We may be crying of cramps but let’s not make our planet cry of plastic.
No one’s quiet a fan of (or even slightly friends with) Periods, right? Yeah they may be so very important for the body, and health and but let’s get it straight, they hurt REAL BAD, they make us uncomfortable, hormones are all over the place, so is blood and the mood (oh, boy), it’s like swinging at 100km per hour and we are pretty much crying all the freaking time. Relatable right?
Now as much as I understand the pain and the struggle (I, a person currently on the 2nd day of her periods), I would like to break it to you that that in fact isn’t the worst part about menstruation. YES, what we as menstruators go through isn’t the worst part, instead what the planet suffers is. (which is a lot!)
From what the products are made of to how they are disposed, and every step in between, all have far FAR! greater impact than one can wonder. The products widely used for menstrual hygiene and during periods – pads and tampons very highly pitch in in the plastic problem the planet is fighting and are huge contributors of waste. The disposable pads demand centuries, 5 to 8 precisely, to decompose. Studies say pads are 90% plastic and incorporate it in many ways – the upper layer, the wings, the adhesive that helps the pad stick to the underwear and more. Further they are packaged in plastics and disposed of in them too. They flood the already plastic-filled landfills, only and only worsening their conditions. But that’s only one case. So many times, following irresponsible disposal, millions of pads land open and in poor conditions in sewers, on land and water bodies, polluting and causing high threats to humans as well as environmental hygiene. And considering the amount of these pads/tampons even a single menstruator uses in his/her/their life, the total amount of waste generated is eye pooping-ridiculously high and hazardous. While this is just an excerpt of the entire humongous issue, I hope it awakens you to the truth and aware you of what you consciously-unconsciously, out of ignorance, simply lack of attention or knowledge may be contributing to.
What’s done is (unfortunately) done, but what lies ahead, this today and in tomorrows to come, is in your hands and that’s the only way to slow down and ultimately stop the destruction.
You can add years of life to the planet simply by making right changes and choices in ‘those days of the month’.
In recent years, conversations on this concern have gained momentum, and have brought terms like ‘Sustainable Menstruation’ and ‘Zero Waste Period’ to the vocabulary. To give you a brief, Sustainable Menstruation, as the name gives away, is using menstrual tools that are conscious and friendly with the environment. It suggests being responsible in choosing the types of products you use when it comes to menstruation. Not only is it sustainable menstruation for the sake of the environment but also for humans. It also backs the basic human rights for manual scavengers.
Now, as complex and huge as this very issue sounds (it is though), the solution is rather simple. In fact, it’s VERY simple. It’s just a matter of choices. Merely choosing some products and materials of the others.
Each of us may be causing huge harm single handedly, but then that also means each of us has the ability to make an equal amount of good difference too.
Today, just like for every other thing, many brands have introduced green/sustainable/eco-friendly/low-waste alternatives for these single use menstruation hygiene products. YES! There are dozens of alternatives! And we, like always (you guessed it right!) have brought you a roundup of them!
PADS AND TAMPONS
Before moving on to suggesting a whole new product, here are alternatives for you if you aren’t very comfortable just yet to bid bye to the traditional products. (No, we get it, no shame in taking small steps!)
Pads and tampons aren’t bad in themselves, it is when their materials are played with and are coupled with plastic when issues rise. Way out? Looking for different materials. Market offers a great deal of pads that are reusable and pads and tampons that are eco-friendly.
Eco-friendly pads and tampons are biodegradable pads and tampons made out of organic materials like – sugarcane, cotton, bamboo or banana fibre and more instead of plastic. These may not very much reduce the amount of waste but do good when it comes to the quality of waste.
Handpicked by hued: Tampons – Carmesi
Why We Love: 100% Organic Cotton, Natural and Biodegradable – Absorbent Care, Absorbent Cover, String
Handpicked by hued: Pad – The Women’s Company
Why We Love: Organic Cotton, Biodegradable, Eco-Friendly Packaging
- Reusable pads are usually ones made to be used and washed and used and washed (so on), and are ideally made of organic fibres. These aren’t single use pads, are to be washed like any other cloth, and can run long, as dependent on the flow. And yes they too manage to stay in place. Although they do have a certain limit of number of washes and will require to be discarded accordingly.
Handpicked by hued: Reusable Period Pad – Dame
Why We Love: Sustainable, Plastic Free
Handpicked by hued: 6 Pack Reusable Period Pads Heavy Flow – Eco Lily
Why We Love: Sustainable, Chemical Free, Charcoal Infused Bamboo Fibres, Eco-Friendly
Coming to the game changer, menstrual cups are by far the best alternative and now widely used and loved. These are cups made out of silicon that collect the blood flow when inserted, unlike pads or tampons that absorb it. They come in varied sizes and run for rather longer hours, up to 12, again though it depends on the flow. Using a menstrual cup may sound scary at first but these literally are no fuzz and absolutely life changing. The A cup, properly cared for, can last up to 15 years(!!), reducing waste each period to zero. (Insane right?) All they require is to be sterilized and washed clean after every use. That’s literally it. (again, INSANE)
Handpicked by hued: Menstrual Cup – The Honey Pot
Why We Love: Plastic Free, No Latex, No Plastic, Sustainable, Biodegradable, Chemical Free
Handpicked by hued : Menstrual Cup – Be Karmic
Why We Love (the Brand): Sustainable, Zero Waste, Eco Friendly
A newer innovation, period panties are underwear and pads/tampons/cup married together. These are underwear made to perform the functions of the menstrual tools and eliminate their need altogether. Period underwear feel like an everyday one but unlike it have special additional layers to absorb the flow. They can be put on for up to 24 hours (as always depending on the flow), washed and reused roughly for about 25-30 washes. They can last for 2-4 years depending on the wash and care, not a bad deal at all no?
Handpicked by hued : Vegan Bikini – Modi Bodi
Why We Love: Vegan
Handpicked by hued : Absorbent Panty – Bambody
Why We Love: Bamboo Fabric
See how you can go from a plastic filled, horribly hazardous period to a nearly zero waste one in just a matter of choices! It’s really that easy. All these alternatives may feel like a bigger hold in the pocket when compared to the disposable or single use options, but they have longer lifespan and lower harm, making them a pretty good investment – one that’s oh so worth it. Trust me, it’s you and these little changes that can save the planet.