‘Tis the season of giving and Suzanne Lively is giving back in a big way.
Suzanne Lively is the owner of Lively Friends, a 12-month program dedicated to building a community of women that are learning to put happiness first. First came Lively Friends and from that Suzanne created Friendly Divas.
Friendly Divas is a fundraising campaign centered around helping 500 low income women in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) by supplying them with The DivaCup. The goal is to raise $15K by December 31, which is enough money to purchase 500 DivaCups from a local retailer in the HRM area. Once the goal is achieved, the cups will be distributed to 500 women by several organizations in HRM. Friendly Divas currently has enough funds for 120 DivaCups and is excited to see that number grow.
Why start Friendly Divas?
Suzanne recognized that period poverty is a common issue that affects low income women each month when they have to choose between buying food or menstrual care products. Needless to say, food and rent are put higher on the list of priorities.
The Friendly Divas campaign hopes to remove this monthly expense for low income women by providing them with The DivaCup. The average woman spends $85-$225 a year on disposable menstrual care products. Providing women in HRM with The DivaCup will make a significant difference to their monthly expenses. The DivaCup is a $40 annual purchase, which removes the monthly expense of buying disposables.
Suzanne’s hope is that the Friendly Divas campaign will encourage people all across Canada to start the same initiative to help address the issue of period poverty.
For every $30 given to Friendly Divas, one low income woman will have her period taken care of for 12 months. For every dollar and cup that is donated, we get one step closer to removing the harsh reality of period poverty.
Give the gift of period confidence this holiday season to someone in need. Visit the Friendly Divas campaign page to find out how you can make a DivaCup donation to Friendly Divas.
The Diva Team loves talking about periods, so let’s start.
Fact: Half the population experiences a period each month and unfortunately, many do not have access to period care.
Solution: PERIOD: The Menstrual Movement. PERIOD is the largest youth-run NGO in the menstrual health category. PERIOD was founded by Nadya Okamoto, a dynamic young woman with a desire to change the conversation around periods. PERIOD’s mission is to celebrate periods and provide products to those in need.
On November 18th in New York City, PERIOD is hosting the world’s first youth-run activism conference surrounding menstruation: PERIOD Con 2017. Diva International is proud to be supporting the event as the Diamond-Level Sponsor and even more thrilled that our CEO, Carinne Chambers-Saini will be the event’s keynote speaker.
It’s a beautiful thing when two inspiring and driven women come together with the same mission in mind- to provide a better period experience. Both Nadya and Carinne recognize that access to period care is a necessity, not a privilege.
“I am honored to have the opportunity to interact with young leaders who are making positive changes in their own communities. All in all, we’re beyond excited to be at PERIOD Con in just a few weeks,” Carinne Chambers-Saini.
The conference is an opportunity for each PERIOD Chapter Leader to learn how they can further the Menstrual Movement in their own communities. Each Chapter Leader is working towards raising awareness about PERIOD by hosting fundraisers and distributing period products to those in need.
Carinne was encouraged to learn that PERIOD’s high school and university chapters are led by inspiring young activists making positive change in their own neighborhoods. As a thank you to these leaders, Carinne wanted to provide each Chapter Leader with the opportunity to win 1 of 25 PERIOD Con entry tickets. Applicants were asked to fill out an online application and the winners were chosen by Diva. Carinne, along with the Diva Team cannot wait to meet the applicants at PERIOD Con!
“It feels like a dream to work with The DivaCup in this capacity,” says PERIOD Founder and Executive Director, Nadya Okamoto. “I, personally, have used The DivaCup since my second menstrual cycle when I was fourteen years old, and dreamed of partnering with The DivaCup. It’s quite a statement for such a company to so heavily be investing in both the leadership potential in the next generation, and the Menstrual Movement overall.”
PERIOD Con is based around the three pillars of PERIOD’s mission, which are Service, Education and Advocacy. Diva’s mission is to provide solutions for menstruatoras with an emphasis on excellence in menstrual care, environmental care, production and sustainability. The opportunity to align these goals with PERIOD’s mission is a privilege in of itself for Diva.
