In research sourced from Stanford Magazine and SAGE, a women will discard approximately 8,000-17,000 menstrual products. That is almost 150kgs of waste in landfill. Being a necessary part of life though, there did not seem to be much of an alternative. There is already such taboo and politics around a woman’s period, that adding in the shame of contributing to landfill does not help the situation.
For those that are conscious of living a more sustainable life, fortunately, there are a lot more options now on the market that do not contribute to landfill. With girls being taught from the beginning that their only options were pads and/or tampons, making the switch may seem a little scary but once you make the change, you will not want to go back. Here are the reasons to make the change to more sustainable options that are not just good for the environment.
From menstrual cups, period panties and reusable pads, it has never been easier to make the switch from disposable pads and tampons. While these products may seem intimidating to use at the start, more often than not, those who make the switch swear by them.
With there not being huge regulation around these products, countless research has been done to find carcinogens and other toxic materials in tampons and pads. Health advocates are stating that unless you are using organic pads or tampons, you could be at risk for hormone disruption, toxic shock and other such conditions from using your regular grocery store pads.
While splurging for reusable products may seem like a stretch at the start, think about how much money you will save over time. With period poverty being a huge issue, being able to reuse your menstrual hygiene products will ensure that in those times where the money is a little tight, you will still have access to feminine hygiene products.
Period panties and reusable pads are pretty straight forward, but it is the menstrual cup that seems to have a lot of women intimidated. Once you have experience with it though, it gets easier and unlike tampons where you cannot have them in for too long, a menstrual cup can stay in overnight and for longer stretches. Just like when a tampon is inserted, when done correctly, you cannot even feel it. Read our blog on How to use a Menstrual Cup. As they are medical-grade silicone, there is a lot less risk of toxic shock syndrome and since you will most likely only have one, you do not run the risk of double insertion which many women do experience when using tampons.
This almost goes without saying, but fewer pads and tampons being disposed of, the less toxic plastic from tampons leaking into the soil and the less landfill means it is better for the environment. Not only less landfill but less transport and less manufacturing as well.
Switching to sustainable feminine hygiene products not only is a win for the environment, but it is a win for you as well. Safer, money-saving and easier to use- it is worth taking a chance and changing up your routine.