The Alternatives For An Eco-Friendly Period
An average woman is estimated to use around 16,000 or more tampons and pads in her lifetime, which translates to an estimated 7 billion plastic waste in landfills and water bodies each year. The more devastating fact is that these products are going to take 500-800 years to decompose, which is much longer than an average person’s lifespan considering that it is a single-use item.
Most of these sanitary products are also manufactured in ways which result in chemicals, toxins and additives to be present. Exposure to chemicals such as dioxins, regardless of how minute, can occur in the body with a potential cumulative effect. We are lucky enough to have the option of safe, reusable sanitary products which not only do good for your body but the environment too.
- Unbleached/Organic Cotton Varieties
These are great for someone who prefers disposables for its convenience, but at the same time would like to improve their carbon footprint. Unlike the usual pads and tampons, these are compostable as they are usually made plastic-free and fragrance free.
- Reusable Cloth Pads
These cloth pads work exactly the same way as the disposables except they are washable and reusable. They are made of cotton instead of synthetics, which you can be sure that they do not contain harmful chemicals since bleaching and fragrances are not required for these pads.
- Menstrual Cups
Menstrual cups are the most cost effective and sustainable option. They are typically made of medical grade silicone which are flexible for wearing inside the vagina to catch the menstrual fluid during your period. It could be worn for as long as 12 hours, and it just needs to be rinsed out before reusing. The product lifespan of a menstrual cup can last up to 10 years if properly taken care of.
- Period Panties
Period panties are one of the more comfortable options. They look and feel like normal underwear. These underwears are made period-proof, which means wearing it alone is enough during your period. Some may even look at this option to wear with pads, tampons or menstrual cups as a back-up during their heavier flow days.