The typical menstruator in India will generate up to 125 kilograms of menstrual waste every year – and that estimate is incredibly lenient. One-use pads, found to have four grocery bags’ worth of plastic, have become a ticking time bomb for both our environment and our bodies.
The pervasive issue of menstrual waste and how to manage it is one that is just emerging in our dialogue about periods and period poverty, but it’s an important topic to discuss. If you’ve already made the switch to environmentally friendly products in other aspects of your life – no more plastic water bottles or only paper bags, for example – it’s time to find out how to use sustainable period products during your time of the month. It’s an easy shift to make, especially when you find out just how much a green period can save you annually.
1. Research and Use Reusable or Biodegradable Options
From organic tampons to period panties, there’s a world of alternatives out there. Of course, reusable cloth pads, panties, or menstrual cups are the best route because they’re often cheaper in the long-run, lead to minimal waste, and are less harmful for your body. The initial buy-in value may seem steep, but this can lead to big savings in the future. If you’re unsure about an insertional method of sanitary protection, a traditional cloth pad is a hygienic and long-lasting sustainable option.
2. Participate in the Red Dot Campaign
When was the last time you segregated your waste? Chances are, even if you normally segment your trash into recyclable and non-recyclable piles, you don’t single out your menstrual waste. Most sanitation workers do this manually, often leading to human error that damages our environment. It also exposes them to microorganisms like E.Coli, salmonella, staphylococcus, and other harmful pathogens. A quick solution to prevent this is the Red Dot campaign. Segregate your own menstrual waste and then mark it with a red dot, it’s as simple as that.
3. Get More Involved
Start a domino effect within your immediate social circle. Menstruators that have a friend who has successfully switched to sustainable period option are more likely to make the swap themselves. Your success story could be another menstruator’s inspiration! Share your journey, post about it on social media, and be more vocal about joining the environmentally friendly period movement.