If hearing about PERIOD has sparked your interest, it’s not too late to get involved. Whether that means telling someone you know about the work they’re doing or applying to start a chapter in your community- anything helps.
Spread the word and let’s continue to talk about periods!
-The Diva Team
1. Good bye high chafing!
As the warm summer months roll around, bare legs plus the heat of the day can result in the inevitable: the dreaded chafing. The solution, deodorant, yes that’s right, deodorant! Simply roll deodorant on your inner thighs in the morning and presto, chafing gone. Try making this all natural DIY deodorant this summer.
2. Dry shampoo it up!
Another summer must have, dry shampoo. This product can be a life saver, no matter the time of year, but with the summer heat and sweat, it’s a must have necessity.
3. Too much sun? Aloe ice cubes to the rescue!
Missed a few spots with your sunscreen and feeling the burn? A great solution is to pour aloe into an ice cube tray, freeze it and use them to soothe your skin.
4. Keep it colorful!
Sun, salt water, and chlorine can seriously damage your hair, especially your hair color. Keep your locks healthy and vibrant with just a spritz of apple cider vinegar prior to sun exposure.
5. Frizz be gone!
Two words, coconut oil! It’s a wondrous solution for so many beauty needs including keeping your frizz under control. Just mix up equal parts coconut and avocado oil together and spritz into the ends of your hair. Another great option is to use coconut oil as a hair mask to add extra moisture before washing it out in the shower.
6. Baby powder sand repellant.
It often feels like you trek the whole beach home in your bathing suit, honestly, where does it all come from?! Leave the sand at the beach with one simple product, baby powder. Sprinkle powder on your feet, legs, and body and you’ll be able to wipe all the sand off immediately.
7. DIY overnight sunburn remedy.
Make this all-natural sunburn remedy with apple cider vinegar and coconut oil to give your skin some much needed TLC. Leave it on overnight and your skin will feel good as new.
8. Beachy Waves.
You gotta love that beach wave summer look. You can sport the look yourself with just a simple headband. Give this trick a try by following just a few effortless steps.
9. Get the “cool” nail look!
Trying to get a cute manicure in this summer heat? Try first storing your polish in the fridge, The cold polish will go on more smoothly. And if you’re in a rush, dunk your freshly painted fingers in some cold water for three minutes to make sure everything is set.
10. Go string free with The DivaCup this summer!
With all these fun beauty hacks out there, how could we not include The DivaCup in the mix! Lose those uncomfortable pads and tampons this summer and embrace a comfortable alternative that you can wear for every summer activity.
Burned through your summer event calendar and have #NoNewPlans? Let’s see if you’ve marked these fun ideas off your list yet.
Weekend Trip to A Neighboring Town
Go explore! You never know what cute little boutiques or walking trails could be just a short drive away.
Because why not!
Summer Camping Trip
I know, so original, but why not do it glamping style and make it a fun girls weekend?!
Guided Tour of Your Own City
You could find chocolate, beer and wine and food tours all close to home.
Theme Park Day
It’s roller coaster and junk food time!
Hot Air Balloon Ride
You’ll get some amazing Instagram-worthy pics.
Relax and just appreciate.
Whatever your choice berry, summer has them all. You might end up eating more there than you take home.
Double feature with all the popcorn you want!
How it all Started
My name is Diandra Kalish. I am the founder of Untabooed. This is my story of how The DivaCup inspired me to fight for access to menstrual products for all.
On April 6th, 2013 I bought a one-way ticket to Quito Ecuador. My dad passed along a travel blog written by a solo female traveler, crediting it for the excellent hiking boot, travel backpack and water purifying straw recommendations. He had assembled these items in the perfect college graduation gift. When I checked out the blog, I noticed another packing essential: The DivaCup.
I had never heard of a menstrual cup, but after some research, I decided it would be wise to get one for my trip. I purchased a cup knowing that I would get to test it at home first. If it didn’t work out, I could pack a separate suitcase full of tampons.
