In 2015, volunteers from the Ocean Conservancy collected over 27,000 tampons and applicators from beaches all around the world in just one day. This huge number makes sense, considering the average woman uses up to 11,000 disposable sanitary products in a lifetime.
The obvious question is: how can we make our periods more green? An important question, when the word "period" is still considered a social taboo in many parts of the world.
The menstrual cup
Growing in popularity over the past few years is the menstrual cup. A cost-effective option, the menstrual cup is now stocked in 50 countries and used by a wide range of women.
Admittedly, spending the initial €30 on a cup can be daunting. But if you keep in mind that the average woman spends €1,300 on tampons in her lifetime and that a menstrual cup should last you ten years, it suddenly makes a lot more sense.
Using a menstrual cup will not only save you money, it will also drastically cut the amount of waste clogging our sewers and beaches — turning your period a whole lot greener.
Reusable cloth pads
For those who can't be tempted by a menstrual cup and prefer sanitary pads, a wasteless period is still possible. Rather than purchasing disposable sanitary pads every month, it's possible to stick to reusable ones since there are a variety of brands on the market.
Reusable sanitary pads function in the exact same way as disposable ones. The only difference: they need a quick wash before using again.
Whilst they definitely require more effort than disposable pads and tampons these reusable sanitary products will save you money in the long run and reduce your waste significantly.
For people who are willing to take the extra step a greener period is possible. Reducing your carbon footprint and helping you save money, these products are a 24-hour chocolate delivery service away from being perfect.