And perhaps it is more relevant today to think about the impact our periods have on the environment than ever before.
An individual goes through approximately 11,000 disposable pads and/or tampons in a lifetime.
Multiply that number by everyone on this planet that gets his or her period and that equals a substantial amount of waste.
While the actual products themselves contribute largely to the problem, we should also take the lifecycle of the products into consideration.
First of all, we have the raw material extraction, which involves the production of cotton (a very water intensive process; cotton is considered the world’s “thirstiest crop,” requiring six pints of water to grow just one little bud) and most use non-organic cotton, which has been saturated in pesticides and insecticides.
Secondly, most pads contain polyethylene plastic (the adhesive that’s used to make the pad stick to your underwear), which is an environmentally harmful pollutant.
Most tampons contain a chemical called dioxin, chlorine and rayon. While the products sit in landfills, these chemicals get soaked up by the earth and are released as pollution into groundwater and air.
We don’t think any of the above substances sound like they should get anywhere near the most sensitive area on our body.
So, if not for your health, perhaps you should consider switching to a more eco-friendly period product for the environment’s sake.
It’s hard to say, if your personal, period-related waste is worth fretting over in the grand scheme of things… But one thing is for sure, switching to an eco-friendly menstrual product means you won’t contribute to overflowing the landfills with period products; in the US alone 12 billion pads and 7 million tampons pollute landfills annually.