what about products for feminine hygiene?
The topic sustainability is very important for me. Each one of us has some idea what sustainability means to him or her. What can you do to grant our children and children’s children a future on this planet? One might reduce his or her meat consumption or maybe stop eating meat altogether. This is one way of conscious dealing with resources and it saves animal lives. Another one might stop using plastics wherever it is possible. The reduction of garbage in general is a way towards sustainability. Yet, some things we are so used to it is hard to imagine living without those disposable articles and sometimes this use-and-throw things are also meaningful – e.g. a surgeon should not use the same gloves twice – but sometimes one finds him- or herself asking, how did our ancestors do it and are there no other options out there?
I just turned a teenager when I asked myself for instance how women did cope in the medieval times with their monthly period. Today one can buy disposable sanitary pads and tampons at any chemist’s or supermarket. All shapes and variations are available for slight or heavy flow, with or without wings, short, long, thick, thin, with or without scent etc.
From young age on we get used to those disposable products. Just as of late I realised there are other options.
Maybe you remember your parents telling you about washable diapers or if you are a parent yourself you remember using those. Just as with washable diapers for babies there are washable pads for women.
They are eco friendlier and cheaper in the long run, but most important they are “healthier” for you.
Conventional feminine hygiene products often contain chemicals and pesticides critical to your health. Dangerous contents in tampons, panty liners and pads according to the latest WVE report can be those among others:
• chemicals like dioxin and furan residues as side products of the bleaching process with chlorine, those can cause cancer
• pesticide residues if the cotton used is not pure organic
• unidentified chemicals for scent that can cause allergic skin irritations or disrupt the hormonal balance
• glue chemicals like methyldibromoglutaronitrile which is a preservative that Greenpeace warned about already in 2008. It can cause inflammation and allergies
Those substances are dangerous mostly because the skin in the genital area is especially susceptible for substances which are put on or into the body for several hours. Through the blood vessels and lymph vessels the toxins circulate throughout the body and cause damage.
If you decide to use washable pads be sure to use a mild washing agent.
Washable pads are easy to make youself. Sewing designs can be found throughout the internet, e.g. here. This option is not only cheap, but also very creative and individual.
Lunapads for instance is not only a eco friendly brand, it also initiated an aid project for Africa. A share of every sold product goes to the project Pads4Girls which produces washable pads for women in Africa. Girls and women are supplied with these pads and therefore they can go to school or work even when having their period.
As a last point I would like to leave you with two videos that might also help with your period:
Do you already use washable feminine hygiene products? How do you cope with it?
What are your thoughts on washable feminine hygiene products in general?