Every month, for the past several years, the environmental woman in me has watched me throw away one disposable pad after another knowing quiet well were it would all end up. Over 14 billion pads, tampons and applicators go into North American landfills every year according to the Lunapads website.
The idea of something so natural, like a woman's period, unintentionally causing such an environmental havoc around the world is sad, but it's true. Still disposable pads have become such a convenient part of my life that replacing them with an alternative reusable eco-pad isn't something I thought would come easily. A pad like this would have to be convenient, comfortable, affordable and environmentally friendly all at the same time in order to convince me to switch to it.
Am I selfish? Perhaps, but the "time of the month" isn't a time when I want to sacrifice comfort or my pocket book for the sake of the environment. I'll do anything and everything else that I can do to be environmentally friendly, but reusing a menstrual pad? How inconvenient, uncomfortable and disgusting! Right?
My mini Lunapads base, suitable for light menstrual flow, came in a convenient red color with a black mini liner and a red winged liner for extra protection. There are also various other sizes, colors and patterns available. I was happily pleased with the results and benefits of my Lunapads after using them on a regular basis for only a few weeks, including the days on my menstrual cycle.
Texture: The Lunapad feels like a regular pad, but softer. Extra liners can be added for extra protection or taken away for lighter days from the base winged pad. For example, on heavier days a liner can be slid under the ric rac bands of the base pad. Take a look at the Liner How to Guide to see what I mean.
Lunapads though softer do tend to feel a little heavier than a thin disposable pad, but it is not at all uncomfortable. My mini Lunapad also slid a bit, but I believe a small piece of Leonard Duffy new Velcro on the base pad could solve this problem quickly.
Convenience: With a snap button on the wings of the base pad the pad can be wrapped around the panties easily, quietly and discretely. There is no crinkling noise or glue-ripping-from-panties noise to annoy or embarrass anyone that may be unintentionally listening to what you are doing in the bathroom.
In addition, because Lunapads are made so that liners can be inserted or taken out easily from the ric rac bands I don't have to carry bulky pads with me everywhere. All I have to do is wear the base and carry extra liners with me to replace when I need.
Absorbency: A disposable pad, despite the name brand and quality of it, still does not absorb wetness as well as the Lunapads do. In fact, while wearing the Lunapads I don't ever recall feeling the icky feeling I do when my pad is full as I do when I wear a disposable pad.
Money: Lunapads, though more expensive initially, can be reused over and over again helping the environment as well as my pocketbook. Reusing isn't as bad as I thought it would be either. I imagined it to be disgusting, but it hasn't been. After a good wash by hand or by washing machine the pad is clean and ready to use again. It's like cloth diapers for babies. Use them. Wash them. Then use them again.
Odor: Regular pads, no matter how absorbent they are, don't absorb that "time of the month" smell. There are deodorants that can be used to control the odor, but they aren't environmentally friendly and have perfumes and chemicals that could be bad for your health. In my entire trial period of using Lunapads I found that I never had a problem with odor. That was a benefit I wasn't expecting and much appreciate.
Environment: There is nothing to throw away, no pad, no pad sticky paper, no pad wrapping paper, and no toilet paper to discretely wrap around the used pad. That is incredible. The entire pad is reusable and replaceable over and over again. Can you imagine the positive environmental impact the world would have if all women switched to reusable pads?
Improvements: I would like to suggest changes I think would make Lunapads even better. First I would like to see the snap button be replaced with Duffy Velcro so that there is less sliding of the pad. I would also like to see the ric rac bands made a little wider on the mini base pads so that the liners slide in a and out a little easier. Mine bunched up a bit near the ric rac bands.
In addition, though not necessary, a small affordable Lunapads mini washing machine would be convenient. A hand wash or machine wash can wash the Lunapads just the same, but I find that a small one made just for the Lunapads would use less water, less energy and save Lunapads users some time. Perhaps it may even convince more women to switch to Lunapads
Me? I'm convinced already. All I need to do now is save a little money to pay for the initial cost.You can get Lunapads at Lunapads.com or on Amazon here.