetime. So if you're concerned about these trace amounts of dioxin over time than tampons, even organic tampons might not be what you want. But I will say that the U. S. Food and Drug Administration considers current levels of dioxin in tampons to be completely safe. So it's up to you to decide whose word you're more comfortable with. There have been claims that tampon manufacturers use asbestos in their tampons to promote bleeding, and that's sell more tampons. There is actually no data available to back this claim, so I'm gonna move on to other concerns. The next ingredient that's been, ah, high cause for concern is Rayanne. Highly absorbent viscose rayon is a synthetic material still found today in tampons. There's been concerned about the potential link between this rayon and toxic shock syndrome , or TSS. It's important to know about TSS because it's a sometimes fatal disease that's linked to tampon use. The risk of TSS rises when tampons are left in for too long and when high absorbency tampons are used. So there is a risk of TSS win using high absorbency ray on tampons. But that risk is the same if you're using high absorbency cotton Onley tampons. So as a consumer, your best bet here is to steer clear of any sort of high absorbency tampons if you don't need them, and to not leave any kind of tampon in overnight and certainly not longer than eight hours during the day. The next unexpected pollutants in tampons are pesticides and herbicides. A 2016 study by the French government examines toxic chemicals present in tampons. They found 20 to 30 chemical components in each of the six different tampon brands that they studied. Among those found in the lab was glyphosate, a molecule, its president in the Roundup herbicide formally sold by Monsanto. Monsanto now goes by the name of Bayer, by the way, and the W H O classified life estate as a probable carcinogen. So not something you want in your vagina. And then there's lindane and Penta claro nitrobenzene, which are to pesticides that are banned in Europe again, highly concerning toe. Learn that these are in your tampons before panicking, though the good news is that these toxic chemicals are present in trace amounts below safe levels. However, again, Dr Philip Tierno, one of the leading experts on tampon safety, still believe that our constant exposure over a lifetime can eventually lead to health problems. So selecting organic tampons grown without chemical pesticides and herbicides should reduce significantly the amount of unwanted toxic chemicals in your tampons. Unfortunately, trace amounts of synthetic chemicals will likely remain in organic cotton because of soil contamination. Fragrance is sometimes added to tampons. Such a certain Tampax tampons toe add a fresh scent. According to the Mayo Clinic, part of a good hygiene means not using scented tampons. These scented tampons and pads can cause that Jin itis, which is a not fund mix of skin irritation, itchiness, discharge in pain. The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services even calls for people to avoid scented tampons to prevent yeast infections. So this makes me wonder why it is sent to tampons or even still sold right. And the other element of concern is that chemical recipes for fragrance, as I mentioned before, are trade secrets in the states, so industry they're not required to list the actual ingredients in the fragrance mix. They just label it fragrance. So a study revealed that 1/3 of the ingredients used in fragrance are toxic satellites, which are known underground. Instructors are often one of the hidden ingredients under the term fragrance. In fact, the 2016 French study I mentioned earlier did indeed also find Falaise in the tampons that they tested. The other component this French study found in tampons was furans. Appearance are classified as a potential human carcinogen, and the good news is that the quantity of Falaise interference found in the tampons was minute and, for the most part, below detection levels. Turns out tampons can also contain plastic, and not just in the plastic applicator, and again, falaise are commonly found in plastics, so In addition to the applicator, plastic is actually present in the tampon itself with a Tampax brown friends. For example, polyester, polyethylene and polypropylene are present in the thin fabric around the absorbent tampon core, and the plastic is in direct contact with your skin to help you remove your tampon more easily. Plastic in the form of polyester and polypropylene as present in Tampa in Tampax. Tampon String to to help you remove the tampon. And finally, there's plastic in the form of polyester again in the tampon thread that's used to attach the string to the absorbent core. So the chemicals being leached out from the plastics from the applicator and from the tampons themselves might be a reason for concern. And this is according to Amy's OTA, who is an assistant professor of epidemiology at George Washington University. The best thing to avoid plastic in your tampons would be to opt for 100% organic tampons instead that used like cardboard applicators or no applicators at all sanitary pads like tampons, they also typically contain plastic and a whole lot of it. They contain rayon, negligible amounts of dioxin, A, D, SIVs and the scented ones often contain fragrance, too. A 2014 study found that parabens and fat lates were in feminine hygiene products, as well as a reminder. Fat lights are endocrine disruptors, and certain parabens are carcinogens or suspected endocrine disruptors. Ferns that are bend toxic substances have also been found in sanitary pads. Luckily, a Swiss study found that Swiss pads were free of pesticides and pallets. If only this were the case for all pads right in the states. A 2014 study conducted by Women's Voices for the Earth found that four types of always pads contained carcinogens, neurotoxins, irritants and reproductive toxicants, including styrene, chloral methane, chloral ethane, chloroform and even acetone. And they couldn't specify, however, whether these were below safe levels. So I can only assume that that they were finally, unlike tampons, pads do not present a risk for toxic shock syndrome, although you do need to change them frequently enough to avoid other types of infections. Other than that, pads aren't much better than tampons. They contain substances that have been banned, but in small quantities small enough that leading governments consider them safer use other than the scented pads, which could bring on inflammation and are still being sold for some reason, 3. M3: Environmental Impacts of Sanitary Products: single use. Sanitary products are responsible for some seriously damaging plastic pollution and have a large carbon footprint. So let's talk about that. Pads are the most widely used feminine hygiene product internationally, and some contain 90% plastic as much plastic as four supermarket bags. A single pad can take up to 500 years to break down, so it's no wonder that they block up water treatment plants because, yes, people actually flushed down there. Pads and tampons actually also contained plastic and like pads. They contribute to micro plastic pollution and damage marine life, especially since people are disposing other sanitary products improperly by flushing them down the toilet. You might think that that's a rare occurrence. But in the UK, 50% of women flush their tampons. A 2014 report in the Journal of the Institution of Environmental Sciences estimates that 700,000 panty liners, 2.5 million tampons and 1.4 million sanitary towels are flushed down the toilet every day in the UK He thought I was gonna say, every year, right every day. Sanitary products make up 8% of the waste in UK water treatment plants, and these plants spend, AH, huge amount of resource is to clear blockages caused by sanitary products. The problem isn't on Lee for the water treatment plants, but our sanitary products also end up in nature. The Marine Conservancy Society held a beach cleanup in 2017 that found hundreds of tampons , tampon applicators and menstrual pads believed to come from sewage waste. On top of that, the women's environmental network reports that there are nine plastic applicators for every kilometre of beach in the UK and in some countries those hygiene products are just scattered in the streets or end up being sorted by hands by waste collectors, which is a giant health hazard other than the plastic contamination and the waste of human resource is dealing with this water treatment problem. The carbon footprint from the production and transport of sanitary products is very large. So instead of using a reusable sanitary product, the average women goes through, as I said before 11,000 sanitary products in their lifetime. So this means that you know, growing the cotton in a clear cut area, thus displacing wildlife and doing so with pesticides that will pollute the local environment. It means producing plastic. That's a non renewable resource that's not biodegradable, and that will pollute marine wildlife. It means chemical treatments of pads and tampons to bleach them, and the environment Resource is that went into creating those chemicals. It means energy and water going into actually manufacturing the pads and tampons. It means packaging the tampons and pads in individual wrappers made of more un recycled plastic, often also with un recyclable plastic applicators. It means more cardboard packaging. On top of that that likely won't be recycled. It means transport around the country or even internationally. To get to store is using valuable fossil fuels that aren't renewable. It means the staff time and the resources spent producing and marketing a product that ultimately is destructive to the environment. So I hope that you are ready to make the switch now because we are about to delve into earth friendly and safe alternatives 4. M4: Price Comparisson of Menstrual Care Products: you know, no, the unwanted materials hiding in your disposable sanitary products and how they are affecting you and the environment. The good news is there are amazing alternatives to your classic disposable pads and tampons , and we are about to get into them. And even better, you will save a lot of money by switching over to these. Because some of these options are a once in a decade purchase as opposed to monthly purchases in many countries, sanitary protection isn't considered a basic necessity and therefore is not tax ISMs. In 2015 women were spending $3 billion a year in the States on sanitary protection, so you don't have to be part of that equation anymore. A pack of 36 tampons costs around $7 for example, and you might use, on average, around $4 worth of tampons in a month. A new reusable menstrual cup will talk about these in a moment, costs around $25 sometimes up to $40 so you'll start saving money 6 to 10 months after purchasing your cup, since it's a once a decade purchase. So it's a win win for your health, for your wallet and for the environment 5. M5a: Cloth Pads: Benefits and Downsides: Thankfully, there are many easy alternatives nowadays to disposable sanitary products, so I'll be looking at cloth pads, menstrual cups, period underwear, reusable applicators and even the free flow instinct. So for now, let's get started with class pads. I was always put off by the idea of cloth pads. I didn't even like regular pads, and I think I had mainstream societies voice in my head, telling me that my body and my menstruation was icky and the less I saw my blood, the better. Now I absolutely love these cloth pads, and two things fundamentally changed my aversion to cloth pets. The first was changing my daughter's poopy diapers, and I'm going strong on two plus years now. And blood is just so not gross compared to poop. And the second thing that changed my version was actually finally just trying on cloth pads , so I bought my first cloth pads last year, and I'm really disappointed that I didn't do it earlier. There are so many benefits to using them. First of all, they're just so comfortable there, like a soft pillow for your privates. They're not itchy. They're not sticky. You not noisy. Even there are really some lame disposable squeaky pads out there. Guys second there just adorable. Look at this. The 1st 1 I bought had these beautifully designed birds and flowers on them, and there's money patterns to choose from, and you can even make your own. Christina made these guys, and next, there's just no smell when you use them, and so far I haven't had any leaks, and they work incredibly well. They also fold up really nicely. They come with a waterproof baggy, so it's really easy for you to bring them in your backpack. Also another advantage, of course, that there there is no risk for TSS when you use pads either. And next, we'll save a lot of money with these as compared to regular pads, especially if you have periods that last forever. You will be saving money in no time. In fact, treehugger cloth pads has a savings calculator, so you can figure out exactly how much money you will be saving from an environmental perspective. There an amazing choice there, reusable and less anywhere from 5 to 10 years, depending on how many pads you have on rotation and how long your period lasts. You're