Disclaimer: If you’re not a female, this post probably wouldn’t interested you. You can click HERE to skip to my previous post. 😀
It’s a new year, so I decided that I would try something new: reusable sanitary pads! Or cloth menstrual pads, washable pads, etc. Last summer, I was getting ready to go to Glastonbury and there are several things that most girls and women would worry about when it comes to camping: How am I going to shower? What if I’m on my period?! Are there going to be toilets?! I wasn’t too bothered about showering because I’m used to cold showers with a bucket of water and I’m fine with using wet wipes too. My simple solution for the second question then was a quick visit to the doctor to get some pills. (I don’t recommend doing this regularly. I only did it because I knew my period was due right smack during the festival and I only wanted to delay it for a couple days) So then my final problem, toilets. After reading several suggestions from regular festivalgoers, I decided to buy a Shewee. It’s amazing! I no longer have to worry about dirty toilet seats, or even the lack of a toilet! But the Shewee is not the focus of this post. I may write about it in the future. So how did I end up buying reusable sanitary pads?
After buying the Shewee online, I discovered the menstrual cup. Basically, it’s a reusable cup that collects your menstrual fluids instead of absorbing it like the tampon. I learned that it’s more environmentally friendly than disposable sanitary pads and tampons which are not easily biodegradable. It makes sense, doesn’t it? I’d choose reusable plates over disposables, bring my own bag instead of taking plastic bags when shopping. So why not use something reusable for my monthly period? I briefly considered buying the menstrual cup, but the idea of leaving something inside me for hours scared me a little (same goes for tampons), so I decided to shelf the idea. Until I discovered cloth menstrual pads. Women have been using cloth menstrual pads from as early as 1888. They’re much more environmentally friendly than disposable pads. They are made of natural materials which can be composted whereas disposable pads cannot be composted and they contribute to landfill. The environmental factor is a big plus point for me. Do you have any idea how many disposable pads we use in a lifetime? I use an average of 15 pads each month. That’s 15×12=180 pads a year. If I menstruate for 35 years, that would be 35*180=6300 pads! And that’s only the amount of waste generated by one woman!
I bought my first reusable sanitary pads from Eco Femme in November last year. There are plenty of brands out there such as GladRags, Lunapads, Moonpads, and you can even make your own. But I chose Eco Femme because I support how they’re helping the local community in Tamil Nadu, South India and also because their pads look so lovely! They’re also cheaper than some of the other brands. I ordered a set of 3 day pads and they arrived in a cloth parcel, and everything used for the packaging is recyclable.
(If you don’t already know, the camera on my phone is horrible)
If you’re squirmish or afraid of trying new things, I suggest you buy your washable pads in advance. Because it took me two months to finally decide to use them. I wasn’t sure how absorbent they were, so I decided to stick to disposable pads on my days with heavy flow but I used the reusable pads on the rest of the days. Turns out I had nothing to worry about, because they were very absorbent. There was no bad odour either. I didn’t have to worry about rashes because they were made of 100% cotton. Fastened with snap buttons, they don’t make that awful ripping noise when you remove them either. Don’t you hate the sound that disposable pads make when you’re ripping them off your knickers?!
They’re also easy to clean. I soak them in cold water overnight and wash them with some soap in the shower the next day. The stains come off very quickly and there’s no need for stain removers or excessive scrubbing. This month, with the use of washable pads, I’ve reduced my use of disposable pads from 15 to only 4. I think I might buy some of Eco Femme’s night pads and completely replace the use of disposable pads.
You may be put off by the cost of washable pads, but if you think about how long they can be used for (Eco Femme’s pads can last up to 75 washes), they’re more cost-efficient than disposables. And in the case of Eco Femme, you’re also helping women in rural areas. Good for the environment, good for empowerment and good for your pocket!
Here’s a video to help you understand more: