Sustainable menstruation

Menstrual cup & Environment

How Your Choice to Use a Menstrual Cup Positively Impacts the Environment. Outside of wanting to be healthier, supporting a better planet is one of the biggest reasons people choose to use a menstrual cup. With a menstrual cup, you only need one product to manage your period instead of relying on conventional disposable products that can be toxic to our bodies as well as our environment.

It’s no wonder women all over the world are making the switch to a menstrual cup—it’s not only a more convenient way to manage your period, it’s also more convenient for our ecosystems.

How exactly does your choice to use a menstrual cup positively impact the environment?

 

Stop Generating So Much Waste

Any woman who’s gone through box after box of tampons or package after package of pads as her fertile years progress knows the waste having a period can create. I know when I first started using a menstrual cup, I was amazed—this little thing was going to do the work of thousands of pads and tampons?

It’s true. In every woman’s lifetime, she will use over 11,000 pads and tampons.

Unfortunately, since many of these products can’t be recycled, they end up in landfills or in our water supply. When you switch to a menstrual cup, you stop generating so much waste and instead invest just a fraction of the amount you’d spend on pads and tampons on a cup that will last for years.

A menstrual cup can also hold four times more fluid than a regular tampon, making it ideal for both heavy and light periods .

Glyphosate, an herbicide that’s been shown to cause cancer in humans, is also sprayed on cotton that’s been genetically modified . As these plastics break down, they release harmful chemicals into the environment over a long period of time.

When plastics are thrown away, they essentially break into smaller pieces which are called microplastics, when then break down into even smaller pieces called nanoparticles. These tiny pieces of plastic are often confused for food and are eaten by animals, which in turn can cause inflammation, toxicity, and even alter gene expression in these life forms .

With a menstrual cup, there’s no need to purchase, use, and dispose of thousands of conventional pads and tampons over your lifetime. Instead, you can reuse your menstrual cup for up to ten years and keep your impact on the planet minimal. You can calculate your carbon footprint here.

Help Stop Global Warming

Non-biodegradable tampons and pads also impact global warming. Research shows the largest impact on global warming is caused by processing of plastics used in non-biodegradable tampon applicators and in sanitary napkins.

Why does this matter?

Global warming is a serious threat to human health. Our consumption of fossil fuels and global carbon dioxide emissions are increased with the production, use, and disposal of non-biodegradable tampons and pads.
The World Health Organization notes that as a result of global warming, extreme temperatures and floods will continue to impact our environment with the global sea level expected to rise up to 88 cm by the year 2100 .


Are You Ready to Make the Switch?

Nearly every woman is able to use a menstrual cup. With all that’s at stake, why not consider a way to manage your period that positively impacts your health as well as that of the planet?

As for me, I started using a menstrual cup in early 2014 and haven’t looked back. Now, I cringe to think I ever used conventional tampons and pads for my period. I feel so much better knowing that I’m helping my body and my planet be healthier.

It’s your planet too, though. If you haven’t tried a menstrual cup, consider making a positive choice for your health and the environment by switching to a cup to manage your period!

Sources:

  1. https://ecofemme.org/menstruation-much-bleed/       

  2. https://www.ethical.org.au/3.4.2/get-informed/issues/cotton-pesticides/

  3. https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Roundup_Ready_Cotton

  4. https://ecofemme.org/sanitary-waste-in-india/

  5. https://www.unenvironment.org/news-and-stories/story/plastic-planet-how-tiny-plastic-particles-are-polluting-our-soil

  6. https://rctom.hbs.org/submission/the-ecological-impact-of-feminine-hygiene-products/

  7. https://www.who.int/globalchange/news/fsclimandhealth/en/

 

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