Trying to live a sustainable life, I’m looking for things that I can change in my every day life. This post will be about my recent findings and a step closer to my goal.
People seem to have needs for products surrounding them, that they actually don’t really need. According to their standard of living and wealth, a certain “minimum requirement” for every-day-products seem to exist. In the wealthy countries they seem to be a TV, a car, a washing machine, a microwave and a fridge. Whereas it is in other countries maybe just the access to fresh water.
I myself, growing up as a girl and consequently a woman, was thinking that it is absolutely normal to use disposable menstrual pads and tampons during ones period. Although I remember asking myself: what happens with the tampon, when it get’s flushed down the toilet? And what happens with all the pads? Isn’t that a waste?
Well, either pad or tampon, they both end up being rubbish, that hardly can be recycled but are going to end up in landfill or be burned. Not only do they add to the rubbish pile one creates, menstrual pads are very costly over time! I also have had problems with yeast infections and a damp and smelly feeling after a long day wearing disposable pads.
Rather by accident I discovered the solution: cloth menstrual pads and reusable menstrual cups.
I was quite sceptical in the beginning. I thought that the washing part must be quite a hassle, also didn’t I trust the soaking ability of these tiny looking pads. Indeed, they are smaller in size than what I was used to. They were affordable, having in mind that they are made to last about 5 years. The cloth used is mainly cotton or any other natural fabric, like silk or wool. Also the designs were interesting. All in all it was enough to convince me to give it a shot at least.
I got one night pad and two regular pads (all with moisture proof back sides), two foldable and two wing-less panty liners.
Have a look for yourself:
Starting to use the panty liners, I was amazed straight away. Not only do they look great, there is no more itchy, sweaty, rashy feeling and the awkward smell is simply gone! The menstrual pads are incredibly comfortable, kept me absolutely dry (I think even dryer than any plastic pad ever was) and convinced me fully with their soaking ability.
The cleaning part after the use is actually easier than I expected. A rinse with cold water to wash out the blood takes a little bit longer than washing ones hands thoroughly. I can store the moist pads in a pouch until I’m back home and either put them in the washing machine or collect them in a bucket before I wash them all in one go. Easy.
All in all they score in the categories “comfort”, “environmental friendliness”, “health” and “costs” in comparison to paper/plastic disposable pads and panty liners.
The good news: cloth menstrual pads seem to be very popular already in the US, Japan, Scandinavia and Europe!