Every year in the United States, we spend billions of dollars on sanitary protection products such as tampons and pads for use during menstruation. Billions of dollars spent on tampons and pads means massive amounts of waste in our landfills and in our sewers.
How can you make your period green and save money? By changing how you protect yourself when you’re menstruating. No, I’m not talking about buying cheaper sanitary pads and / or tampons. I’m talking about using alternative methods of sanitary protection during menstruation: Alternatives methods such as reusable menstrual cups or reusable, washable sanitary pads.
Menstrual CupsA woman named Leona Chalmers received the first patent for a menstrual cup during the 1930s; however, there was a patent in 1867 for a similar and quite unusual device. While there are many brands of menstrual cups, the only real difference between them is that the material they are made from may be either rubber or silicon. The shape of menstrual cups allow for a comfortable fit over the cervix where it collects menstrual fluids. Most menstrual cups cost around $25 to $30. While it may seem like a lot of money for a menstrual cup, you’ll save in the long run when you no longer have to purchase your monthly supply of tampons or pads.
Reusable, Washable Sanitary PadsThe concept of reusing and washing homemade sanitary pads for menstruation has been around almost as long as women have, although early settlers in the United States often used nothing for menstruation. Of course, women also used rags or cloths to make pads to absorb menstrual blood long before the commercial manufacture of sanitary pads. If you think you’d like to use reusable menstrual pads, you have a couple of options: You can make your own pads. You can buy premade reusable pads.
One thing to consider when buying or making reusable, washable, menstrual pads is the type of fabric used to make them. Cotton is the usual material used for making menstrual pads, and many manufacturers use only organic, unbleached cotton. Organic cotton is free of pesticides and other chemicals often used to grow and process cotton into usable materials.
If you’re crafty, Many Moons Alternatives provides free instructions for making your own reusable menstrual pads.
When choosing a reusable menstrual protection product, pick the one that feels right for you. Make your period green, and soon you’ll begin seeing more green in your purse. And you can feel good knowing that you’re doing your part to help stop overfilling our landfills and sewer systems.