Does Our Squeamishness Stand in the Way of Living a Green, Frugal Life?

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I was thinking the other day about some of the changes we’ve made the past few months and how happy we are with the reduction in waste we are seeing. I realized that it was squeamishness that was really stopping me from taking the leap to doing what some may consider more extreme changes like family cloth, the Diva Cup and cloth menstrual pads. I’ve written before about the more “gross” side of going green but I don’t think I really stopped to think about my own preconceived notions and why I thought certain things were gross.

The past two months I have been much more up close and personal with my body. I’ve done a lot of reading online about other people who have made similar changes and I’ve been forced to stare my own squeamishness in the face. I think society has conditioned us to view a lot of natural things as gross or unhygienic when that really isn’t the case. For example, unless you have an infection urine is sterile- why are we so grossed out about our own urine?

I’ve also begun to view my cycle differently and not view it as unhygienic but as a really miraculous thing that my body can do. I’m not saying I enjoy cramps- but I have found the odor I once associated with it disappeared after I stopped using disposable products and I have come to appreciate that what my body is doing as pretty incredible. I feel that society in general views female sex organs as “dirty” and it’s a shame. Products like douche that are bad for women are marketed as “necessary” to clean an organ that pretty much cleans itself.

 I feel like we are so disconnected from things because society (and advertisers) encourages us to use disposable products more often than necessary. My parents go through several rolls of paper towels a month on spills that could easily be cleaned up with a dish towel. Why are we so squeamish about things? Do we really need to add to a landfill because some milk or coffee spilled on the counter?

I really don’t have any groundbreaking or mind blowing conclusions to share- I mostly hope this exercise in self-reflection causes you to think about the things that make you squeamish and really evaluate why. Maybe you’ll think about things differently or maybe not. But I think it’s an important thing to think about just the same.


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  1. Anonymous
    July 24, 2013 / 3:53 pm

    I agree! We've been transitioning by making our own cleaning and body products, we have a small garden, and we reuse everything we can. The only hurdles we haven't been able to jump over are things like paper towels, menstrual pads, and toilet paper. We don't have a washer and dryer at home which makes it harder to get rid of stuff that we can just throw away. I think paper towels will be the hardest of anything for me, I have a very strange love for my paper towels!

    But, with that being said, I'm definitely interested in these: theunpapertowel.com/


  2. Nicole
    July 24, 2013 / 4:14 pm

    Thanks, Niffer! You all do a FABULOUS job making your cleaning products πŸ™‚ I keep my family cloth and pads in a hanging wet bag and leave it open so everything drys- no smell at all! I just launder it when I need to wash towels πŸ™‚

  3. Unknown
    July 24, 2013 / 7:13 pm

    Niffer, I have made my own unpaper towels and love using them. Its great for spills and such. I just throw them in whenever I do laundry.