Wednesday, January 24, 2007

It's a Keeper


Another reader request!

But first, a caveat: if you are male and a bit squeamish about "female health issues," you may wish to stop reading here. The following text concerns menstruation.

The object pictured is a life changer. It saves you money. It saves trees. It is healthier. And it is WAY more convenient than disposable alternatives (no hunting around for a suitable receptacle).

It's the Keeper.

The Keeper is made from natural gum rubber and has a life expectancy of 10 years. It is a reusable catchment device for menstruating women.

Here are some Keeper fun facts (via http://www.keeper.com/)--and no, I am not getting any remuneration for this "plug":

  • Although most women think pads and tampons have been sterilized, they have not. In fact, no feminine hygiene product has been sterilized. Also, the FDA does not require that the ingredients in tampons and pads be listed anywhere in or on the package.
  • Over 12 BILLION pads and tampons are USED ONCE and disposed of annually, adding to environmental pollution. An average woman throws away 250 to 300 pounds of tampons, pads and applicators in her lifetime. The great majority of these end up in landfills, or as something the sewage treatment plants must deal with. Plastic tampon applicators from sewage outfalls are one of the most common forms of trash on beaches. A March-April 2001 E Magazine article states that, according to the Center for Marine Conservation, over 170,000 tampon applicators were collected along U.S. coastal areas between 1998 and 1999.
  • Plastic tampon applicators may not biodegrade for several hundred years.
  • Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney from New York points out that there has been far more testing on the possible health effects of chlorine-bleached coffee filters than on chlorine-bleached tampons and related products.

It's facts like those that prompted me to change from disposables.

And then there's the price advantage: the Keeper costs $35 + $2 (includes international shipping). Over 10 years, that's 29 cents per month. Compare with other products at $4.00 per month (and that's cheap, right?): $4.00 X 120 months = $480.

While I use the latex Keeper, there are two other highly successful alternatives on the market which are made of silicon (latex-free for those with latex allergies): the Moon cup and the Diva cup.

8 comments:

Stephanie said...

I should look into this, though I appear to be engaged in The Change, so perhaps it is not so relevant....

Elizabeth said...

Have you read Germaine Greer's book on The Change? It's briliant.

ceri said...

yay, thanks elizabeth! i use the diva cup and try to spread the word to everyone about how great of an alternative it is. i'm enjoying your blog, it's making me wish i had a place to apply all this useful knowledge in! come may when i graduate and move to the bay area i'm going to bug you lots about environmentally aware living...

Stephanie said...

Reading The Change might mean I was undergoing The Change. I'm trying to deny this a bit longer....

Elizabeth said...

Thanks, Ceri!

Steph, yes, it does seem rather early...I read the Greer book years ago (not sure why), and found it interesting and reassuring--she treats menopause not as a medical condition to be "cured" but as a healthy rite of passage to be celebrated.

Stephanie said...

My mom had her last period in her thirties...

I'll check out the book.

Elizabeth said...

Much as I like the Keeper, I think I'd go for no more periods...and maybe lose the 30-something facial hair extravaganza?

Stephanie said...

Indeed. :) Those of us who are Greek have always had enough hair to call it body fur. :)