Yet another thing to add to the list of why periods suck is the aspect that they are terrible for the environment.
Details are unclear about what’s actually in the products that menstruating individuals stick in or near their bodies every month. However, one thing is clear: our home is dying because of us, and everyone needs to make an effort to fix it.
An article in the HuffPost states, “Most tampons and pads and their packaging contain nonbiodegradable — and potentially toxic — plastic and other synthetic materials like glue and petrochemical additives.”
This prompted me to think about the fact that every tampon I’ve ever used is still intact somewhere.
Not only did I discover the disgusting truth about what happens to tampons, but the article also exposed the fact that the plastic backstrip of a sanitary napkin and plastic tampon applicators are made from “low-density polyethylene and are particularly damaging to the planet.” In essence, they take centuries to disintegrate and need a highly concentrated supply of fossil fuels to make.
In addition to their environmental impacts, the perfumes added to feminine hygiene products can throw off the PH balance down there. This can result in frequent yeast infections, among other really bad things. The moral of the story is to keep scented products away from that highly sensitive area.
There are many alternatives that have been created to help not only the vast majority of menstruating people but also the planet.
Organic tampons made from 100% cotton with no chlorine, dye or pesticides have been more commonly seen on store shelves. These organic tampons have some redeeming qualities that justify their higher cost. According to an article on Elevays, a website dedicated to promoting healthier lifestyles, there are six reasons why organic tampons are the most desirable option. It states organic tampons don’t contain “endocrine-disrupting elements,” they may lower the risk of toxic shock syndrome, they’re biodegradable and more.
I personally have used organic tampons and didn’t notice much of a difference, which I suppose is a good thing, since I hate knowing that I’m constantly bleeding during my time of the month.
Knowing that I have helped save the Earth during the worst time of every month was worth the splurge.
Menstrual cups are another sustainable alternative and, although intimidating, have many reported advantages. The Cleveland Clinic, a self-described “nonprofit multi-specialty academic medical center,” stated on its website that cups provide a more affordable option and contribute less landfill waste, less embarrassing odor and a few other notable pros.
Ultimately, there are an array of alternatives that will make the Earth and everyone’s vaginas happy. The body is a temple, and the Earth is our home. Treat them as such.