Eco-friendly period: Switch to these sustainable period products
It will be no surprise to you when I say that sanitary pads are plastic and non-biodegradable. But did you know that sanitary pads are difficult to deal with at waste management plants? Hence, the discarded sanitary pads are sure to outlive you.
A pad takes 500–800 years to decompose. And an average urban woman requires anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 period products in her lifetime. This definitely accounts for the urgency of dealing with this waste even better.
Shifting from rags to cotton pads and then to plastic pads, the acceptance has been better. But now that the solution to menstrual flow is here, the solution to environmental woes also needs to be addressed.
It gets difficult to manage menstrual waste once it reached landfills. For an eco-friendly period, switch to sustainable alternatives to conventional pads containing plastic.
Concerns about sanitation in reusable period products
Okay, I understand your concern of reusing what was already soiled before and that too something stained with blood.
But with proper cleaning and regular sanitizing, these reusable products are as safe and hygienic as a new one. Further in this article, along with eco-friendly period products, you will find their sanitization methods as well.
Eco-friendly period alternatives
For your eco-conscious self, when you wonder about how to have “green menstruation,” here are options that you need to switch to.
1. Reusable pads
Reusable sanitary pads have a life, which may vary from brand to brand. Some last for 40 washes, while others might last for 80 washes as well. And to keep them in place, they come with buttons or Velcro tapes. And yes, while traveling, these reusable pads can be kept safe in the wet bag (provided along with the packaging) and can be washed later.
Proper care: Soak the soiled pads in cold water until the pads are blood-free (you can add a pinch of soap or mild detergent also). After this, you can hand or machine wash the pads; again, just a little soap is fine. Don’t go too harsh, like using brushes or using hard detergents.
After washing, sun-dry them, and they are good to be reused.
2. Biodegradable pads
These pads are less eco-friendly as compared to reusable ones. They may not biodegrade immediately and may take months. Now that some can be biodegradable and others can be compostable, this might again vary from product to product. Check proper product tagging to see if they are not lined with even a trace amount of plastic.
3. Menstrual cups
Menstrual cups can hold more blood and can last up to 12 hours. The idea of using them may seem strange at first. But once you get used to it, you will experience more stain- and hassle-free periods. These cups are made from silicone and might last for about 10 years. Watch this detailed video to know how you can use menstrual cups.
Proper care: Rinse the cup and wash it with warm water and mild soap (chemical- or scent-free). Dry it properly before using. Also, remember to sterilise cups in between cycles. To do so, soak the cup in warm, soapy water for 5 minutes (use mild soap only). Rub it, clean it, and dry it
4. Eco-friendly tampons
Organic tampons are made from cotton or other eco-friendly and skin-friendly materials and are biodegradable. Being disposable, it might require less effort for you to clean it.
5. Period Underwear
Period underwear is good while travelling or for early flow. They also have the capacity of two tampons and are comfortable to use. Depending on usage, single underwear can last for 2 to 3 years.
Proper care: Just like reusable pads, period underwear needs to be soaked in cold soapy water and let it dry in sunlight.
While green menstruation is important, it’s important that you look out for the most comfortable product as well. There are brands in India dedicated to making your period hygienic and eco-friendly as well. You can rely on them for a variety of eco-friendly period products. Use and rely on what suits you the best.
Have a safe and eco-friendly period.
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