typically made of eco friendly materials, so make sure to get past that are made from natural fibers and that are free of plastic, nylon and fragrance or other irritants. My future self wants to interject here and explain how to find plastic free pads. Some pads, like the Luna pad that I'm actually holding in my hand there use P well or polyurethane laminate polyester, which is plastic. That means that you will not be able to compost the's at the end of their life span, and you'll have to trash them. The P well layer is added because it's a waterproof layer, so if you have very heavy periods, you may want a pad with P. Well, I have not had an issue with Pew well free or nylon free pads like glad rags. Glad rags are 100% 0 waste because they only use cotton even if you use pads like Luna pads that are not zero waste per se. There still a low waist option as compared to disposables. So if based on your flow, you can get away with using pads without the pew well layer, then that would be the better option. But choose what makes sense for you. So let's get back to the video where I'm referring specifically to pass that are 100% cotton without plastic. Since they're all natural, they can actually just be composted at the end of your life. You just cut them up into small pieces to speed up the composting process, and you give them a couple of years to decompose. Well, in Last benefit is that some companies you purchase cloth pads from will actually donate pads to people who months straight and who can't afford to pay for monthly protection. Luna pads, for example. They have a program called Pads for Girls that has supplied over 100,000 cloth pads or a period underwear toe over 17,000 people in 18 countries. So there are some downsides to these cough pads. Of course, the initial cost is highest. This may be a barrier for you. Cloth pads are much cheaper than period underwear, though you may have to save up for a few months to buy them, but it will save you a lot in the long run. The's pads are not as convenient as disposables in the sense that you do have to wash them instead of just chucking them with the trash. This part honestly just becomes routine. I simply throw them in with a laundry, hang dry them, and I'm all set. I expected it to be a really unpleasant experience to wash them, but it's really not a big deal at all. I would say that the one thing that does bother me is that the pads can they can kind of like slip ends. The heavy flow pads could be a little bulky, which makes me want to avoid tight pants. But this is not an issue with the regular flow pads at all. I really love these four big ones for night time and just for hanging around the house. So when I'm walking indoors, they'll kind of slipped backwards and I'll end up with, like, a pad against my but and no protection where I'm actually bleeding. So that's kind of lame. Sometimes there are a few solutions to this. The first is to use safety pins at the front and potentially also at the back of your pads . So I secure at the back in addition to the front. When I am running Unfortunately, this makes holes in your undies, so I do not love it. Some people put puffy fabric paint at the bottom of their pads to help them stick. Haven't tried this, and I haven't looked into the toxicity of those paints. Some use very tight fitted underwear to stop the pad from bunching or slipping, which I've found helpful. Myself and others suggest that the size of the base of your underwear should mash the size of the base of your pad to reduce slippage. So what I personally do is simply where these pads when I'm working from home or at night time. I do use a safety pin technique if I am going out. But even better to avoid slippage when walking around Ah lot is to just use a menstrual cup or period underwear, in my opinion. But it's up to you to see what you prefer, and if he's slip or don't slip real, the only other potential problems with cloth pads are that you have to be extra careful if you use them while you have a yeast infection, so you really need to wash them really well on warm or hot water and then put them in the sun to kill any bacteria and to avoid reinfection. And finally, hepatitis C is a liver virus that's spread by contact with contaminated blood. So if you have this infection, it's really important to put your pads in the sealed, waterproof bag that they come with. 6. M5b: Cloth Pads: Selecting your Model: So if you're interested, here is what you need to know. There are three types of cloth pads that you can use. There is your day pad like this llama, one from Luna pads, which is for the main chunk of your period. And it works really well for moderate flow. It's also great for the postpartum sneeze peas, as I like to call it, urinary incontinence and moderate postpartum bleeding as well. Night pads like this one are for heavy flow during your period or the first days postpartum . They offer great protection when you are moving around at nighttime. Finally, had the panty liners like this one from glad rags, which are great for lighter flow days, maybe at the start and the end of your period. You can also use them with a tampon or with a menstrual cup as backup or extra protection in case of leakage. Some women also just like to wear panty liners the entire month or daily protection. So how many do you need of each? It really depends on your flow, and it depends on how long your period lasts, whether it lasts 4 to 5 days or 14 to 18 days. I think starting with 6 to 12 day pads and 3 to 6 night pads is a good start. I personally have six day pads and six night pads. Christina, just hand made me some extra pads, so I have a good number now. Before, I just had to wash my pads before my period was over to reuse them the panty liners I don't use. I just use the day pads in their place, but it's completely up to you to decide. So once you have your pads, you clip them onto your underwear and you can change them as often as you would a disposable. So that could be every hour or every eight hours or more, depending on your float. So once you're done with it, you can just fold it up and put it in your waterproof baggy. Put it up like this. So, like my daughter's cloth pads, I tried to wash my pads at the very most five days after use. If you have a long cycle, you might have to do another load before your period is done. But it's just a routine that I've gotten used to. Some women soak their pads in water prior to washing them. It avoids staining. I personally don't do this and my pastor just fine and they come out clean. Just make sure not to use a laundry cleaner that contains soap, or it will just kind of coat the pads. Don't use any bleach or software, either. Like vinegar. You could use the cloth diaper laundry powder that I use, which contains baking soda, washing soda and sodium carbonate. Eso my passes you saw there black. So I'm not really concerned about staining. If you do want to avoid bloodstains, washing them on cold will help them. And then I was hang dry my pads to keep them in good shape. But you could also machine dry them so long as it's on low heat. So you confined cloth pads at your local zero waste store. Here at the Basel One for Packs store, you can find 100% cotton pads in different sizes from Pullup Otago, which is located a couple hours from here in Switzerland. Otherwise, online you can get as I mentioned already. Luna pads the offer cute designs and various cloth pad models. The wings are not the most comfortable, but other than that, they worked perfectly as a pad. Glad rags. They're here. They offer. They offer day pads or pads with inserts taken. Just use one on a light flow day or 2 to 3 on a heavier flow day. If you wanted to, you can also make your own cloth pads. We will walk you through how to do that at the end of the class if you're interested in getting crafty desire to that Christina made and their adorable and they work really well. 7. M6: Period Underwear: three. Other option you have for periods is period underwear. So just like cloth passes, underwear is reusable, which means that you do need to wash it. It's super comfortable, it doesn't smell, and it doesn't cause toxic shock syndrome. So the underwear won't slip either on you like cloth pads might, which is a huge win. And even better, the underwear is really form fitting, and it's not bulky, and it even comes in some attractive styles, including Fung's or boy shorts. But some styles will be less absorbent than others, and they're better suited for low flow days like the thong style. For example, depending on what you choose, they will hold 123 tampons worth of blood. They can be used all day if you have a light period. If you have a heavy period, you can either use it for part of the day and change your panties. Midday or what's more recommended is to use the underwear as back up to your tampon or menstrual cups. So if you have a heavy flow, the underwear alone might not be enough. I personally have using those my running underwear when I'm on low flow days because we're nicer to run in these, then with a pad on. So how many of them you need really depends on your flow and the length of your cycle and whether you're using them in conjunction with other period protection, like menstrual cups. So you wash these the same way you would wash cloth pads, except that you would opt for cold water to not damage the underwear fibers and the technology. They recommends toe hang dry days as well to preserve their quality. So unlike cloth pads, however, they are much more expensive. It's actually a really steep investment, and you will not make your money back. So, according to thinks, these guys, according to things, their underwear lasts 25 washes, so that's 25 uses, so their underwear, depending on the style, can hold as much as 1 to 2 regular pads worth. So instead of buying 25 pads for about $6.25 or even 50 pads for 12 50 you'll be using one underwear 25 times for 24 to $35 so it's double too close to quadruple the price, so force you can break the rules and use them for longer and see how they work after the 25 uses. So another big town side is that, unlike natural cloth pads, period underwear cannot be composted because it contains synthetic materials that cause micro plastic pollution in our waterways in our oceans as well. So the inner fabric is typically mostly cotton, so there's less potential for the men made fabrics like polyester, nylon and Lycra to penetrate your skin. So that's a good thing because they're treated with a lot of harmful chemicals. But thinks and dear Kate underwear, for instance, they're made from a last day in a polyester, Lycra and sometimes nylon, which are all synthetic fibers. They're all plastics that contribute to micro plastic pollution. So depending on the type you buy, the underwear will have 3 to 4 layers on the top to serve to wick away moisture and absorb the liquid. And they're made of microfiber polyester to help the surface, touching your skin to dry really fast and make the underwear breathe. Ebola's well, and the fibers are treated with a natural compounds that inhibits bacterial growth, so washing this underwear causes micro fiber contamination in water way So my suggestion here. So always wash underwear in a micro fiber bag to catch the fibers and prevent them from being released out into nature with the Dear Kate brand, The last layer is a leak and stain resistant layer that is free of plastic films and polyurethane lemonade. P well, so the underwear isn't plastic free, but that last layer is free of that plastic p well, which is often used in other period panty brands. So the P well essentially makes the underwear entirely leakproof, but it also renders them non breathable, which can cause bacteria and yeast filled up with which is bad news. But dear Kate doesn't use that. So if you're going to use underwear, opt for a brand that does not use P well and always wash your underwear in that micro fiber bag. So let's say you don't have a micro fiber bagged yet the pollution from this underwear It'll be small in comparison to the giant footprint that disposable pads or tampons have the materials that the period underwear are made of. Our unfortunately not sustainable or biodegradable. But, you know, let's not kid ourselves. It is made of plastic, but you will cause considerably less environmental damage by choosing these. So if you want to make a better choice for the environment in terms of sustainable materials, longer usage and water pollution and cloth pads would be the better choice. But period panties are a perfectly acceptable option and considerably better than the disposables on the market. So just make the choice that suits you better. So we tried out three period underwear brands. We tried out. Dear Kate. We tried out Luna pads and thinks you can also check out Knicks underwear if you want. Honestly, we loved all three of these just the same. This is, uh, thinks it's just a matter of what style you prefer. So this one here is the Luna pads underwear. So I love the shape and it works really well, and they even have a little insert here. If you want extra protection things, underwear is a little fancier. It looks like it would run large but actually fits really nicely once you put it on. The dear Kate underwear