My immediate discovery: I loved it!
Fast Forward to January 2015
In early 2015, I had moved back to the United States and was living in Brooklyn working for an education nonprofit. By this point, I had convinced some of my friends to try out a menstrual cup too. One evening, an article online caught my eye. It described the struggles that many homeless women face each month trying to get access to menstrual products.
I was shocked and enraged by this. As someone who consistently donates food and clothing, I had never thought to donate menstrual products. I started to do research and found that organizations around the world provide menstrual health education and reusable menstrual products to girls and women who can’t afford them. A big issue in many places is that access to products and health education is limited, holding girls and women back from opportunities.
As I did more research over the next few weeks, I started considering that the root of the problem could be the taboo surrounding the topic of periods. I was finding that many shelters don’t ask for the products directly. This means that people do not even think to donate to the need. When shelters do have the products, women typically have to ask a manager for one.
It should be a basic human right to have access to all of the products that you might need in the bathroom. I was also thinking about how convenient The DivaCup has been for me, and how much money I had saved by using it. I started to think more and more about how great a solution like a menstrual cup would be for women who might not have access to anything else.
In May 2015, putting all of my research, curiosity and frustration together, I founded UnTabooed.
The mission of UnTabooed is to break the taboo surrounding menstruation by providing menstrual health education and sustainable menstrual products to those in need.
UnTabooed is unique from other similar organizations in two key ways. First, we work only with reusable menstrual products, specifically cloth pads and menstrual cups. This helps us provide a long-term solution to the problem of access. In doing so, we make sure no one has to worry about menstrual care for an entire year. Second, UnTabooed focuses on education. Our programming consists of a one-hour educational workshop that covers the basics of the menstrual cycle and menstrual hygiene. The workshop also includes an introduction to reusable menstrual products. After the workshop, participants receive products of their choice.
With the help of Diva International and other producers of reusable products, UnTabooed has educated over 600 menstruators, set up seven community and four college partners, and distributed over 1,000 reusable menstrual products for free to menstruators in the Northeast United States. We have also reached over 100 more through events and workshops at colleges and universities. In total, we have helped our workshop participants save over $250,000 and reduce menstrual product waste by 5,000 lbs.
What’s Happening Now
After two years, UnTabooed has been acquired by PERIOD. The Menstrual Movement.
PERIOD is a global youth-run non-profit that strives to provide and celebrate menstrual hygiene through advocacy, education, and service. In the last two years, they have addressed over 78,000 periods through 43 nonprofit partners in 27 states and 14 countries. Additionally, they have 65 campus chapter at universities and high schools around the United States. PERIOD has the passion and youth driven leadership to bring revitalized energy to the menstrual equity movement. PERIOD will enable UnTabooed’s curriculum to grow nationally through their Campus Chapter Network. UnTabooed will help grow PERIOD’s support of sustainability in period product usage.
Where does your sense of adventure take you?
For example, a hike along a new trail, off road to a secluded camp site, or maybe a canoe trip to the Arctic Ocean?! The DivaCup is proud to sponsor 6 North of 60 , an all-female group embarking on a 60-day expedition to the Arctic Ocean. The team will be travelling more than a thousand kilometers through the remote and expansive waters of Canada, leading them to the Arctic Ocean. In support of their journey, The Diva Team has provided them with DivaCups and DivaWash.
The plan is to paddle a previously unconnected canoe route; 1,200 kilometers from the Mackenzie Mountains in Canada’s Northwest Territories to Nunavut’s Coronation Gulf. The route will take the paddlers through the Keele River, Mackenzie River, Great Bear River, Great Bear Lake, Sloan River, Hook River and Coppermine River. Each of these women have experienced first hand the transformative power of the wilderness. They are nature lovers, with their time often spent enjoying the beauty and solitude of the wilderness. It is their hope that this all-female canoe trip can have an inspirational effect for young women and ignite the confidence and perseverance required to be a young explorer today. This expedition aims to show young girls that they too can explore the outdoors, get dirty, and tackle daunting, physical challenges, just as well as boys.
