A womanmay use around 17,000 disposable menstrual products in herlifetime. Sanitarypads and tampons are thefifthmostcommon single-use plasticfound at the bottom ofthe sea.
Some 100 billion single-use menstrual hygiene products are discarded globally every year. 200,000 tonnes a year in Europe alone. That is equivalent to about 17,000 menstrual hygiene products used throughout our fertile lives.
Shouldn't we be able to choose products that make us feel good? Shouldn't they respect the planet and our own bodies?
Although menstruation is still a taboo subject, more and more women are joining in to live their periods in a sustainable and conscious way.
What does it mean to have a sustainable menstruation?
A sustainable menstruation is one where the use of disposable products is reduced to a minimum. These menstrual products are not always gentle on the vulva and vagina and can cause infections; they are also single-use and are highly polluting, as they are not recyclable.
For this, there are more and more alternatives, such as reusable products, the cup, cloth sanitary pads or menstrual panties, which are more respectful of the environment, our bodies and the economy.
Sustainable menstrual products
It is one of the most popular choices for those who have their period. It is a 100% hypoallergenic medical silicone container that respects the vaginal flora, which is inserted into the vagina like a tampon.
It is a natural, non-contaminating material that can be reused for up to 10 years, there are different sizes depending on the flow and it can last up to 12 hours.
Cloth menstrual pads
These are pieces of cloth, preferably cotton, which are used to absorb the flow, like a disposable sanitary towel. The difference is that they can be washed and reused, rather than thrown away.
They look like classic underwear, but are designed to absorb menstrual flow without staining the clothes you're wearing, thanks to the draining, absorbent, breathable and waterproof fabric they're made of. Like cloth pads, you only need to wash them afterwards to use them again. If you take good care of them, they can last for years.
There are also less common options such as menstrual sponges, Freebleeding and Free flow instinct.
By now you will have realised the advantages of sustainable menstrual products - they are convenient, reusable and good for your body. This small change has many benefits for the environment.
It is also beneficial for our economy, as the OCU estimates that the average expenditure on these products is over 50 euros per year for each woman. However, the menstrual cup costs an average of 30 euros and can be used for 10 years.
Finally, it is beneficial for our body, because it uses materials that respect our intimate area, but it also creates a process of self-knowledge about our own body and cycle, it is inevitable that there will be a change of conception about your own menstruation.
Sustainable menstruation is a reconnection with your own body and a reconciliation with menstruation and the environment. Do you dare to practice it?