Today we’re getting into a taboo topic - feminine hygiene. Ewww gross, periodddds. I know, I know. I felt this way for a long time. In most societies, we’re conditioned to believe that menstrual cycles are something to be embarrassed about or something that should be hidden and not discussed. But nearly half of the Earth’s population has, will have, or has had a menstrual cycle. It’s what brings life to this planet, and it should be celebrated, or at the very least not treated like the plague.
Since I’ve been environmentally conscious, I’ve examined every part of my lifestyle to see how I can be the most eco-friendly. I often encourage people to do a trash audit when they are first starting on their sustainable journey to see what kinds of things that are throwing away frequently. I’m sure most menstruating people would notice a bunch of pad or tampon wrappers in the trash every month.
According to Global Citizen, in a lifetime, a person who menstruates will use somewhere between 5,000 and 15,000 pads and tampons and is expected to throw away roughly 400 pounds of period product packaging. In the US, around 12 billion pads and 7 billion tampons are thrown out every year, and these materials can take 500 to 800 years to decompose in a landfill.
That’s a lot of waste. But that’s not even the most concerning part.
There are at least 6 toxic ingredients commonly used in tampons, including pesticides, chlorine, BPA, and synthetic materials. There’s even a warning label on tampon boxes saying that it could cause Toxic Shock Syndrome, which can lead to DEATH!
Fortunately, there are several products that can help us have a menstrual cycle that’s better for our health and the planet. Rather than using disposable pads, you can switch to cloth pads that you can wash and reuse. Or there are period panties that are also washable and reusable. As a former tampon girl, I have been using a menstrual cup for about 5 years now and would never go back. If you’re not ready to get on the reusable bandwagon, even just switching to disposable products that are made with organic cotton would be way better than the traditional products.
To learn more about this topic, today I’m talking to Kamaria McMillian, a black woman, a fellow Atlanta-native and owner of Moonly Organics, a naturally derived feminine care line dedicated to ending the stigma that often surrounds feminine hygiene. Kamaria educates her followers on the harmful ingredients in traditional feminine care products and encourages us to embrace each phase of our divine femininity.
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