I have always been averse to the idea of pads. Around the time when I hit puberty, my mother told me a gruesome anecdote which I’m only half apologetic about sharing. She was walking down the road passing one of those huge garbage disposals when she saw a cow chewing on a used pad (!!!) I am sorry, I really am. That image has stuck in my mind despite not actually seeing it, but I was determined to not let my lack of consideration harm an animal.
I would double wrap my used pads and double knot the plastic bags in which I would dispose of them. Yet it didn’t feel like enough. Moreover, I was always reading about how much damage non-biodegradable, disposable sanitary pads cause. I discovered that I alone have used over 5,000 pads and 1,500 panty liners and that is a lot of toxic crap to give put out into the world. If you’re curious, you can read about the impact of menstrual waste here. Knowledge is bliss, albeit a bliss that makes action imminent. I have always been on the look-out for the perfect, comfortable, green period product and along the way, I have found a few options that work well. If you’re looking for an alternative, I recently tried and not only is it biodegradable, it feels like my vagina is on a pillow, try Carmesi. And mind you, I’m still on the pad-wagon, so menstrual cups aren’t my cup of tea yet.
There are 121 million women in India using disposable sanitary napkins. However, with a lack of knowledge of how to dispose of them, most women just throw them in the garbage bin, letting them get mixed up with dry, wet and hazardous waste. Not only is this plastic harmful to the environment but the exposed sanitary napkin poses grave health risks for the waste collector.
If the deteriorating plight of the environment, or the health of various humans and animals isn’t strong enough for you to make the switch – I urge you to find your reason because every small move, I assure you, you can make a difference.