Menstrual cup or sponge tampons?
Does tampons make you and the earth ill? How big a carbon footprint is your periode allowed to make?
Evolution seem to have come far way since the good old days where under garments were referred to as «the unmentionables». Too far in certain aspects one might say, but that’s a different discussion. That same unmentionable area is the topic of todays post: menstruation, or rather it`s side effects. Considering the main goal of human kind; to procreate, wouldn’t have succeeded without this cycle origin, it is surprisingly still pretty taboo to speak of even in this day and age.
Each woman will on average wear 11.000 tampons in the course of her life. Due to the aversion against the use of tampons in som cultures, pads are even more frequently used on a global scale. This adds up to tonnes of rubbish every single year. These products are generally made from a mix of cotton, rayon and synthetic fibres, or they are made from wood pulp transformed into soft cotton-like fibres, and the process demands the use of resources and chemicals. It is very likely that these highly questionable chemicals remain in the finished products, which in turn can be absorbed by the body via the many bold vessels in the vagina, particularly with long exposure. As us girls and women know, unfortunately it tend to be many hours. These toxins add to the cumulative load of toxins us and the planet increasingly are exposed to, which I mentioned in «why choose organic?».
These products often are wrapped in plastic individually, then put in plastic packaging, which is not sustainable. In addition to that many tampons come with disposable applicators, which are also made from plastic. When you reflect on it, it really adds up in the end. How big a carbon foot print is my periode allowed to make? We have to use something. So what’s the best way to protect your body and our planet?
Organic reusable cloth pad
If you cannot sew your own you can buy them.
Organic cotton disposables
You can choose organic tampons, pads and panty liners. They are made from organic cotton grown without artificial chemicals, and are biodegradable. The do not contain chlorine but are bleached with hydrogen peroxide.The applicator is made from biodegradable card board, but it can be tricky to get the tampon out. For the environment it´s better to opt for the tampon without the applicator. The product packaging is recycled card board.
A natural and renewable product which has been used for ages. This is new to me, and as it`s harvested from the sea I’m uncertain of how safe it is when it comes to cleanliness. A fun sponge trivia is, that if you break it into small pieces it will get back together with itself and make a new sponge.
You can also choose the menstrual cup. It is made from medial degree silicon and may be used by women with latex allergy. The cup is said to be easy to use one you get the hang of inserting it properly. If you find it challenging to empty the cup while using public rest rooms, you can bring a bottle of water to rinse it out while in the cubicle. Leakage may occur, as with the use of any products. Someone spoke to said that she had gotten a new life after starting to use the cup some years back. This is probably the better choice seen from a a health-, sustainability-, and economical perspective.
(I do not promote the label of the personal hygiene products in the photo. It was the only label available at my local health food shop).