While The DivaCup will be new to some of the team members, a few have experienced all the wonderful benefits this product offers. Curious about how The DivaCup holds up in the wild? Lindsay and Marissa have some insight for you.
Avid Canoeist/Backpacker/Professional Ski Patroller/Graduate of University of Colorado – B.A. Geography
I’ve been going on extended canoe trips for the last eight summers. The summer I bought a DivaCup, my camping experience changed completely. Rather than carrying around a giant bag of tampons and another bag for my waste, I now carry around that tiny purple cloth bag and a bottle of cleaner. Not only does The DivaCup decrease the amount of waste I have to pack out, but it also means I no longer have to put bleached cotton inside my body on a regular basis. These two things I feel healthy and happy about.
Since buying The DivaCup, I’ve never been in that awkward situation of having to ration tampons. You know, that thought when you think it’s time to change it, but you know it has to last another two hours? Not with The DivaCup! I simply make a trip to the bathroom, or behind a tree somewhere if I’m camping, and pour it out. Easy as that!
Long Distance Canoer/ Mountaineer/River Guide/Youth Worker/Graduate of University of Colorado – B.A. International Affairs and Spanish
“I love The DivaCup. I first bought The DivaCup in response to the amount of waste tampons produced. In my time using it, The DivaCup has changed my relationship to my cycle! A person once told me that you have not known the earth until you have bled on it. This is something that I take to heart when using The DivaCup. I often feed my iron-rich cycle to the earth and the plants around me as an offering of respect. I also feel using the menstrual cup has revolutionized how my friends and I talk about our periods, opening a dialogue that feels empowering! The DivaCup is convenient, sustainable and an accessible alternative to pads and tampons! Thanks DivaCup. I recommend you to all humans that menstruate!”
With this canoe trip, these bold women want to bring the beauty of nature to others. Additionally, they hope to spark new adventures for women by raising awareness and funds for the leadership program at the all-girls canoeing camp, Ogichi Daa Kwe. The camp is a wilderness-tripping and community-based summer camp in Minnesota that strives to develop strong, confident, female leaders. Join their journey and mission by donating to their cause today!
If you have already made the switch to The DivaCup, you may have made it for any variety of reasons. Maybe you were excited about the cost-savings or the 12 hours of leak-free protection, or maybe (like many of us) you found disposables bulky and uncomfortable and knew that there had to be a better way. Whatever your reasoning may have been, many of our Divas really start to notice the big environmental changes they are making by ditching the disposables. It is one small change, but it makes a HUGE difference. Here is a list of other changes you can make in your life that help reduce your environmental footprint. Though it may not feel realistic to tackle them all just yet, even doing one or two of them can make a positive change.
1) Buy Vintage and Donate!
When it’s time to pick out some clothes or a cute outfit for an event, why not make the stylish and eco-friendly choice of buying vintage. Buying vintage is definitely the most stylish form of recycling! When you purchase something vintage, you are saving money, reducing the eco-footprint, and resources used up in new clothes production, processing and shipping. You also have a much better chance of finding a one-of-a-kind outfit that can really showcase your personal style. When you are done with clothes, be sure to donate them (or trade or sell them)! Someone will love your old treasures just as much as you did!
2) Go Bagless
So replacing plastic bags has definitely become a thing in various parts of the world where it is encouraged to bring and use reusable bags for purchases (like groceries), but why not take it a step further? Even though many of us may use reusable bags for our groceries, we still often grab the thin plastic produce bags, or perhaps small bags for bulk items, but did you know there are reusable options for all of these? It’s true. There are reusable produce bags made from materials like canvas, muslin, or mesh and you can use reusable containers in lieu of snack bags! Many bulk stores will also allow you to bring your own containers instead of using bags.