definitely runs large. Christine and I, we both got ourselves a size s and it doesn't fit at all like the underwear from the other brands. They are very nice, though, but it's just something to keep in mind that they run really large. This is another dear Cates, so your next option is underwear. This designs toe hold removable pad inserts, kind of like the Luna pads that I was showing you right where there's an insert here. You can add if you want extra protection, so the underwear has a crotch panel that holds your sanitary pad. Insert securely so the underwear completely replaces tampons or pads. So it's like using cloth pads, except that they fit snugly in your underwear and they won't slip. So some brands, like Luna Lundy's, used the P well plastic layer to make it leakproof. But the cotton that's touching your body is 100% organic, so the reusable inserts come in all sizes, from many to Maxie Teoh. Even overnight. This isn't one of the inserts, so some other companies, like panty prop, are like period underwear. They're designed to absorb your period, but they also have that crotch panel for you to put your reusable or disposable pattern without wings. Panty props says on their F A Q page that their leak proof underwear is free of plastic and P well, it doesn't contain plastics is what says So this was the first time I had seen this in the period underwear world. So I reached out to them to confirm this claim, asking specifically if the leak proof technology and all the textiles they use were plastic free. They did not answer the first time I wrote, but a month later, when I wrote again, they confirm that that was correct. But then I looked closer at their products, and I found that some of their period underwear is made with spandex, which is a plastic. So I wrote back to let them know that their website was falsely claiming that their underwear was plastic free. When it's not plastic free, I suggested that they changed the wording to plastic free leakproof technology. If in the their technology is, as they claim, plastic free, they did not respond. I wrote him on Instagram. They did not respond. Um, yeah, Anyway, separate topic. Have you guys heard of greenwashing 8. M7a: Menstrual Cup: Pros & Cons: menstrual cups are the next options, and my girlfriend's absolutely swear by them. It took me a long time to warm up to them, but I love them now. A menstrual cup is typically a silicone cup that's inserted into the vagina and collects menstrual blood. You then empty it, wash it and reuse it. So what are the benefits of menstrual cups? Menstrual cups, as long as you put them incorrectly, are super comfortable there, so comfortable you won't even notice that they're there and they'll collect all the blood in the vagina so that none will flow out. This means that you can swim with it, a giant benefit that cloth pads and periods underwear don't have right. And it also means that you don't have to worry about smell, so as long as it is the right fit for your vagina is the giant one. This is smaller one. If you want, it won't leak out any blood, so some women still use period underwear or cloth pads as back up to their cups. But if you have the right fit and change your cup more often, when your flow is heavier too, then leaking should not be an issue so menstrual cups could say in your vagina for up to 12 hours, which is four hours longer than a tampon. That means you don't have to worry about changing it while you were out and about. So, of course, that's not the case. If you do have a particularly heavy blood flow, so depending on your cup, it can hold up to one ounce of blood. Another benefit is that you can use your cup on low flow day, since it collects blood as opposed to absorbing it so it won't dry out your vaginal walls like a tampon would. You can also wear your menstrual cup overnights. Long's It does not exceed 12 hours. So if you're on a heavy flow day, though, you might experience some leaking overnight. Menstrual cups are super easy to wash, and they don't require laundry lows like a cloth pad would. So all you have to do is take your cup out, pour out the collective blood and then wash your cup out in the sink. There's even a little pouch that comes with these cups. You could just store it in there and in your backpacks you have it with you when you need it, so menstrual cups will also save you money. They cost 20 to $40 but they last up to 10 years, which means that you'll be making savings within months. And it's really convenient because you only need one cup and you never have to go out buying tampons again. Okay, in terms of the environment, it's a giant benefit to use them since their reusable for so long, so menstrual cups are typically made of medical grade silicone or latex rubber. I use this on the Diva Cup. Silicon is a type I go for and is the option for folks allergic to latex. So medical grade silicone is considered safe and hypo allergenic. It has no edges where bacteria could gather, so it doesn't support microbial growth. It's a nontoxic polymer that's made mostly from silica, which is sand. It's not a natural material, however it does. Contain chemical additives derives from fossil fuels, but when it's heated or frozen, it does not leech chemicals like plastic does, or it doesn't produce hazardous fumes. So it's extremely resistant with stable polymers, so it's considered a safe material to put in your body, and I will say that I will continue reading that most up to date research on silicone to see if there are any worrisome studies that come out. So far, there haven't been. I will say that 1 2012 study found that Salak Sainz did leach from the silicone salak scenes or suspected endocrine disruptors. However, they only leased after three whole days sitting in an alcoholic solution, which for the record, is like the best solvent. And furthermore, the study didn't specify whether this was medical rates of looking or not. So menstrual cups are pretty neat, but they do have some downsides. Since they're not 100% natural. They're not biodegradable, so it's not the absolute perfect material environmentally speaking. But it's certainly an excellent alternative to what's commonly sold on the market. So medical grade silicone is not something that's typically recycled in your common recycling unit. But menstrual cup companies like the Ruby Cup. This is a ruby cup. They will recycle your old menstrual cups for you so long as they're made from silicone or TPE, but not rubber or latex, and they even give you a discount on their products for recycling them. Some sex shop companies also agree to recycle your medical grade silicone cups for you. We talked about the initial costs, which requires you to have 25 to 40 extra bucks to spend before you buy it. So if you're unlucky, you might not have the perfect cup or perfect fit on your first try. So I'll talk about selecting your menstrual cup in a moment. So the other potential downside is you might find it tricky to get it in and out of your vagina and also go over instructions shortly. And finally, it is possible to get toxic shock syndrome with a menstrual cup. But it would be a highly rare occurrence. So remember to always just take it out after 12 hours and to wash it out very well and even boil it on occasion on, and you should be in good shape. 9. M7b: Selecting your Cup: Let's talk about selecting your menstrual cup. There are quite a few menstrual cups on the market, but I don't want you to feel overwhelmed with all the choices. So there are some basic things you want to figure out before buying your cup. The most important being that you want to figure out the size of your cervix, the height of your cervix that changes throughout your cycle. So it's important that you measure your cervix while you're on your period, since that's when you will be using the cup. So what you'll do is you'll wash your hands really well and you will insert your finger in your vagina so you'll feel your cervix when you hit the end of your vagina and your finger cannot go any further. So if you can't get your finger past your first knuckle, then you have a low cervix. Second knuckle, you have a medium sort for cervix, third knuckle or further, you have, ah, high cervix, So if you have a low cervix, you'll want to get the shortest cup on the market. Put a cup in. It has a wonderful comparison chart. MMA Luna Ruby and Fem cycle is the big room is a small ruby on. They all have very short menstrual cups, um, options for you. So Ruby has sold here at the Basel on for packed store where we are the greenish blue Len. A cup is here. Then you have the yellow blue net here as well, and they would both. They would all be fine if you have a low cervix, the rainbow menstrual cups. So, yeah, these are all hello cervix. The yellow Lou net is particularly flexible, too, so it's really easy to insert. If you have a high cervix than a cup like the diva, one would work really well. And it's mostly if you have a low cervix that you want to make sure that your cup is not too long. So if your cervix is medium to high, most of your options will be just fine. But if you have a high cervix and use a short cup than you might have to do some exploring down there to find your cup if it rides up. But it's nothing to be afraid of. So your cop comes with a stem, which you can cut toe whatever length suits you to find your cup and pull it out so I actually cut mine off entirely, as you'll see. So if you have a low cervix and you get a large cup like a diva cup, the problem is that the stem I've cut it off, but it can scratch your vulva and it can feel like it's falling out. Is the first time that I finally managed to get my Diva Cup in. It was awful getting it in, but once owed it. Once it was in, I was like, OK, great, I'm gonna go to work. So I rode my bike to work for one hour and the stem was scratching the entire time, and there was no place to pull over to fix. It was absolutely terrible, and I learned that this cup was not the right fit for me. It was a hard lesson. So now, even if you have a high cervix, your cup might ride down and it might feel like it's falling out. So that was my problem for years. If you have weak pelvic floor muscles, it's more likely to write down. So a few tips are to cut the stem off entirely like I did here. Eso what changed everything for me also was to turn my diva Cup inside out. It's hard to do, but it now. It doesn't feel like it's falling out, and the end doesn't scratch my vaginal walls or cause irritation, which is great. So since it's not designed to be in vaginal ated, that means to be flipped inside out pun intended. I can't recommend doing this, though, because it's not the way that it's intended to be used, but I use it flipped inside out, and it works really well. There are also cups that are made for women who have had vaginal births or who have really heavy flow or high cervix like this one, for example. They could be kind of intimidating. And even though I'm a mom now, I have not had the courage. Tried the bigger ones. I'm fine using the smaller ones, but this is what a larger one would look like. Or this one. Even so, this is a large one from the from glad rags and for comparison's sake, this is the small one from glad rags. So the last thing to consider is the resistance of your Cup. If you have a sensitive ladder, you might want one that's more flexible. That won't push up against your bladder. Eso strong right? So, um alone a cup it's made from TPE instead of silicone is much more flexible, for example. 