Zero Waste Menstruation
I thought I would just throw it out there in the title so ya'll know what you're getting into while reading this post. I know, periods? vaginas? yuck, right? No! Not yuck at all. I'm all about the #vaginatruth when it comes to female bodies. Women need to talk more about their bodies and what is going on with them to catch illnesses like breast cancer, prolapsed uteruses, the ever growing destruction of our pelvic floors and menstruation options. I'm not sure where society dropped the ball on women but I feel there isn't enough education around our bodies, reproduction and keeping our bodies healthy in our first world nation let alone third world countries education where some men think that women only get their periods after they have sex and beat their daughters for being promiscuous. I could talk about women's health to anyone for hours but that's not what this post is about. This post is to focus on options for a Zero Waste period and potentially give back!
Back in the day there were only two options for women, disposable pads and disposable tampons but now there is a growing movement of women using reusable pads and reusable cups, abolishing preconceived ideas that a period is dirty and should be hidden. I, myself, am a fan of the Diva Cup but there are so many options to consider and honestly I bet if you tried a reusable option for a few of months, because you'll need a few months to get comfortable with it, you will convert. It's kind of like going from a PC to a Mac, at first you can see the benefits but you're not totally sold, it's awkward and a bit hard to navigate but in a few months there you are in an Apple store swiping and shortcutting your way on all their products like a pro (haha I know horrible analogy). Many individuals have already done the research for you so if you want more information on a reusable cup I suggest this post that gives you all the ins and outs of cervix information, flow capacity and pre & post childbirth options. If you feel more comfortable using pads there are tons of online sewing patterns to make your own, or if you're not handy on the sewing machine check out Amazon or Etsy.
As a woman, (or maybe a man decided to read through despite the title! Go you!) you may have read this post and automatically knew that this particular Zero Waste switch isn't for you, which is totally okay. We all have our limits and boundaries and we can all make small changes in different ways to minimize our environmental impact, however, maybe consider looking into this incredible organization, The Cup. The Cup is an organization that has focused their efforts Kenya & India to support and educate women about their menstrual cycle and provide a menstrual cup for them to use (which can be reused for TEN years). This program has had a positive snowball effect of increasing self esteem, concentration in school, staying in school, positive sexual education and much more. I can't say it enough, we are so lucky to live in Canada, and although there is still a need for more education surrounding women's health we are incredibly lucky that having our periods does not hinder our education or jeopardize our safety.