This week for this blog, instead of writing about resort tourism, I’ve decided to create a video about the subject. Sometimes I can organize my thoughts better on camera, so I hope you find this video both informative and succinct.
Thank you very much for watching and be sure to leave your comments on this blog post or on the video.
For the first time since I’ve moved back to St. Lucia, I did what I’ve always been meaning to do — get involved. I’ll be honest, it’s been difficult. I don’t live with parents and I support myself 100%. That means since 2015, many details of adulthood have been totally new and 100% my responsibility. Since moving back here, my partner has lost his grandmother as well as his mother. My home has been tainted by the stress of small business ownership as well as grief. Finally, there has been some sign that life has settled down and I leapt at this opportunity to attend a National Trust meeting.
Unconsciously, most of us associate environmental destruction as being the responsibility of the poor. Big statement. But it’s true. When we think of ways to cut back on the ways we (West Indians) damage our environment, our focus is nearly always on “education”. Poverty and a lack of education are commonly linked in our collective consciousness. Therefore, when we link “education” as a solution to a problem, we are inadvertently linking that problem to poverty. While this might be helpful for STI reduction or something of that nature, in the case of climate change, it allows our people and our government to turn a blind eye to other problems that have an environmental impact yet fly under the radar.
As sea levels continue to rise in the Caribbean, our region will require long-term planning (ha) and forethought about how certain areas are affected and what the government will do to mitigate these effects. In Saint Lucia, particularly vulnerable areas include fishing villages like Dennery and Anse La Raye. The “village center” of nearly every district, including the capital city, Castries sits right at sea level. This means in the future, these areas will be disproportionately affected by the rising sea levels.
What the hell is a menstrual cup? According to Wikipedia:
A menstrual cup is type of feminine hygiene product which is usually made of medical grade silicone, shaped like a bell and is flexible. It is worn inside the vagina during menstruation to catch menstrual fluid (blood), and can be worn during the day and overnight. (Plus they last fifteen years!)
Before I tried one of these for the first time I was VERY skeptical. Here were a few of my major concerns:
I have to empty blood out of this… in PUBLIC?
This looks dirty, how will you CLEAN it?
It looks really big and uncomfortable, how can I get it up there?
Well, I have the answers to all these questions and I also have some benefits of using a menstrual cup that I didn’t consider before I owned one.
You can wear the menstrual cup comfortably for 12 hours at a time. So if you put it in at home in the morning you can remove it at home in the evening! No public mess, very hygienic.
Note: Personally, I have an unusually heavy flow on Day 1 so I actually had to wear it for a little bit less time.
You do NOT clean it with soap, which I was concerned about since soap can mess up the pH of your vagina. You clean with boiling water after use. This still might gross some people out, but if you think about it, this makes it a lot safer than using a tampon which might still have bacteria in it. We’ve all come across those really gross pictures of moldy tampons…
It’s SUPER easy to put in. If you think about it, BABIES can come out of vaginas. This is much smaller than a baby, therefore it definitely fits.
Some of the other benefits include:
For the one time cost of $29.00 I saved myself fifteen years of buying tampons ($20 * 12 months * 15 years = $3,600). Which would you choose: spending $3600 or spending $29?
Never awkward to carry around! No more awkward wrapper crinkle in public restrooms, no more wondering if your tampons are going to fall out of your purse. The menstrual cup can be kept in an adorable little bag for storage so you can bring it anywhere, at any time, just in case.
Environmentally friendly. Tampons, pads and all their wrappers produce a LOT of waste. Over fifteen years, the lifespan of a menstrual cup, I can’t imagine how much waste we produce using tampons and pads. This cuts down on waste, making sure we live in a more sustainable way.
NO overnight leakage! I didn’t believe that I could possibly sleep through the night without creating a huge mess. I’ve ruined countless sheets, underwear and pajama pants throughout my life but the menstrual cup seems to have stopped this, even with a heavy flow.
I’m not going to lie to you though… it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.
My first time trying to remove my menstrual cup was similar to the first time I tried to remove my contact lenses. I thought it was “stuck” and proceeded to panic. Thanks to google, I realized that there’s simply a technique to removal and instructions exist for a reason. With the recommended technique, it’s become easier to remove over time. What I’m saying here is that it IS an adjustment.
For me, the benefits far outweighed the cost of that traumatizing “it’s stuck and a part of my body forever” moment. I especially love the fact that I won’t have to deal with another cardboard applicator (only type of tampons available in Saint Lucia that I’ve seen) for the rest of my life. Seriously, who invented those?! I think menstrual cups are an amazing innovation for everyone who menstruates. There’s nothing gory or gross about them. All my concerns disappeared the moment I actually tried it out. I highly recommend this product to anyone interested in handling their menstruation in an environmentally friendly, inexpensive and sanitary way.