3) Replace your commute with a greener option
There are many green options for getting to work or school. If you are a commuter, with a long daily drive to the office, why not try looking into carpooling, the train, or busing? Long drives can be painful, boring, and tiring as well as come at a horrendous cost environmentally and to your wallet with the ever-climbing prices for gas. For many of us buying an electric car, or a hybrid, isn’t realistic. Sharing the ride can be a lot more social and environmental as can forgoing the car completely for some form of public transport. If you live close to work/school, you might enjoy walking, biking or skateboarding to get you there and back.
4) Reduce Chemical Use
When cleaning the house, your clothes, or even yourself, there are many options available naturally or commercially that help reduce the use of harmful chemicals. This is both healthier for you as well as better for the environment. As the cleaners we use wash down the drain and are flushed down the toilets, they can enter our waterways which can affect the quality of drinking water as well as compromise aquatic ecosystems. Other cleansers can contaminate our air quality and contribute to greenhouse gases. For these reasons it is important to read the label and be cognizant of what you are using to clean yourself and your surroundings. There are also many natural options for cleaning, such as vinegar, lemon, baking soda etc. There are a ton of articles online that can give you some tips to get started! Remember, DivaWash is a great option as a body wash and face wash… and guess what? It is 100% plant based!
5) Buy local
Buying local fruits and veggies is a great option for so many reasons! Not only are you supporting local farms, and the local economy but this deliciously green alternative has some amazing environmental benefits. By buying local produce, you are also cutting down on the fuel used in transporting, processing, and packaging the produce. This added to the fact that local product can ripen naturally rather than on a truck, boat, or plane, means that your food will taste better as well.
6) Replace paper products
If you ever break it down and think about how much paper products you might use, it can honestly be a little be daunting, but there are a ton of greener options that can replace these. Paper towels may make life easier sometimes, but a reusable microfiber cloth can replace most of these instances (and they work better), writing notes and shopping lists on a piece of paper can similarly be replaced with keeping them on your phone, or tablet (if you have one), even napkins at the dinner table can be replaced with reusable cloths which will elevate your entertaining and feel much nicer as well. Try reducing your paper use and make sure to recycle or compost (in the case of paper towel and tissue use) what you do use.
7) Ditch the Disposables
Did you know that close to 20 billion sanitary napkins, tampons and applicators are dumped in North American landfills each and every year? If you are already one of our Divas then you know how good it feels to not have to worry about disposing (or purchasing!) pads and tampons by using The DivaCup. If you are still sitting on the fence about making the switch, then this may be the day to remember how much you will be reducing your eco-footprint and how much waste you will be diverting from landfills by switching to a reusable period care option!
“Walking: the most ancient and still the best modern exercise.” – Carrie Latet
Hiking is an amazing past time that so few individuals embrace. It’s almost as if that love we had for traipsing around outside when we were kids is lost in our adult lives. That need to explore nature seems to change in to a need to work, study and just generally adult. Not as much fun, right? Well, as a college student who works, lives on her own and attends full-time courses, my life didn’t involve much nature. But, there was one thing it did involve a lot of: stress. Stress is the biggest struggle in my life, and I think it’s the same for many others. I had tried many ways to handle stress — from yoga and meditation to exercise and diet changes — but the problem was, I could never find the time to do everything in a week. I didn’t have time to take both a yoga and HIIT class and fit in a meditation session as well. I was trying all these different things, and they do work, but they were not becoming a consistent part of my life like I wanted. The solution came to me from my roommate, who is a personal trainer. She recommended that I try hiking! She explained to me that the outdoor exercise from hiking up and down hills is often a better exercise than gym cardio training. This got me doing a bit more research on the concept and I realized just how many benefits to hiking there are! I decided to give it a try and over the last month, I have made it my goal to go for a hike at lease once a week. Here is what I learned:
You will feel happier
Hiking is a great way to deal with stress and to forget about your worries as you focus on what’s around you and the end goal of completing the trail. I found that hiking once a week helped me with my stress and depression as it took me away from daily distractions and technology and allowed me to connect with myself and nature. It’s a combination of meditation and exercise that leaves me happy and at peace.
