Wondering what kind of title is this? I am just obsessed with my blog and the color green :p and we are going to talk about some green choices that we can take during the “menses”.
So let me ask you, how often have you given a thought about the environmental impact of your sanitary napkins? no thought at all as we (not everyone but ya most of us) suffer from all the pain and mood swings. The Periods itself is a big problem, forget about the environment. This is how we all think but still, I am going to put forth some issues of sanitary napkins on our environment, our health, and our money.
Considering half the population of the world being female this issue is something that needs to be addressed. If you think you are male and so you have no business here then you have no business on this planet as well.
Let us have a look at this from an individual point of view. One female will use approximately 7 to 10 pads in a month. Multiply this by 12 months the approx pads used would be 120. Now if the average age by which a woman starts to menstruate is considered 12 and menopause happen at the average for most women at 52 years of age then the female will be using these sanitary pads or tampons for 40 years. Let us now multiply 40 by 120 which gives us an estimate of 4,800 pads. So one female uses 4,800 pads in one lifetime. Ya that’s cool, I mean we have enough big planet so why should I care? the thing is the population of the world is 7 billion and its always increasing so out of 7 billion if we consider 50% female out of which 35% in the menstrual age we will be generating a hell lot of sanitary garbage.
This is not the only garbage we produce but this one part of garbage we can definitely reduce.
———-> So what happens to all this sanitary pad’s and tampon’s garbage?
First, you need to understand that menstrual blood being a body fluid is also a bio-medical waste and they are not left in the landfill. So even if you are dumping it in your household bin it will go to landfill. The people working in the dumping yard are the one who will segregate it (imagine those poor people doing all this for money) and send it for incineration. The sanitary pads are basically made out of plastic and polyacrylamide gel. If burned they release lots of toxic chemicals in the atmosphere. Another problem is that not all the people in this country throw the pads or tampons in the waste bins. They throw this in toilet sink, many throw them in the rivers Or they are burned in the backyards of the houses (in rural areas). The rural population being less educated have all types of taboos associated with periods and hence, all the hazardous ways of disposal. The waste management by gram panchayat is also not very efficient so these all waste ends up in natural terrain causing various hazards as it is not bio-degradable. when it mixes in water bodies the marine life is affected and so is the life of the people and animal who eat them.
———-> I use tampons, is there anything I need to worry about?
Tampons or pads both are a problem. the tampons being made fully out of cotton are not as big a disaster to the environment but the applicator ( it is a cylindrical plastic body used to insert the tampon) is. So if you can use a tampon without applicator well and good. Also, manufacturing of tampons and its packing (plastic) requires lots of resources which again is a burden on the natural resource.
———> Oh god so many problems, I wish I had no periods!!
Don’t be disappointed there are solutions to these. You have two options one is reusable cloth pads (with wings) which are available online and the other is a menstrual cup which is also easily available. It is your choice if you don’t want to wash the cloth pad (there is an easy tip to wash it, which I will be talking about soon) you can go for cups (see to it that you are buying 100% SILICON and not plastic cups) which can be drained and washed. If you have a fear of inserting the cups and have lots of doubts about them then I would suggest for time being you can get a cloth pad.
There are two more reasons for switching to greener alternatives.
- The sanitary napkins and tampons are associated with the cause of many of diseases as the chemicals of the pads leaks and enter your vagina which has tiny nerve endings that will absorb these chemicals. Some common diseases are urinary infections, vaginal infections, and skin rashes.
- You save money that you spend on disposable sanitary pads and tampons probably every month or twice, thrice a year. Menstrual cups are a one-time investment which will work for years.
Read more here: – Vaginal pads the silent killers.
I will be doing two more articles on this soon. One will be my review on Cloth pad as I am switching to cloth pads and the other will be with Seema Pardeshi who is working in this field. They are working on grass root level to help women make the switch. It would be so helpful if you let me know your doubts and queries here so that I will make sure to add those points in the future articles. Till then pledge to go green by subscribing to us.