When it comes to living sustainably, we talk a lot about eliminating single-use products from many areas of our lives. Like food and shopping. But when it comes to more intimate and equally wasteful areas of our lives, we gloss over the subject. So today, I’m getting serious and talking about something I don’t think gets enough coverage when we discuss moving towards more sustainable lifestyles: Menstrual products!
Globally, over 100 million people have periods and use an average of 22 pads and tampons per month. That’s 264 products in one year and about 11,000 tampons used in a lifetime per person. That’s a lot of products taking up space in our landfills and polluting our earth.
Let’s further unpack the negative effects of these disposable menstrual products.
First, obviously is the wastefulness of single-use products. Tampons and pads get sent to the landfill, where they remain for centuries and centuries, not breaking down. Nothing designed to be used for a short period of time like this should last forever.
Second is the issue of raw material extraction, such as the production of cotton, which is a very water-intensive process. One little bud of cotton requires six pints of water to grow. And most of the products sold to us use non-organic cotton, which has been saturated in pesticides and insecticides. And pads are 90% plastic, coupled with the plastic used for tampon applicators, these products are perpetuating the demand for fossil fuels to be used in the plastic manufacturing process.
Third, most tampons contain chemicals such as dioxin, chlorine, and rayon. And most pads contain environmentally adhesive that’s used to make the pad stick to your underwear. Why is it acceptable for us to use these products in such a sensitive area?!
So, what are the alternatives?
Right now, I have a special treat for y’all with a $25 gift card giveaway to Pink Lemonade Shop, a woman-owned small business that creates my favorite reusable cloth pads! I love to use these coupled with my Eva Cup on heavier days and a pantyliner alone on the lighter days.
Enter below and take a look at her products!
Good luck, y’all!