You will enjoy nature
Being in nature gives us the opportunity to explore, be adventurous and feel free. In our everyday lives, there is so much that is controlled and scheduled. I found that taking the time to appreciate nature and explore it can have amazing benefits on your outlook on life.
You will get exercise
Hiking is an excellent form of exercise as you tromp along the trails, up and down hills and over uneven ground. You burn a high number of calories and build muscle as you go along. After an hour hike I feel limber and refreshed. Another great benefit is the decrease of blood pressure and cholesterol.
You will boost your creativity
Hiking is a great way to boost your creativity. Often halfway through a work day I would get a French vanilla to try and keep myself alert and focused. Instead of doing that I tried going for a quick hike over my lunch hour. The affects were amazing, I could take a break, organize my thoughts, wake myself up and increase my attention span. When I got back from my hike, I found myself more focused and productive than I usually am in the afternoons.
You will find your sense of adventure
One benefit of hiking that I found rather unexpected was a new sense of adventure. I would set a start and end destination for my hike, but I often found myself going further or changing course because I wanted to check something out that looked interesting. Hiking is a great time to just take things as they come and not worry about following an exact plan. Now as I am saying this, I am not telling you to go off into a dense part of the wood or up a forgotten trail without any precautions. I go into a bit more detail below, but make sure you are well prepared and that you use common sense. Hiking, while very beneficial does come with its risks. I almost always go hiking with a buddy and I have my phone with me in case of emergencies.
You will foster relationships
Finally, another great benefit is that you get to meet new people who are out enjoying the same things you are. You already have one common interest, so it’s easy to strike up a conversation. You can meet some great people while hiking and if that’s one of your goals, I would recommend getting involved with a hiking group. I found some great ones online and they were very welcoming and helpful as I started my hiking journey.
It’s a combination of so many different benefits that make hiking so good for your body, mind and soul.
Are you interested in hiking?
Here are a few recommendations I have as a novice hiker:
– Start small. Hiking can be intimidating, so start with a short trail in an area that you are familiar with.
– Prepare for the worst. Depending on how long your hike is and where you are make sure you carry your phone, water, snacks, sunscreen and bug spray. Also, make sure, you are in a good pair of closed toe hiking shoes or boots.
– Pack lightly. You don’t want a huge backpack weighing you down but make sure you have important things: like water, a compass, and anything you made need for your personal comfort or safety. Remote or longer hike will require a different kind of pack than short or close to home hikes.
– Overestimate your trail time. I make sure I have my phone with me (although usually on airplane mode) so that I can keep track of the time.
– Don’t ignore your own backyard. You can find some great trails in the middle of the city, or just on the outskirts. Try walking around your neighborhood, you might be surprised.
– Use the buddy system. I would recommend hiking with a partner, it keeps you safe and is a fun time to socialize.
Mason jars are the best and we crafters and passionate recyclers are always finding new uses for them. Here are a list of ideas:
- Mason Jars make trendy drinking glasses.
- They can be used as vases for fresh cut flowers.
- They can be used for taking snacks to work or school.
- Set the mood by decorating your mason jar and placing a tea light inside.
- Label and use to store your dried goods like: flour, sugar, oats, rice etc.
- Make your own old fashioned candy jars by filling with sweet treats and decorating appropriately.
- Make your own at home spa, by using mason jars to store makeup brushes, sponges, cotton swabs, and even bath products like body scrubs, creams, and Epson salts.
- Use for office or desk organization as they are perfect for storing pens, pencils, rulers, paper clips, etc.
- Entertaining? Mason jars are great for sending home party gifts! Just fill with cookies, treats, or even be a bit silly and make your own bubble blowing solution to send home with your party guests.
- Turn your used mason jars into homemade snow globes! Glue figurines to the inside of the metal cap. Fill the jar with water (don’t forget the sparkles!), seal tightly and soon you will have the kitty cat, puppy, superhero, farm animal, pop culture, or holiday (the options are limitless!) snow globes you’ve been waiting for!
For more creative ideas on what to do with your mason jars be sure to check crafting sites and social networks like Pinterest!