This is sort of a touchy subject for some, and I know talking about reusable menstrual products might seem a little....well...gross. Bear with me, though! Switching away from disposables isn't just about cutting back on waste - it's about saving money and taking our femininity back from marketers who just want to sell us disposable products month after month.
Before we get into the how, let's talk a little bit about the why! Women use over one billion disposable pads and tampons every single year, and that's just in Australia alone!
Not only do disposable pads and tampons contribute to landfill waste, they're not so great for our bodies. Most conventional tampons and pads are made from bleached cotton, which is not the ideal thing to have in contact with your lady parts for hours at a time.
Tampons also can dry you out, which isn't just unhealthy - it's uncomfortable!
The best part about reusables? You'll save so much cash! Rather than dropping around $5-$10 per month on pads and tampons, you can invest in a menstrual cup or some cloth pads that will last you for years!
I know, the idea of reusing a menstrual product might seem icky at first, but so much of that is drilled into our heads thanks to clever marketing. Women are supposed to be "fresh," right? Our periods are something to be ashamed of and dealing with it is a hassle.
That just isn't true at all! Once you get the hang of reusables, you'll not only be reducing landfill waste and saving raw materials, you'll get more in tune with your own body.
And really, what's grosser: switching to cloth pads or menstrual cups or thinking about those tons and tons of used menstrual products sitting in the landfill?
If you're used to using tampons, a menstrual cup might be the option for you. Most cups last between five and 10 years, so while they might be a bit of an investment at first, they save you tons of cash in the long run.
Not all cups are created equal, and Reusable Menstrual Products has a great FAQ on choosing the right cup for you.
The thing many women find daunting about a menstrual cup is the size, but this is a little deceptive. Sure, it looks larger than a tampon, but that's a tampon without any liquid absorbed in it. A saturated tampon is actually about the same size as most menstrual cups.
If you're more a pads kind of gal, cloth pads are your reusable alternative. You can find store bought sorts, but if you want to buy handmade there are lots of Etsy sellers like Pleat who make cloth pads in a variety of absorbencies.
Feeling crafty? You can easily make your own cloth pads! Here's a great tutorial on making cloth pads from Crafting a Green World.
So spill it, ladies! Do you use a menstrual cup or cloth pads? Is there another reusable menstrual product out there that I missed? Tell us about it in the comments!
Image via Pleat on Etsy.