This is a special year for me. In January 2022, I finished 20 years of menstruation (confused yay)! I started my period journey early on as a child and I’ve been dealing with everything beautiful, crazy, and wild that naturally comes with being a woman and on my period for two decades. As a child, I used to focus (with all my might) on hiding my pain, trying my best not to stain my school uniform, and overcoming the shame that always sort of went hand in hand with the whole menstruation process. But over the years, my worries have organically dispersed. From holding a strong stand against the infamous pink tax, and the outrage of period-bias at workplaces to sheer shame and annoyance knowing that every product I use during my cycle is wrapped mercilessly in plastic or made with non-biodegradable materials.—I just knew I had to do something about it.
So, to celebrate my 20 years of womanhood, I tried to change the one misery that I can control—having an eco-friendly period. Is it possible to go completely period-waste-free, you may ask? Is it expensive to do so? Are earth-friendly menstrual products safe to use and good for our health? Below, I answer your questions and share my personal experience on the subject, including breaking the most common myths around conscious period care.
The Reason I Switched
Sanitary napkins are designed with leakproof polypropylene or polyethylene (both are forms of plastic) and plastic-based adhesives.. They’re wrapped in plastic wrappers and taped up with plastic too. On the other hand, tampons are made of non-biodegradable synthetic fiber and have plastic applicators and wrappers on top of it. The problem with these period care products is that they eventually end up in landfills, and take hundreds of years to decompose. According to the National Geographic report, the average woman uses up 10 to 15 thousand pads, or tampons in her lifetime. Think of all the plastic, non-recyclable waste that I was contributing to the earth Hence, my urge to switch (ASAP).
Earthy-Friendly Alternative To Pick From
Plastic-based, disposable period care products were created as a solution in the 1950s to avoid unhygienic practices like re-using cloth, or soft bark that could cause infections, rashes, and wounds. Over time, with more awareness and technology on the subject, we finally have access to various plastic-free alternatives that one can use that are safe for your body, and the environment. Options include: 1) Organic tampons without applicators and made with biodegradable cotton. 2) Sanitary napkins that are made of bamboo, banana, or other biodegradable fabrics. There are sustainably packed pads in the market too. 3) Period panties that are lined with high-absorbent layers of fabric. It’s known to work really well for women that don’t experience heavy flow. 4) Menstrual cups made with medical-grade silicone.