The fact that the menstrual flow is a social taboo does not eliminate its environmental impact. Every woman on this planet uses an average of 12 500 pads and tampons in her lifetime. While the period is not something we can (and should) remove, there is much we can do to reduce the amount of waste related to our menstrual cycle.
Apart from avoiding flood us in trash, we expose our most intimate and sensitive cocktail of chemicals found in the pads and tampons disposable parts. Some women who suffer or suffered from very painful menstruation or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) swear cured by changing disposable products for ecological alternatives. The theory is that chemicals containing tampons and sanitary towels contribute to this problem. And do not overlook the money you can save by switching to reusable products. Instead of spending that money on sanitary napkins or tampons, you could spend on chocolate!
The most obvious choice if you want to leave disposable hygiene products are the same products but reusable materials. So simple is this alternative. The cloth napkins and tampons are exactly like disposable versions, but made of cotton, bamboo, hemp or a combination of these materials. The cloth napkins are attached to underwear with snaps or buttons and may have a layer of impermeable material to prevent accidents. Tampons are quite simple, if you know a little sewing, could you do it. Saves buffers and / or dirty towels in a container with water and a little vinegar (optional) until the washing want. They should be washed in cold water to remove blood, because hot water will result in stains. If you feel the need to sanitize, wash them first with cold water to remove blood and then with hot water. Dry them in the sun to remove stains or dryer to keep the softness of the fabric. Avoids the use of softeners, as reduced absorbency.
The menstrual cup is a very popular alternative. It is a glass of silicone Cirúrgica funnel inserted into the vagina (as a buffer) to capture menstrual flow. Unlike tampons, menstrual cup does not absorb menstrual blood, but blood is collected into the cup. Its use is a little more complicated than a buffer, since the position is more specific: it is placed near the cervix and hence the long endurance (in theory can leave twice as long as a tampon) is left, then it is necessary to break the vacuum with your finger to remove it, empty it, clean it and place it again. You can rinse with a little hydrogen peroxide after emptied and must be sterilized in boiling water at the end of each cycle. It is an extremely economical option compared to disposable tampons and sanitary napkins, and their environmental impact is minimal: A menstrual cup costs between 10 and 30 dollars and lasts between 1 and 10 years. It is widely recommended for women who use it, but many say it took two or three cycles to learn to use it properly. They recommend practicing before starting the rule (there are many instructional videos on YouTube). More »; different sizes of menstrual cups are sold and it is important to use the right to work without discomfort size.
Whereas a buffer is nothing more than a roll of absorbent material, it should not be very surprising that a sponge can be used instead. In fact, marine sponges have been used for menstrual blood throughout the story (Cleopatra supposedly wore them!). Sponges are raised and harvested sustainably, and last from three to six months on average. The can cut to fit you perfectly and women who have used them say they are much more comfortable than tampons. To use a menstrual sponge, you should dip and squeeze before inserting it into the vagina. It is extracted with fingers, rinsed and put back, or, better hygiene, two sponges are used in rotation to disinfected before reuse. Their extraction can be a bit cumbersome, which discourages some women. Just as the menstrual cup, it is possible that marine sponges help reduce menstrual cramps;. More »
If none of the above options convince you, do not worry. Anyway you can reduce the environmental impact of your rule using eco-friendly products. The ecological Feminine hygiene products are biodegradable and try to avoid plastics and other synthetic or treated with chemicals. They use organic cotton and have not been bleached with chlorine. Although not reusable, at least they have the lighter carbon footprint.