10. M7c: Menstrual Cup: Insertion, Removal, Care: So let's talk about inserting your cup. This tutorial is coming from a former teenager who could not find her vagina entrance for two years, and it took me three years total to manage to get a tampon in. So it was impossibly hard for me to insert menstrual cups of first. I am not the master of vaginal insertion, clearly, but if I could do it, so can you, Um, although I feel like I'm cheating now because I gave birth. What's easier? But he's so the first thing you want to do is to clip your nails. You can thank me later. Make sure to wash your hands and make sure that the cups are clean and watch the menstrual cup cleaning section to learn how to sanitize it. So to insert it, you want to be standing up or with a foot on the toilet or whatever works for you and you want to take your time, make yourself a T. Make sure you don't have an appointment in the next hour or so. You might even want to grab some lubricant. I personally don't find it necessary, but you might want to, and just make sure that it's a water based lubricant, so it does not damage the cup. So to insert it, you need to fill the cup for three ways to do so. There is the sea fold like this. There is the punch down fold like this, and there is the seven fold like this now. It might be tricky to get it in for the first time, but I assure you you will eventually get the hang of it. I personally use the C fold Now. If you are a virgin, this may very well break your Hyman. If you want to keep your Hyman than menstrual cups are not for you. If you don't really care about it. Or maybe it's already broken cause you went horseback riding or something of the like, then menstrual cups will be just fine, but you'll probably want a smaller one that's really flexible so that it will be easier for you. So once it's in, it should pop open and make a sound as it opens. So to make sure it's open properly, you can push it down, pull it up a little bit and even turn it to make sure that it's opened properly and seals correctly. The holes in the cup are actually there to ensure section. So what's it? Once it's in you, you can just go about your day. You can run, you can swim, you can go upside down and you can do so for up to 12 hours or less. If you have a heavy flow, taking your cup out can be a little tricky. But again, patients and calm is key as you are learning how to do it. If it's up too high, you could just bear down like you're gonna have a bowel movement to help shift it down. Speaking of which, pooping with your cup in can push it down. It could put potentially, I guess, push it out. But I have not had this happen. So when you're taking it out, you want to grab the stem or the base and gently pull it out. You could do this over the toilet to be safe, so it's going to be fully open on the way out, which can hurt like a bitch. So my number one tip here is toe bypass. To bypass the pain is to tilt it away from your free throw which is sensitive and towards your a nus. Instead, I'll show you. So instead of tilting it this way towards your Yuri throughout, you would turn turn it this way towards Uranus, and then it would come out okay, so I actually hated using my cup until I figured out this technique because it's no longer painful on the way out. So if it's too difficult to have the cup wide open, you can also push your cup into a C shape while you are on the toilet, and then the excess blood will just fall into the toilet on its way out. So let's talk about how to care for your cup. So before using your cup, it's really important to wash your hands well with soap. The cup must also be washed before and after use with warm potable water and a water based soap that is free of oil and fragrance. Ideally, but a body soap is fine, so this means avoiding vinegar, baking soda, Casteel, soap, tea, tree oil, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, antibacterial soap, hand sanitizer, dishwashing soap, wipes, bleach any hard cleaners. Those are all out of the question. So if you use those will damage the cup, and it can also cause vaginal irritation. It's also important to wash the holes in your cup because you will ensure that your cup is sealed properly during use, so simply washing it is sufficient. But on occasion you might want to boil your cup for 5 to 10 minutes. It will help with discoloration to, but a discolored cup is not synonymous with a non functional cup, right? So slight discoloration is not an issue, and you can. You can't watch everything off from your cup, so if it accidentally falls into the toilet, then it's probably a safer bet. Just buy a new one for the sake of your vaginal health, so the twin your cycles. You can keep your cup in the breathe herbal pouch that it comes with to allow any excess moisture to evaporate. If you are in a place where you cannot wash your cup like a public restroom, maybe then just empty the cup into the toilet and then clean off the cup with toilet paper before reinserting it, so you just need to clean it thoroughly before using it the next time after that. So I hope this inspires you to try the menstrual cup. It is well worth giving these guys a shot, depending on your body type. It might take several cycles to get the hang of it, but you'll hopefully be really happy switching to menstrual cups for the rest of your life , and hopefully you'll see them as a godsend. 11. Mod 8 Waste Free Tampons: If the menstrual cup does not work for you, you can still use tampons without sending anything to the trash. It'll still take resources to make your disposable tampons. But so long as they are a 100% cotton, at least they can be composted. So you can compose them in your home compost bin, but it will take a while for them to degrade. You might want to compost them in a separate pile. Ideally, you would send them to a composting facility and depending on where you live, they may not accept your tampons. Christina uses compost now in Durham, there a wonderful composting pick up service. They do have rules though about sending anything that could be potentially a health hazard though like compostable tampons or a compostable condoms. So when I was growing up, I knew of two kinds of tampons with and without applicator. The tampons that came without applicator, as I was told, refer experienced women who had been menstruating for several years and could just easily insert their Hannah ponds with just their fingers and the tampons with applicator as were seen as training wheels for beginners to understand where and how far up a tampon should go. When I moved to the States, I found out that you could practically only find applicator tampons and stores. Whereas in France where I grew up, you could mostly only find non applicator tampons. So I share this to say the applicator aren't necessary and believe it or not, there was a time when they did not exist. So if you want to be brave, you can go applicator free. This can maybe be good practice for later switching to a menstrual cup, for example. So you can still find applicator free tampons in stores in France, but they're typically individually wrapped in plastic covering. You can look for biodegradable covering instead, more likely with organic tampon companies, dame is a company that also sells applicator free tampons and they're wrapping is made of bio-degradable material. I want to add an important point here about composting. You're 100% cotton tampons. When you throw food in the trash, It does not degrade. The anaerobic conditions make it so that it cannot break down properly. And instead, it creates greenhouse gases like methane, which is bad news for the climate. So this is why it's so important to compost food. And it's the same for any sort of biodegradable item. If it's sent to the landfill instead of composting facility, it's simply will not break down and it'll generate greenhouse gases. So if you're using bio-degradable tampons and biodegradable tampon packaging. But you don't compost these items, then you're creating waste. Same for biodegradable. Doggy poop bags are biodegradable cutlery. You don't compose these things is just trash and they won't break down. So as much as I liked the Dame company, I disagree when they say that throwing your tampons in the bin will ensure that they return to nature. What will happen is it will actually sit in a landfill. And if they accidentally make their way out into nature, then yeah, they would break down but otherwise not. Then you have the cardboard applicator tampons. So if you get lucky, you'll find a 100% cotton tampons that comes with a biodegradable cardboard applicator and biodegradable paper wrapping. So ten packs does sell cardboard applicant or tampons, but it's important to check if the tampon itself is classic free and biodegradable. So the carton were applicator is they can be a little pokey and not as comfortable and as smooth as classic, but it's still convenient for inserting your tampons. So I like natural care, which sells organic tampons with cardboard allocators. Otherwise, Seventh Generation does as well. And I tend to find these brands in health food stores in the states that hopefully should find those as well. So recently, the UK company that I just mentioned called Dame, they came up with D, which is the world's first reusable applicator. And they found that although there are many reusable menstrual products on the market, women like sticking to their habits. So having a reusable applicator still allows all menstruating people the comfort of sticking to tampons, but with a smooth and comfortable applicator. So we spoke about tampon pollution earlier. So this solution makes sense in terms of a, of a transition strategy to reduce waste. And they're reusable applicator. It can be used with most standard size non applicator tampons from light to super Plus. And washing it is really simple. You just need to wipe it and rinse it. And it has anti-microbial technology that's built in that last, that last for life and it's medical grade material. So it's also designed to be super comfortable, easy to use. So you can tell the put that they put a lot of effort into making this product, into something that you're just gonna love using. And they also sell applicator free organic tampons, Of course, the packaging of which is entirely biodegradable. So if you aren't comfortable with the options that I've shared so far, then this might be the right pick for you. So speaking of the world's first reusable applicator, thanks is also about to launch their own reusable allocators. So both thinks and dame or saying that they have the world's first reusable applicator. So no matter who came first, we are just super excited to see these options pop up. You may have heard of sea sponges being used as a replacement for tampons. Sea sponges are animals that live on the ocean floor and are not considered endangered. So although they are technically animals, they don't have a brain or a central nervous system is harvested properly. Their natural reproductive process is not disrupted, which is why the harvest is usually considered sustainable. So the process of commercializing a sea sponge produces little waste and it doesn't use chemicals. And the final product is biodegradable once it reaches the end of its lifecycle. So if you use a sea sponge as a tampon, it's reusable for reportedly six to 12 months and they come in different sizes and they must be inserted by hands and moistened with some water. First. Before I get further into this, I want to say that I personally do not recommend their use. I care a lot about natural products, but I care equally about safety. And the safety of these sponges depends on two main factors, user habits and sponge cleanliness. So with these sponges, It's important to clean them properly before and after use. And unfortunately, the sponges cannot be boiled to sanitize them fully because their process that process would harden them and it would shrink the sponge. So with all the crevices and the sponge to it might be hard to cleanse every last part of the sponge to avoid bacterial growth. So spend just also must be completely dry before storage to avoid mold growth. So since safety or these sponges can be compromised more easily by user error, I prefer to err on the side of caution and say, Don't use them. Another aspect that doesn't give me full confidence in this product is that sea sponges aren't sterile unless you opt for bleached sponges, but then you don't want the chemicals associated to the bleaching and see are filter feeders so they eat the organic debris that flows through them in their natural environment. So they're filled with these crevices that hold this debris. One company says the sponges are hand processed and cleaned, but they still recommend that you inspect the sponge yourself and sanitize it before use. So these sea sponges are not sterile and they're not tested. And according to Dr. Jen Gunter, who is a certified OBGYN, and both Canada and the states see spenders are potentially very unsafe since they can be filled with bacteria and other food particles from the sea. She's also concerned about having sea sponge pieces breaking off in the vagina and collecting bacteria. So in 1980, granted, this was about 40 years ago, the University of Iowa found sand, grit, bacteria and other materials in sea sponges being sold as menstrual sponges. Sponges were actually recalled and still in 1980, another study in Maryland found sponges to contain yeast and mold as well. And one sample even contained Staphylococcus aureus, which is that bacteria that causes TSS, right? And there has been at least one case of TSS with sea sponges, so that risk exists according to the CDC. So since those studies, menstrual sea sponges not require pre-market approval by the FDA. And Jade and Perl used to sell sea sponges as tampon alternatives until 2013 when they received a warning letter from the FDA. They still sell sea sponges in many and Maxie size without specifying that there for menstrual US anymore. And actually they don't specify anywhere that that's what they're for. So in conclusion, I love sea sponges in my kitchen. I prefer to keep them out of my vagina and opt for the precautionary principle. Here's another option that I will mention, but I don't personally recommends either. You might have seen reusable knit tampons made from organic cotton, organic bamboo, or even organic hemp. They're adorable and I think that those who create them do so with a lot of love. But my concern here again is user error. So sanitizing your tampons to avoid infection is really important. And watching these by hand or in your washing machine just won't sanitize them sufficiently. And the only way that I would trust that their sanitary is if there were boiled after every use ends. The only other thing I'll add to this is that I don't know what the effect it has on your vagina when small cotton, bamboo or hemp finer fibers fall off of your knitted tampons. So if I had to choose, I would go for fibers that weren't bleached or weren't colored. Your vagina is such a highly absorbent area that the ph can be thrown out of whack so easily. So currently there's just not enough safety information for me to give you my seal of approval and feel good about telling you that these are safe option. 