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December 3: Give the Gift of Giving

Are you looking for a gift to give to a loved one that also gives back to the world? Then keep reading!

I’ll start this off by saying I. Love. My. Menstrual. Cup.

If you get grossed out by periods and think you can’t read on, watch this. Then suck it up and read on.fullsizeoutput_5313I got the Lunette Cup a little over a year ago on the recommendation of a close friend and it is now in my top ten favorite items I own! My love for this company and this cup is trifold.

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Photo by Lunette.

1. Menstrual cups will save you money!

This is a great article on how much a woman’s period will cost her over a lifetime. The average woman’s period lasts 3-7 days and have their period from age 13 to 51, which comes to around 456 periods, ~2,280 days, or 6.25 years of her life!

About 70% of women use tampons, which are supposed to be changed 4-8 hours (another reason I love the cup, which can be changed every 12+ hours). Using the numbers above, 1 tampon changed every 6 hours over the course of a lifetime (9,120 tampons) will cost a woman around $1,773.33. I honestly think that this should be WAY higher but this is the number the article got.

About 80% of women use oral contraceptive (birth control) at some point in their life for multiple health related reasons including preventing pregnancy, addressing health issues such as acne or heavy/painful periods, and even making their periods more regular. Even if you are covered by health insurance, you still sometimes have to pay out of pocket (doctor’s appointments to get prescriptions, etc.). If you aren’t covered, it is a lot more (think ~$20 a pack). This same article estimated a cost using $25/mo for the 456 periods, which comes out too about $11,400 total.

So, if you only factor in tampons and birth control, this costs a woman ~ $13,173 over her lifetime for something she can’t even control. The article took a lot more things into account including midol, panty liners, and others and got a whopping cost of $18,171.

My Lunette cup costs $40 and lasts for 10 years.
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Photo by Lunette.

2. Menstrual cups are environmentally friendly!

What is the environmental impact of our periods? If an average woman menstruates 38 years, according to this article a woman produces 250-300 pounds of trash by throwing away products, applicators, and wrappers. Not to mention the 9,120 tampons being flushed down toilets. The article also points out this doesn’t even account for the impact of producing, packaging, and shipping those products.

Aside from the box it came in, menstrual cups produce zero waste over ten years.
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Photo by Lunette.

3. Lunette, in particular, gives back!

Feminine hygiene products burden women around the world from lack of access to being unable to bear the financial burden of purchasing these products over a lifetime.

From The Cup Foundation website,

“In 2015 UNICEF and the World Health Organization estimated that at least five hundred million women lack sufficient resources to manage their periods. With insufficient menstrual solutions, many girls miss a week of school each month or they drop out for good. Too often these girls even engage in transactional sex to make money for pads and tampons.”

Since 2015, The Cup Foundation has given 10,000 girls, ages 11-16 living in Kenya, a Lunette cup. Their mission is:

“to empower underprivileged girls worldwide by providing them with sustainable menstrual cups and comprehensive education on sexuality and reproductive rights.”

These girls are now able to go to school with much higher attendance, without the fear of their bodily functions preventing them from going, and with “essential knowledge that allows them to stay safe, healthy, and empowered.” Please check out all they do here.

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Photo by Lunette.

Femme International is another group with a mission focused on education and distribution – education to break down “the taboos that are holding women and girls back from achieving their full potential”, and distribution of femme kits that “contain everything a woman needs to manage her menstrual cycle in a safe and sustainable way”.

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Photo by: Kirsten Chilstrom; Lunette; Cycles and Sex

Other companies I love that give back!

I am sure I will write each of these their own post in due time but I wanted to give them a quick shout out on this post!

Cotopaxi – Gear for Good

I have been in love with Cotopaxi from the very beginning. Cotopaxi’s products “fund sustainable poverty alleviation, move people to do good, and inspire adventure.” Cotopaxi funds solutions that aim to address extreme global poverty and they “focus our efforts on global poverty alleviation & give targeted grants to advance health, education, and livelihoods initiatives around the world.”

You can take a look at their impact report here and their website here!

TenTree

What Tentree does is simple and yet has a HUGE impact on our planet. For every item purchased they plant 10 trees around the world, with the goal to plant 1 million trees by 2030. Their mission is to protect and regenerate the forests on our planet. All of their projects are made from a blend of sustainable material.

A map of Tentree’s projects around the globe! Map from website.

Trees are the lungs of Earth – they filter out pollutants in the air, thereby purifying it. Not to mention the produce Oxygen as a by-product of photosynthesis! Trees are also good for the soil! They can improve soil quality and filter out pollutants, and restore wildlife habitats where they are planted! How do trees affect water? Deforestation leads to the expansion of deserts since trees can actually keep an area wet by retaining water. Following deforestation, the rainy season can shorten from 8 to 3 months in length and pollutants will fill the air.fullsizeoutput_5293The beanie I bought from tentree paid for the planting of 10 trees in Madagascar!

United By Blue

I have purchased a few shirts from this company and absolutely love them! Okay so United By Blue is awesome. For every product sold, UBB removes 1 pound of trash from Earth’s oceans and waterways. They do this with a totally rad team and the help of some equally rad volunteers that participate in cleanup events scheduled around the country. As of right now, in 27 states and after 207 cleanup events, UBB and others have removed 1,051,079 pounds of trash!

They are committed to this cause because 8 million tons of plastic enter the oceans ANNUALLY and plastic bottles alone make up for 1.5 million tons of that 8 million (USE YOUR REUSABLE WATER BOTTLES PEOPLE!)

Interested in getting involved in all this awesomeness? You can sign up for a cleanup here! You can also submit a suggestion for a cleanup area as well as submit a request for a partnership if you are a large group!

The Adventure Project

This last one is one of my favorites! I got this for my parents one Christmas instead of (or in addition to? I can’t remember) a gift because some years I struggle to know what to get them.

Approximately 4 million people die every year from illnesses related to cooking over an open fire. It is the equivalent of smoking 2 packs a day and this smoke is the biggest killer of women and children in the world.

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From: https://www.theadventureproject.org/coal/

When you purchase a bar of charcoal soap (shaped like coal!), one woman in Kenya gets a stove. The stove greatly reduces the toxic smoke inhaled by the cooker and anyone else nearby and will cook their food faster. It also saves SIX trees a year from being cut down and reduced to fuel! (We already talked about the benefit of trees above).

I am planning on giving this as a gift for a few people this Christmas! Will you?

The owners of any photos that are not mine have been given full credit!

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3 comments on “December 3: Give the Gift of Giving

  1. It’s so important to give back during the holiday season! Loved reading your post and I’m checking out all the companies now 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: 2017 – These are a Few of my Favorite Things – ORDINARY OPTIMIST

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