Men, stop reading. Women, this one is just for you. I’ve talked about the damage plastic is doing to our environment and our health as well as how we can all reduce our plastic use in two of my previous articles. Now I want to talk about how we can reduce our plastic use during that time of the month. Disposable menstrual products are one of the top contributers to landfill never mind the plastic they are wrapped in. Menstrual pads take between 500-800 years to biodegrade. But never fear, there are better solutions!
When we have our periods, all we want is to feel more comfortable. These reusable solutions are actually more comfortable while being better for you and the environment.
Period underwear is all the rage these days. And honestly, I can’t speak more highly of it. No one wants to wear a pad but sometimes there are leaks that need to be caught. Period underwear is super comfortable, and now comes in lots of colours (they only had black when I bought mine). You can get different thicknesses for light or heavy flow. I find the light one handy for everyday use especially if you have had a few children and you know you will be jumping or sneezing that day. The heavier one is advertised as holding 20ml or 2 tampons worth of liquid. And you will no longer have to buy pads that are made of and packed in plastic. I chose to purchase Modibodi underwear because they are an Australian company, but there are several other companies. Thinx is popular but it is an American company.
If you still want the bulk of a pad for overnight purposes, I highly recommend getting cotton reusable ones. I have had mine for years, so I can’t even guess how much money I have saved. I use them overnight with my period underwear just in case. They come in all sorts of patterns and colours. In the morning just pop it in the washing machine and job done. They are more absorbent than disposables, more affordable, do not contain toxic chemicals, last for years, are super comfortable, and are stylish! No more wasting money on pads and throwing plastic in the bin. There are many companies that sell reusable pads. Hannahpads come in lots of different colours and are 100% organic cotton. Ecopads are an Australian company that also support womens’ and girls’ education, empowerment and environmental projects. For every pad bought they send one to a women or girl in need. I spoke to Freda and she will have more in stock on 30 June. Or you can even make your own.
Many women still rely on tampons during their period. Unfortunately there are no rules that companies have to state the ingredients of tampons on the packages so you don’t know what chemicals may be in the product. Cotton growing uses large amounts of pesticides so chances are there are lots of them in your tampon. Each tampon is individually wrapped in plastic as well as coming in a box that all ends up in landfill. There is also the chance of toxic shock syndrome with tampon use. This is a life-threatening bacterial infection that is associated with tampon use. Menstrual cups are the healthier, more environmentally friendly alternative. Before you get squeamish, these are so much better than tampons. You insert it in the morning and just pour out the blood and reinsert it through the day. You don’t have to carry anything around with you. They are easy to use, easy to wash and will save you lots of money as you only need to purchase one and they last for years. I use the Diva Cup, but there are many others on the market. I found the Menstrual Cups Australia Online website that compares and sells all the major brands of cups.
Now you have some solutions to making your period more comfortable, healthier and better for the environment. Win for you and the world!