12. M9: Free Flow Instinct vs. Free Bleeding: the free flow instinct. That's something that I first heard from my friend Lena. And in fact, she sparked the discussion of this practice all throughout France and inspired many women to switch to this method. So the idea here is to use no protection during your period, but it's not the same as free bleeding. So with a free flow instinct, you rely on your instincts to tell you when you need to go to the bathroom to empty your vagina of its blood, same as you would for urine or for bowel movements. Right? So bear with me on this one. So as a woman who gets really heavy periods, I call bullshit until I tried it. So now I haven't gotten down the method perfectly, but I can use it on low flow days without a problem. So there are now many women across France who use this throughout their entire cycle. And, of course, my friend Lena, who swears by it, this is how it works. So the first time you test this, you might want to be home for the weekend or on vacation or simply working from home. If you're unable to do that, maybe where? Period underwear as backup while you're learning how to listen to your instinct. So essentially, the idea here is that you'll be able to develop a sense of when you're period flow is coming. Kind of like the way that you would feel pressure on your bladder when you have to pee and the sensation is different for every woman. But for me, I could eventually tell that my blood is about to come out. So you go to the bathroom and you bear down a little and you let the blood flow out of you . It's like peeing, except it's what? So how often you go to the bathroom to do so is dependent entirely on you. So the first time you try on your heaviest days, you might want to go every 10 to 30 minutes or so until you start getting the hang of it, and eventually you'll start getting the feel for how often to go. So maybe it's every 2 to 3 hours and then less as your period ends. So will there be accidents? Yeah, probably as you're learning, Yes, but so far I haven't had any stain my pants accidents. I've had staying my undies a little bit. Accidents. So if you're going on a long hike on an outing, you'll need access to the bathroom for sure, to to avoid these kinds of accidents. So within 3 to 5 cycles, you'll start getting the hang of it. Or maybe you'll realize that it's not for you. What about exercising? Honestly, I'm just so happy postpartum that I managed no longer p myself while I'm running that I have not pushed it with no bleeding part when I run. My pelvic floor is not currently strong enough for that, and I'm not sure that women's succeeded at this, actually, so you might be wondering about nighttime. I personally have not mastered this at night time. Women report being woken up and going to the bathroom at night. Time we stand of your When I'm asleep, I am asleep. If I wake up, I will fall right back asleep. Even if I have to go to the bathroom. I care about my sleep way too much, Um, but anyways, I highly recommend you try it. I find that it's really empowering to realize that you have more control over your flow than you thought I personally prefer to use pads or the cup on my heavy flow days. But since my cycle lasts forever last like over 10 days, then I like to use this methods that I don't have to do laundry or take a cup in and out every day. So, again, I'm not an expert at this, but I have found that it's certainly possible for me to do this on low flow days. Free bleeding is the final topic that I'll talk about. You may have heard about this term when Keuren Gandhi, who run the London Marathon she she free bled throughout the race without any menstrual protection because she was uncomfortable wearing a pad or tampon while running. So the idea behind free bleeding is not so much bleeding all all over your clothes. That's not the point, but more being able to not be ashamed of your period, so no one should be embarrassed about their period. And I love that we're breaking through the taboo of periods and accidental bloodstains and giving people more options that are safe for them and for the planet. I mean, I remember how embarrassing it was to whisper to your friend to ask for a tampon in school and constantly afraid that I could get a period stain. I mean, not to get too birds and the bees on you, but periods air a beautiful part of us, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. So I mean, so you stained your panties because your tampon leaked at the store. Don't cower and shame. Be bummed that your pants needed cleaning. Maybe, but don't be ashamed. We're menstruating humans, and we are beautiful. So you should be comfortable leading when you are on your moon, you know, and I hope that you'll find the perfect solution for you. Whether it's the comfort of a reusable applicator, we're learning the free flow instinct. 13. M10: Reusable Adult Diapers (Post-partum): so blood is not the only thing that we might want to protect our clothes from and continents is another problem. And it's not just for the elderly. You can have some pretty bad incontinence problems. Postpartum I was in physical therapy for eight months after my daughter's birth to fix the issues that I was having. It's not pretty. It sucks, but thankfully, patents were sufficient for me except for the very first days postpartum. But I used disposable diapers for that, so my daughter and I were both in diapers. It was like this bonding experience. If you do have an incontinence problem that's more severe, you can use reusable adult diapers instead of disposable adult diapers. They come in all sizes and shapes, so I will link a few options for you in your workbook. And they are essentially very similar in style to diapers for babies. So there's an option. If you need that, or if someone that you love needs it 14. M11: intro to Zero Waste Period Care: taking care of yourself during your period both physically and emotionally, is important. So if you suffer from menstrual cramps in particular, there are many practices. You can try to relieve the pain, like massage, topical heat and exercise. You can even make yourself a pain relief tincture, or use a hot compress or T for relief. Taking care of yourself during your period means slowing down and honoring the natural energy shift in your body, so we'll go through all of this and more in this section of our class. 15. M12: Best Practices to Curb Menstrual Cramps: painful menstrual cramps or dismount area are very common and typically start when menstrual flow begins. But this could very from woman to woman. So during your period, prostaglandins in your body trigger the uterine muscles to contract to shed their lining. So the more prostaglandins you have, the more severe the cramps tend to be. And if you're taking the birth control pill, prostaglandins in your body are actually reduced, which is why period cramps generally will not be as severe. So painful. Periods are very common, and they can vary from simply being annoying to being debilitating, lasting anywhere from eight hours to three full days. Severe throbbing or cramping pain actually interferes with the daily activities of up to 20% of women. So I know I personally have found myself up all night sobbing on the floor in pain, unable to stand vomiting from the pain with a hot hairdryer blowing on my belly for relief . And this is after taking over the counter pain medication on and for comparison's sake, up until the very last stages of my labor. Before berthing Luna, my labor contractions were a walk in the park. Compared to these period cramps. So this man area is no joke. And in fact, you should always report this pain to your gynecologist because painful periods may be associated to endometriosis. Well, very insist, or uterine fibroids, for example. So if you don't have a history of menstrual pain but have started having painful periods than all the more reason to go see a doctor to determine whether there may be a more serious underlying cause. So today I'll be sharing my period pain tincture with you as well as options for pain relief with T with syrup. Ah, poultices and a compress will make that as well. And I'll be explaining why I choose the herbs that I did to support me during my period. So as with any health problem, ah, holistic health approach is the best way forward. So let's briefly go over some of the best practices to support pain reduction during menstruation. So there are many ways to help relieve the severity of period pain. One way to reduce pain is with topical heat. So, according to a 2012 study, using a heat patch can provide pain relief that's comparable to ibuprofen. And we love making your own heat packs from old rice socks and filling them with rice. T. Use them when we're on our period. You could also use a hot water bottle for topical heat or a warm ginger tea compress. I've used a hair dryer and desperate times, but that could burn your skin, so be careful there. Massage also helps another study specifically with women who had Andrew Mitri. Aosis found that massage can also reduce menstrual pain so you can use acupuncture below your belly button. For instance, You can also couple your massage with essential oils, and certain essential oils have analogies. IT components. One study found that using a cream with lavender, clary, sage and marjoram essential oils to massage the lower abdomen, UM, every day provided pain relief during restoration and reduce the pain of menstruation. Having a generally healthy lifestyle is important to this includes exercise, diet and stress management. A sports medicine study found the exercising regularly was an important part of reducing menstrual cramps, so important, in fact, that it could eliminate the need for pain medication altogether. So during your period, you may not have the energy toe exercise strenuously, so if that's the case any form of mild exercise to release endorphins, which can help decrease pain. Perception is helpful. So speaking of endorphins, having an orgasm to release endorphins may also help with your period pain. And then women who spoke are more likely to have period pains. So if you are a smoker here, here's some good motivation to quit smoking, right and then hydration and healthy diet are also factors that can influence your period pain levels. So that means avoiding fatty foods, processed foods, overly salty foods and steering clear of caffeine, alcohol or carbonated drinks so we could talk about healthy food and nutrition for your period for hours. But the take home message here is to eat a balanced diet with healthy fats, leafy greens abundant in minerals and vitamins, especially in vitamin E. My mind, manganese and boron. And and finally, many health practitioners suggest that relax ation exercises can help ease the intensity of period pain, so surprisingly, have found that this has been a very helpful tip for May. So before my period starts, all set an intention to have a pain free period, and sometimes I even meditate on this intention, and I know that this sounds super hokey, but finding your own way to relax, whether it's with yoga or just setting time aside to rest even in front of Netflix to allow yourself toe, just go at a slower pace. It can really help calm your nerves, which in turn reduces your pain perception. 16. M13: Pharmaceuticals & Waste: so we'll be going into herbal remedies for a dismount area today. But I do want to take a moment to acknowledge that these remedies won't be for everyone. So if you experience painful menstruation, you may have understandably turns to pharmaceuticals to help you manage the pain. So, in my opinion, health always comes first, and being zero waste is a secondary priority. So if you need over the counter medication for your pain, go for it and do not feel guilty about the associated waste, so there are still actions that you can take. So if you have the option between a glass bottle or a plastic bottle, for example, up for the glass bottle. If there's an option to not get pain medication that's individually wrapped, then opt for that. Or maybe your family has extra pain medication that's on its way out, and you can take it off their hands to avoid it going to waste. And your voice could make a change, too, so you can write a petition to your pain meds company to ditch the plastic packaging or the individual wrappers, for example. So if you're looking to step away from pharmaceuticals and give natural pain remedies a try . You might find that you're fortunate enough to have a store near you where you'll be able to find natural remedies in bulk or herbal remedies in glass bottles, for example, and you could also learn how to make your own zero waste herbal pain medication, which is what we'll be getting into a little bit today. So if you're looking into discard pain medication that you no longer need, you also can check to see if there's a donation program near you. So in the states, each state will have its Good Samaritan law for drug donation. If there is not a drug donation program near you, you'll want to dispose of your pain meds properly. So the first thing to note is to not flush the pharmaceuticals down the toilet, so they're very concentrated, and it will contribute to water pollution. The second thing to notice. Not throw the drugs out with your trash because there's a risk that they'll leach out from the dump and into the waterways. The best thing to do is to either go to your local pharmacy or your local police station to drop off medicine at their collection points. Certain grocery stores also have the capacity to collect your drugs, so pharmaceutical companies are also required to set an expiration date for their medication. And they tend to be very conservative with their dating, probably because they wouldn't sell us much if you knew that you could that you didn't have to replace your Tylenol bottle every two years. So the expiration date on your medication doesn't mean that your medicine will no longer be effective or won't be safe to use its. The majority of the potency of a pain drug actually still remains 10 years later. So if you purchased a giant bottle of Tylenol, for example, you didn't finish the pills by the time they expired, they may still be just his potent. So always ask your pharmacist or your doctor if you're in doubt. 