We have been using disposable sanitary napkins or pads for so long that looking out for an alternative has never really crossed our minds. But what does cross our mind from time to time is how our planet is dying right in front of our eyes. The air pollution levels are going up in most cities. Animals are getting extinct - the Eastern Cougar was most recently confirmed to be extinct. The lack of water availability in few cities has caused enough reason for fights and protests.
Although there is not much we can do on our own to put an end to problems like air pollution, water scarcity, and poor waste management, every small step that we take counts. We can forge a better, healthier world by tweaking just one habit or two. Like using an eco-friendly alternative to the use and throw sanitary napkins.
The sanitary napkins we know and use every month is made from cotton and synthetic materials. The non-biodegradable items find its way into landfills and sewage systems posing high health and environmental risks. The Indian government is currently trying to ensure that women and girls living in rural areas can also gain access to sanitary napkins. This is a good move, but they also need to ensure that proper waste management measures are in place.
Here are some alternatives to the disposable sanitary napkins that you could try out:
Reusable Sanitary Napkins
Before disposable sanitary napkins became popular, women resorted to using cloth pads that they would have to either throw away or reuse. They are now making a comeback for good, with a complete makeover. The reusable napkins come in all kinds of colours and designs are so comfortable to wear that you would want to wear them even when you are not on your period.
The material absorbs your flow and they are said to become more absorbent the more you wash them. All you need to do is rinse it with cold water after one use and then with some washing powder. After this, they can be sterilised in boiling water.
If you are uncomfortable with the idea of using the same pads repeatedly, even after washing them, you could try using a menstrual cup. Those who have used a tampon before may be more comfortable to use this. One menstrual cup can easily last for years if used properly. You have to simply twist and insert the cup into your vagina. It will collect your flow for up to 12 hours. You can remove the cup easily by pulling its end, empty it, rinse it and then insert it back into the vagina. To read more about them, click here.
Few menstrual cups are made of latex which is a natural material. Those with a latex allergy may not like to use this. They may also be made from a man-made material called silicone which, according to studies, turns back to silica which is a natural compound. Using menstrual cups may not save the planet but it is definitely a better option than sanitary napkin or a tampon.