Menstruation & the Environment
It takes approximately 500 – 800 years for sanitary napkins to decompose in landfills (Down to Earth).
This means that our waste is here LONG after we will be gone. Menstrual products are a necessity for hygiene, health, and dignity. It is critical that menstrual products are both affordable and environmentally sustainable. As the effects of climate change grow and we bear the consequences, it is vulnerable communities who have and will primarily face the most adverse consequences of climate change – this means individuals who menstruate.
It is imperative that the menstruation movement is an environmentally sustainable movement to mitigate climate change and its effects on the most vulnerable. Additionally, there are harmful chemicals in popular “ cheap” menstrual products which are both harmful to the user and the environment.
One personal favorite to significantly reduce chemicals, economic, and environmentally sustainable is the menstrual cup. Although the initial purchase of a menstrual cup can be relatively more expensive than menstrual pads or tampons, it is reusable, biodegradable (varies), and free of toxic chemicals.