17. M14a: Tincture: Safety Briefing: prior to modern medicine, we humans used plants widely to treat many types of ailments like menstrual cramps. So today we working with medicinal herbs that we purchased, dried and they could be found without too much trouble in the states and in Europe. A swell before we dive in. It's important for you to recognize that the section of the class is intended for educational purposes only. I am not rendering medical advice of any kind, and this class is not a replacement for medical advice or to diagnose or treat any condition. Injury, disease or illness is an illness that you might have. So I'm not a license or registered healthcare practitioner. What I am is environmental educator who has studied both botany and herbal ism in school, in the field and online. So you're responsible for consulting your medical care provider before using any herbs or remedies mentioned in this class. Some of these herbs that will be using our country indicated with pharmaceutical drugs. Some are not safe to use when you're pregnant or if you have thyroid issues. Ah, heart condition and so on. So just because it's natural doesn't mean that it's right for you. So you're responsible to research and verify the information before relying on it. And in addition, toe to this are tincture calls for alcohol. So if you are not of legal age to consume, we recommend that you don't consume alcohol. I'll also note that none of these recipes are intended for Children. So for more information you can check out or health disclaimer, it's just really important to me and hopefully to you as well that you're safe. 18. M14b: Herbs to Ease Cramps: so there are many ways to prepare your home medicine, and my favorite way to make medicine is by formulating pictures like this much show tincture right here they were about to make, So a tincture is a solution of a medicinal substance in a solvent that is typically alcoholic. It's a medicine that's made by dissolving the medicinal properties of plants in alcohol, or sometimes in vinegar or glycerin. And the resulting liquid is very potent, which is why several drops are sufficient to address an ailment like menstrual cramps. So the changes will be making today will be alcohol based because these are the most shelf stable. So if you prefer not to have alcohol, you could make a vinegar tincture instead. But vinegar is not as strong a solvents, and the tincture would only keep 1 to 2 years if you use vinegar. So the reason I love alcohol tinctures is because they last forever. They're super easy to travel with Andi, especially there just so simple to make and take. There's no need to make a fresh batch of medicinal syrup or a warm pot of tea or chop up some herbal ingredients when you're feeling crabby. All you need to do is place a dropper full on your tongue or mix a dropper full in a glass of water if the taste is too strong for you. And it's just super convenient and quick and just fun now onto our menstrual painting, Sherm. So for this tincture were using valerian, mother warts and rose flowers. This tincture won't be adapted to women with heavy menstrual flows, but there are many other herbs you can choose from to valerian acts as a muscle relaxant. It can relax the uterine muscle during cramping, which can help with muscle pain. In two separate studies, it was found to both reduce the severity of PMS and to be an effective treatment for menstrual pain, likely due to its anti spasmodic effects. So this is a great herb to have on hand for effective muscle pain relief and for sleep aid , so valerian is generally recognized as safe, but you must be careful not to use potentially toxic valerian preparations from Mexico. In India, there may also be side effects like headaches, dizziness and stomach problems, and sleeplessness to, so it's best not to use it when you're pregnant, breast feeding or if you have liver problems, always check with your doctor before using. The Serb mother works is traditionally used for a painful menstruation because it's a uterine anti spasmodic, it can actually also be used to bring on menstruation after emotional stress may have put demonstration on hold. So mother work is in the men agog, which means that it can increase menstrual flow. So for this reason, you shouldn't use it if you already bleed heavily when you're on your period or if you have a new mitri aosis or fibroids. So it's an herb that should most definitely be avoided in pregnancy. To remember to always ask your doctor prior to using any of the earth they were talking about. This course, Rose Flowers are the third ingredient in her tincture today. They've been traditionally used to help ease menstrual cramps and heavy bleeding. So while there aren't many studies on the efficacy of rose flower tincture on menstrual pain, Rose tea has been proven to relieve menstrual pain and teenage women. So like any other herb run rose by by your doctor. First, there are many other herbs that you can use to support yourself to during your period. I simply use those that worked for me and that I can easily get ahold of here. You may want to change your moon tincture based on what your symptoms are. So for menstrual cramp relief, herbs like valerian mother wort rose a sale on cinnamon lemongrass cramp bark. Common lady's mantle mug wort, which was a veteran stimulant. Yarrow, another uterine stimulant, were even angelica for sluggish cramping. These have all been traditionally used. Other herbs for gentler pain relief include lemon balm and catnip. To help with heavy bleeding, you may want to explore herbs again like rose or common ladies, mental Yaro or mud wort, or even Shepherd's purse, which was actually shown in a randomized clinical study to reduce heavy menstrual bleeding . So make sure again to avoid mother wort if you tend to bleed heavily. If your period is late and you're looking to jump started, you might want to look into herbs like cinnamon, mother wort, mug warts and Angelica. Angelica is particularly strong and has traditionally been used to bring on abortions. So always make sure to check with your doctor first, to see if any and all of these herbs. Alistair's safer you. And finally, if it's mostly the symptoms of PMS that you're trying to appease, and herb that's traditionally used for this is by techs. Uhm, it might be most adapted to your needs. Although current research on by Texas non inclusives you might want to use valerian, which has scientifically been proven to help with PMS symptoms. So I hope you'll be inspired to make your own medicine with these herbs. There are more still that I haven't mentioned here, and I encourage you to keep exploring what's available to you locally. So with that being said, I hope you find the perfect remedy for you based on what your particular needs are, and I wish you ease and comfort during the next period. 19. M14c: Tincture: Instructions for Cramps Tincture: So let's make our moon tincture. So for this tincture, I will be using alcohol as my solvents. Alcohol in particular, is an effective solvent for resins, Balsams, camp fours, alkaloids and essential oils like asides and bitter constituents. So when I refer to alcohol, I'm talking about ethanol from grain cane or corn alcohol, ideally organic or under proof vodka. So I'll be using 100 proof vodka, which is 50% alcohol, 50% water. So that's what I have been using because it's what I confined easily near me. So it might be difficult for you to find 100 proof vodka. You might only find vodka that's 35% alcohol or gin or whiskey. That's 30% alcohol. So if you opt for one of these Sullivan's that are less than 50% alcohol, you need to realize two things. First, it won't be quite as effective as a solvent and seconds. Make sure to work with dried herbs like I am today to make sure that the tincture at the end tincture has a long shelf life. And a final note about choosing your alcohol is that if you have a gluten intolerance, you might want opt for gluten free alcohols like corn cane or grape alcohol's. So personally, Since I make this medication for myself and I'm not trying to sell a product on the market , I'm not so caught up in exact proportions. So we wait out the herbs, which isn't necessary. But again, we like to keep these proportions for you to re creating for myself to recreate. So we have 3/4 of announced in waits of valerian 3/4 of announce in waits of mother words, half announcing weight of rose petals. So had cramp bark been available here locally? I would have added some of that Urbas well, So since I'm making it for home medicine purposes, I'm making it the full Torquay. So I'll blend these herbs as the rose petals could be very voluminous. And once they're blended, I'll transfer them to the glass jar. So and at that point I will cover the herbs with 100 proof vodka, let them sit for six days in a dark spot and shake it daily. Or is Avner, as I remember and before story right away. It's important to label it, too, so I prepared this very tincture a few months ago, so I strained the older batch moon tincture. So same instructions here, grab your last are your metallic funnel you're not. Bag your potato ricer and just starts treating. - So also make sure to compost the leftover herbs When you're done with self strained out, transfer the tincture with your smaller metallic funnel to amber jar. But some of your dropper bottles, too. Take somebody need Teoh. Transfer old label to large new bottle and put small labels on the picture booth. So you want to label your jars so you know exactly what's in them. I like to write what I made them for like for menstrual cramp relief. I will jot that down on there, and then I'll add the common name of the plants I used for scientific names, the part of the plants that were used and then the date that I made the tincture and then either the lot number, if I purchased the herbs or where I harvested the herbs, if they were foraged the type of alcohol that was used and then finally whether it was a full chlorate preparation or awaits a volume preparation. So since it's possible for the labels to get wet. It can be good practice toe. Add some Scotch tape over the labels, even if that's not a zero waste practice. So now that you have your tincture and you've checked with your doctor to see if it's a free to take and what dosage take it in, you can take some on your tongue or again makes it in some water, tea or juice, and the particular dosage will just depend on you. You might not have time to make your own moon tincture, so purchasing one might be your best option. Keep an eye out for the herbs that you're looking for and whether your local apothecary has a tincture with these herbs. 