Feminine care is a massive industry. They make billions of dollars by selling disposable products to consumers who need the product they sell. Don’t even get me started on tampon tax.
Last year was the first time I’d ever heard of menstrual cups. To those that haven’t heard, menstrual cups are small, hospital-grade silicon cups that women insert into their vaginas during their periods. They operate under the same idea as a tampon, except instead of cotton soaking up menstruation, menstrual cups collect it and need to be emptied periodically throughout the day.
What struck me about menstrual cups the fact that they’re reusable. As a woman trying to reduce her environmental footprint, one of the huge changes I can is cutting out my use of disposable menstrual products.
The maximum number of hours that a woman can wear a tampon for is eight hours, but they’re usually changed more frequently. That adds up to anywhere between three and six tampons going into the trash everyday of a woman’s period. For women who wear tampons and pads at the same time, the number can double.
In just one menstruation cycle, a single woman can add dozens of disposable pads and tampons to the world’s ever-increasing landfill. Now think about the planet, populated by billions of women who will have a period every month for several decades. The amount of garbage is staggering.
The DivaCup is one of the menstrual cups available in Canada. About six months ago I invested in one for about $40. Compared to the price of tampons and pads, this can seem pricey, but the reality is that a menstrual cup will pay for itself many times over. The DivaCup lasts for 10 years. Imagine 10 years of feminine care trash being removed from landfills for just one woman. Now imagine it for 1000 women, or 10,000…
It’s not all milk and honey though. Menstrual cups are definitely a more “up close and personal” way of getting through your period. It’s fairly reliable against leaks, but if you let it overfill things can get messy. It can also take a few cycles to nail how to insert and remove the cup. After you get the hang of the cup and know how it works with your body it becomes second-nature, and as easy to use as traditional products. The only difference? Zero waste!
As women, we should be able to have an open dialogue about our bodies. I tend to be a private person, but when it comes to singing the praise of menstrual cups, you can hear me from the rooftops. For more information on The DivaCup, check out their website. Change your world.
Note: I have not been paid in any way to endorse The DivaCup