20. M15: Menstrual Pain Relief: Teas, Syrups, Poultices, Compresses, Foot Soak: so tinctures are a wonderful way of getting a potent medicine for pain relief. If you prefer to try other methods to relieve your cramps, there are many options available to you like teas, syrups, poultices, compresses or even foot soaks. So today I'll be showing you how to make these preparations with ginger. Ginger is often used to ease cramps because it helps with inflammation and pain. One study found that ginger powder, if you take it four times a day for three days at the start of menstruation that that's justice effective as ibuprofen and other anti inflammatory medication in relieving menstrual cramps. Another study found the severity and duration of the pain to be decreased when taking ginger powder as opposed to a placebo. So here are several ways to prepare ginger to help you with your cramps to remember. As always, run these herbal remedies by your doctor first, and you know these are not a replacement for pharmaceuticals. He prefer to drink a tea to help you with your pain. Instead of taking your medication in tincture form, you could make a ginger tea with freshly chopped ginger. You could even add lemongrass. They will taste really great together, and they're a great way to gently relieve pain. If you are not a fan of Ginger, you could make a tea with some of the herbs that I mentioned in the tincture section, so Rose, valerian, angelica, cinnamon and lemon grass could be used, for example, so just make sure to be familiar with the safety profiles of these plants First. Also, valerian can taste like socks, so to prepare the gender, T simply pour boiling water over the ginger and let it steep for at least 15 minutes before drinking. I personally love adding some hunting to this tea as well, and even just fresh lemon, just to give it a bit of a more delicious taste. You can also make an herbal syrup, which you can take by the spoonful, or add to your tea as sweetener. So you would great about 1/4 cup of ginger and then at about 1/4 cup of honey, and then you'd let it simmer until the ginger gets soft, about 10 minutes or so, and then you transfer the syrup with the ginger bits into your May singer and refrigerate. It will keep for a couple weeks in the fridge. Another idea is to make a ginger poultices to warm and stimulate the area that is cramping . So you would great about half a cup of ginger to make a paste, and then you take a cloth. I like to use my daughter's old cloth diapers, and you put the ginger paste on the cloth and then you fold the cloth over. You just apply it to the area where you're cramping way, and that helped the pull. To stay warm, you can apply a hot water bottle on top of it. A similar idea is to make a compress by soaking a cloth in ginger tea and applying it to your pelvis, your stomach So you would first make a really strong ginger tea, like I described a moment ago. And then you'll soak the cloth in the tea. You bring it out and you'll apply. It warms the affected area, so here, too, you could use Ah, hot water bottle to keep it warm is all. A foot Soak can help you relax and ease menstrual pain. Eso. If you've made your ginger tea, make a larger quantity of it and make X make it extra strong. You can add some Epsom salts to, and once it's ready, you just put it in the bucket. Make sure that it's not burning hot, and then you can soak your feet in it. 21. M16: Honoring your Period: growing up, I remember that periods were something you did not talk about. They happens, but you kept it Hush hush. Only your best friends knew when you were on your period. So periods or something that the commercials told me were a subject to tiptoe around. They used a blue liquid in place of a red one because period blood was what, like to disgusting? I mean, you see blood and gore movies left and right. But if blood is not, you know, if it's not associated to violence, then it's gross. Have you noticed growing up? How? Adds wouldn't even say the words period or blood. I remember that A tampon commercial. They were saying that they had these discreet tampon rappers that cause they looked like candy instead of a tampons, that guys would never know that you're on your period. There were just so many things that pointed to the fact that periods must be kept a dark, locked up secret, you know, and those as definitely helped me develop insecurities, and I was so out of touch with my body that I literally couldn't figure out how the tampon worked for about three years. So that meant that I resort resorted to pads. And for some reason, I had this fear that my pad protector would end up taped to the back of my backpack and that I'd walk around middle school with everybody laughing at me or worse, knowing that I was on my period. So whenever I changed my pad, I would have my friend Annabelle checked to make sure that nothing was stuck to my backpack . I would also have a check my bum after every class to make sure that it hadn't leaked and our secret word was cook, which means look in German and I would run ahead of her and she would check to see if you know my butt and see if if I had any blood or anything and she would not if I was in the clear. And then in high school, I would warn orally that I needed a pad change and she would get ready by the hand dryer. And as soon as I was ready to rip my noisy pad off, I would shout, Go! And she would turn on the loud dryers that none of the other girls could hear me taking off my head. This is how nervous I was about it. I mean, I kid you not, and it makes some pretty hilarious stories, and it's funny. Even when I got my first period, I secretly was so excited about it. But I felt like I had to act all shy and secretive and even grossed out about it. So my mom and I wonder what it would have been like if I had just fully embraced my period is something to not be ashamed of. So when you're on your period and you're bleeding and your cramping and your bloated and you don't really feel sexy, you know what's wonderful about that, right? How come you honor your period when you're feeling so cranky? Well, one practice that can help you appreciate your period instead of dreading it, is to allow yourself to kind of flow with the energy that you're naturally inclines to feel throughout your cycle. So, at different stages of your cycle, you might want to write down your symptoms, your feelings, your thoughts. So, of course, if you're taking hormones for birth control, for example, it might suppress some of the natural inclement inclinations that you'd normally feel, and that's not to say, Don't take birth control. You know, that's a very personal decision. I'm not in a position to tell you to do that or not. But when you're period begins, your energy is naturally lower, and you might not feel like being disturbed, so you can honor that feeling by retreating and having some quiet time. You might want to take a relaxing bath or take some time to meditate. You can give in to that natural inclination to rest, however you decide to rest. So surrendering instead of fighting The feeling can really help you feel better overall. And maybe there's a ritual that you confined for yourself to make your period less daunting , even like a Netflix movie to look forward to. I like toe welcome in my period, and I think of it as a time to embrace my womanhood for me and as a time to be grateful for what is and as a time to rest. So many people practice letting go of things that no longer serve them when they're on their period, like perhaps a belief or attitude that's not serving them just like your body is letting go of that egg that wasn't fertilized. You can let go to. And in fact, many people take their period as an opportunity to set intentions for their new cycle. So instead of seeing it is a crappy time to dread, you could choose to see it as a time to set your intention for the month ahead. So I find this practice of tuning into my body's energy to be really helpful for me personally. It also helps me to be in tune with my body during the rest of my cycle. So once you're period is over and you approach population, it's a time when your energy will be heightened. I always find that I run the fastest when I'm around the time of my ovulation. It's also a time where you feel sexy and happy and even creative. It's a time so just let your ideas flow and to write them down. It's a great time to release your sexual energy. And then in the week following ovulation is a time where you might be continuing to implement creative ideas that you had the previous week. It's a time where you might feel proud of yourself or if you're months didn't go as planned , Maybe you might feel like you failed somehow. And it's okay to feel that. And then the last week, the week before your period is when you may experience PMS ist symptoms you might be frustrated might be easily annoyed. You may be cranky, I certainly am. And you might just want to be left alone. I remember in high school my mood during PMS was so bad that I had to make a rule to not speak to my best friend in the days leading up to my period just so I wouldn't get into an argument with her. And it was really helpful to track my cycles and understand why I was being so cranky and short with people so that I could just, you know, take a step back instead. And this is a time where you can maybe prepare yourself four year period to so maybe meal prep for the following week or something like that. So if you struggle with hormone imbalance, you may relate to some of the feelings I'm about to share. So to be candid in the past, I struggled a lot with my relationship to my period. My progesterone levels tend to be extremely low, which meant that my bleeding started a week before it was supposed to start, and it lasted 14 days with about a 10 to 14 daybreak before it just started all over again . And when I wanted to get pregnant. But I was told that I couldn't because my progesterone was so low. My 14 day periods, you know, they even lasted 18 days. Sometimes it was a constant reminder that something was wrong and I would cry a heck of a lot because of it. And my period cramps were so bad that they hugely made me vomit. And I felt like my own body was making fun of me, and I even had to quit my job because my progesterone imbalance was so severe that it led to memory loss. So how did I mend this relationship? I had to hit rock bottom. Before taking action, I realized that my body was trying to tell me something, so I stopped blaming my body for what I wasn't doing right, and I started asking my body what I could do for her. And when I felt like I was teeming with her instead of being her enemy When things started to shift and I set an intention toe Listen to my body. So my progesterone was low. So I looked how I could shift it naturally. And, you know, managing stress was a big factor. I also managed up my diet and I modified it to eat foods that would increase my progesterone production. Like everything from Brazil. Nuts to macaroon powder, flax seed, prenatal pills be six rich foods tumeric, red raspberry, canola oil. Jin sang passionflower t There was a whole lot of stuff. I also went out into nature more. I meditated. I took time to draw. I slowed down the pace to address the problem. So if you also have low progesterone, remember that I'm sharing a personal story, right? I'm not. I'm not sharing medical advice, but you know what? My period would come. I didn't set any expectations of how long it should last. And within a couple of cycles, I noticed my periods shortening lasting 10 days instead of 14 and then eight days, and I finally felt like I was on the same team as my body and I would also set intentions that I wouldn't have cramps anymore. So when it was cramped A. I would take a moment to meditate and to repeat affirmations that would have a pain free period. And for the first time, I actually had a few cycles where I didn't have any discomfort and I could skip the medication. And I was pretty taken aback by the power of my thoughts and my beliefs. So if you do suffer from period pain or hormonal imbalances, your body could be telling you something to and into your body and take the time to listen . Ask yourself how you can help her. In my case, I followed my intuition and researched how I could support myself to balance out my cycles . You know, getting help. My also mean going to a professional for advice and reaching out to people that can support you and getting better. Have you ever wondered whether it was a coincidence that the lunar phases and our menstrual cycles have similar lengths? The average menstrual cycle is 28 days, and the lunar phase last about 29 a half days, so you might hear people saying that before electricity women off related on the full moon when there was more light at night and had their period during the new moon. And some say that women and primitive cultures are in sync with the moon cycles. So there have been a few studies on whether there is a synchronous relationship between the moon phases and women's cycles. However, all these studies have been carried out on modern women who live, as most of us do now, quite separate from nature. So in a 1980 study, researchers did find that women tended toe populate around the new moon. But a 1986 study also found synchrony to with more women 28% of women to be exact, menstruating around the new moon and then a 2013 year long study. However, they didn't find any synchrony between the lunar phases and the menstrual cycles of women. So I would be really curious to see what the results would be with women who are living without electricity. But anyways, my take away from this is not to worry. If you don't ovulate and menstruate in sync with the moon, no matter what you decide to believe I personally do allow a little bit of moon magic into my life. If you have never held at the moon by a campfire with your girlfriends, you are missing out. Go do it. I had to O b g Y n is tell me that I wouldn't be able to conceive due to my severe hormone imbalance. And after that news, you know, I set an intention for a healthy menstrual cycle. I got myself a moonstone. And shortly after I conceived my miracle baby on no day other than the full moon. Now, I have no idea if these events were somehow linked, but it marked me enough to name my daughter Luna. So if, like me, you're so inclined to Sprinkle a little bit of mood magic into your life and notice whether or not you're feeling more alive and sexy with a full moon and go ahead and enjoy it 22. M17: DIY Cloth Pads: with a little practice, you can make amazing cloth pads yourself at home. Christina did just that. It took her a few tries, but she has nailed it. And she was maybe the cubist cloth pass that I could ever have hoped for, LAMAs and foxes and everything else before jumping in. I will say that it's not necessarily cheaper to make your own cloth pads. It depends how much of an expert you are sowing, because you might end up wasting a lot of material, especially if you are a perfectionist. If this is your first time sewing, you might want to test out your skills on some old fabric first, like Christina did. She tested it out on some old sheets before going out and splurging on 100% organic cotton fabric. So to get started, you will need supplies to make your pad template. You will need a ruler, a fiction of paper, a pen or marker and scissors for your pad and liner. We used 1/4 yard of 100% cotton black flannel. This will be enough for at least three pads, 1/4 yard of 100% cotton printed flannel with a design you like, and then you'll need a sewing machine, sewing pins, thread measuring tape, scissors for cutting fabric and either chalk or another type of marker to mark the fabric. So before we get to sewing and remember toe, wash all the fabric beforehand so it has a chance to shrink ahead of time to. So to make your pad, you'll need a thick piece of paper, like a a three or a four size paper. You'll measure out a rectangle 16 centimeters wide by 25 centimeters long, starting from one of the corners of your paper, and then you'll cut out your rectangle. You'll fold it twice in half. Once lengthwise and once with wise at this point, you could draw the pad wings on and you'll draw a rectangle three centimeters wide by 4.5 centimeters long, as shown on the tutorial video, and then you'll draw a curved line, as Christina demonstrates on the video. Then you'll cut out the area that you don't need at the top right and unfold the paper so you'll end up with your final pad template like this one. This is your pad template. So now you're all set to so your pads, so you'll take your printed fabric and cut out two rectangles that measure 20 centimeters wide by 29 centimeters long. So there's extra fabric to work with here to make your life easier as your sewing these pads. If you are a pro at sewing, you won't need this extra fabric. Christina found it useful, especially to so the rounded ends of the pad, because without the extra fabric, the pad just ended looking ended up looking really scrunched up. Yeah, kind of like this one. You'll take your two pieces of fabric and make sure the sides of the fabric with the design on it are touching each other, so you'll use your pad a template to draw the pad shape onto your printed fabric rectangle . You will hold the rectangle together with some pins and then you'll. So all around your pad wings included, and at this point you can cut off the extra fabric. Make sure to get close to the stitches, but not so close that you'll end up popping a stitch before turning it inside out. After cutting the excess fabric, you could also make a cut diagonally on the corners of the wings without popping the stitches again. And this will help your wings look nice and rectangular when you end up turning them inside out. And once you're done, you cut a small straight opening on the middle of your pad on one side of the pad, and you'll push your fabric through that hole to turn it inside out. So take your time doing this. You don't rip the fabric, and you can use scissors to poke inside the pad to help flatten it out as well to help flatten out the corners. So if you wish, you can iron it out to flatten it, too. So now you're ready to so on the liner so you can cut out two rectangles of the black fabric that measures 15 centimeters by 29 centimeters. So same concept here. You want to start with too much fabric rather than two little. So fold the wings of your pad template and draw the pad liner on the black fabric. You'll be left with two rectangles, which you can pin together and then you'll sew them together. Cut off the excess fabric once you are done making sure not to pop the stitches again, and now you'll have two options. You can cut an opening in the middle of the liner on one side of the liner and turn the fabric inside out. Or just save yourself the trouble and leave it as it is. So this is what it would look like if you did not unfold it, and this is what it would look like if you did fold it. So now I hate to so the liners onto the pad, which is quite simple. So to make sure that the wings hold together, you can eyes either use of Velcro like this one, or buttons or metal snaps like these, so you can invest in a snapper tool if you want and put snaps on the path. They're very hard to sew on. Kristina managed to do it, but it was tough. She used both used both snaps and the leftover Melchor that she had, and the Velcro option she found was much easier. So that is how to make your own pad so it might take some people only 20 minutes to make it pad. But if you are a beginner, chances are it will not be so simple. Christina took her time. Um, do you know to find the best way to so the curves to, you know, the best template the easiest way to do it. But if you have your own sewing machine refund, borrow one, then it's definitely worth it. Your community might even offer sewing classes, or they might rent their machines for you. The scrap exchange in Durham does this, and we really love the scrapping Shane. We love them for doing this for offering these sewing classes. So finally, the care for these pads is the same as for regular pads like Glad rags or Luna pads, for example. So something else, if you end up having excess fabric, you can use the fabric. Christina did this. It's amazing and make cotton grounds for cotton squares, in this case to remove your makeup. So there's some fishes on this one. Fox in this one llamas on this one. So a full circle of life of zero waste life creative idea for you 23. M18: DIY Heat Packs: you don't get menstrual cramps. Applying heat to your belly can be really beneficial. So today we will be making D I. Y heating packs that you can use to relieve your cramps, your muscle tension and stomach aches. Thes air. Really cute ferret ones that we've made. So in the spirit of resourcefulness and being zero, waste, will be using mismatched socks or old socks for this project to give them a second life. I love making these because they're just so simple to make and they make really great gifts to, so you will need your socks. Of course, Make sure that they are cotton socks and not synthetic, or you won't be able to heat them in the microwave. You will need white rice, which you can purchase package free in bulk, like from here at the UN for packed store or in cardboard packaging. Otherwise, you could use dried cherry pits, so grab a pair of scissors, some thread, a big I needle, and if you'd like some calming aromatic herbs like lavender, so all you need to do now is to fill your sock 3/4 of the way up. Make sure to leave some space for the rice to shift around That lays snugly on the areas of your body that you want to soothe and then to close the sock you'll just so it tightly shut . So to use your rice socks, you'll need to microwave the socks in 32nd intervals, not exceeding two minutes total. If you don't have a microwave, you might want to give the toaster oven a tribe. But watch the socks like a hawk and take them out every 45 seconds or so to make sure they're not overheating or, you know, like catching fire or something dangerous. So to use them as cold packs, you can also place the socks in the freezer for about 45 minutes and then tell you cold my socks. So if you wanted to glam up your socks like this one, you could decorate them fryer to filling them with rice so you could find a felt sheet at a secondhand store or some kind of similar fabric. And then you could draw the face of an animal like a ferret, for example, onto the felt with a pencil, and you would then embroider the eyes and the nose with the thread and then cut out the animal space. You would then use glue to stick it on the toe of the stock and let it dry for 30 minutes with a heavy book on top of it. And as a final touch, you would use so markings along the animals back if you wanted to, and then you would fill up the sock and so it shut. So these heating packs are the perfect gift to yourself to help relieve period pain. 24. M19: Period Travel Kit: so it's always handy to keep a little period travel kit with you in your backpack when you're out and about, just in case Mother Nature decides to surprise you with some blood. So in my kit, I like to keep my menstrual pain tincture. It's in here like keep my rice socks in case I get cramps that are really bad. My cup, a cloth pad, My wet bag. If you're wet bag has two compartments. You can also use your wet bag as your travel kit and simply put the soiled pads in the outer compartment. You can also add a pair of period underwear or a tampon in the kit if you wish a cloth tissue in case I'm feeling emotional and let's be real. And if things get accidentally mesh messy, it's also helpful to have an extra piece of cloth. And then I like to treat myself to some chocolate. So if you live by a zero waste store like this awesome un for pacts or waste or in Basel, you can grab another chocolates here and then just put it in. Some bees wax rap or extra aluminum for Lee have a home, and that 25. M20: Thank You: thank you so much for participating in this class on having a low waist earth friendly period. I hope that this has inspired you to test alternatives to disposable sanitary products and even delve into herbal remedies for painful menstruation. I hope you also take time to care for yourself during your period and just throughout your cycle. So if you liked this class, we would love for you to share it with your friends. We also I really value your feedback as we create these courses for you. Please make sure to follow us on social media as well. We are on Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and YouTube. And we want to thank again the UN for packed Basel team for letting us film in their beautiful zero waste store here in Basel, Switzerland, and thank you again to you for watching. And I hope that we see you soon for more classes on nifty skills for self reliance 26. Our Story: Hi, I'm for itself and then routine. And we are the permanent authors from a crafters is an online school that offers courses on environmental topics you wish you had learned about in school growing up, like how to reduce your exposure to toxins in your home, how to care for the environment by reducing your Trash or your waste. And probably most importantly how to cut through the greenwashing BS for MOOC officer was born out of a friendship between myself and we felt we met on a beakers or 9A I2, the plaza in Burma culture that we saw with teaching. And I'm an environmental educator with a background in natural resources management, sustainable development, permaculture and urbanism. And I was teaching this eight week permaculture class there. And we were introducing topics like natural building, worm composting and foraging, and permaculture is an ethical Design System for sustainable human culture. And it was created as a response to Earth's diminishing resources and energy and had never heard of permaculture WHO Divina skew much thoughts to environmental topics. I come from a very different world. I used to work in business management and middle. And when n mess this up, disk key, I need to go out and we had so much in government. It's true the moment Christina step foot in the class, she had this infectious smile and it was just impossible not to get close to her. And she's also this incredibly creative DIY lover. She was constantly coming up with new crafting project. It's really inspiring. Chrysostom, a butcher bless changed, hug you the word. She shared her fat that opened my eyes to environment, that crisis. But noting away that I left me hobbyists, he didn't gorge needs to get out of my comfort zone to find creative solutions to environmental Berlin's until even for positive change. Not for perfection. Whose cell made environmentalist IM Sawyer, people of all backgrounds, as you can see, that's initials promotion for boasted environments are crisis, makes so much slums elicits no going back. And after that class, we decided to combine forces and share our permaculture and crafting skills through online classes that would be available to anyone anywhere in the world. So now we offer courses on growing sprouts and micro greens at home on green cleaning minus the green washing BS on 0 waste living and how to reduce your trash. And following the Zero Waste theme, we also teach about Zero Waste menstruation, stairways, body carrying cosmetics and herbal remedies for common ailments as well. He feels so grey fur further, sponsor first courses on blurring MOOCS, began weights of 11 new ones for you that can fermentation as the Ysom EGL bartending and so much more so thank you so much for being on this adventure with us. We hope that you'll keep enjoying. Our blog posts are classes or online resources and all that good stuff. Do you send these in?