Using less plastic. Period.

I was amused by the timing of this story about the development of a menstruation emoji. It’s part of a movement to help women feel less ashamed of their monthly bleed. Of course the news coincided nicely with my own period. And I’m making my own innovations this cycle: I’m trying out reusable (washable) sanitary towels. It’s part of an ongoing effort to live with less environmental impact.

After I read some shocking statistic (which I can’t now remember 🙂 ) about the amount of plastic generated from a lifetime of using sanitary towels, I reassessed how I deal with my bleeding.

First up I decided to use various more ecological brands of towels, but none of them were as comfy or reliable as my usual, decidedly plasticky brand. And I’m not sure they’re really that much better, or more of a marketing ploy to make users feel better… I also tried using tampons more, but I’m not a big fan (except during āsana practice), even using organic ones without so many chemicals. I also tried a cup, but I’m not yet very practised with it and my shoulder injury makes this pretty uncomfortable to insert and remove. I didn’t want to try explaining that particular muscle strain to my teacher or my physio!

I thought a washable sanitary towel sounded pretty gross, if I’m honest, but it also sounded quite sensible and is after all what woman have always done. A lo-tech solution! And the reality of it hasn’t been nearly as bad as I imagined. In fact the weird truth is that it’s brought a certain intimacy to my monthly cycle. I can’t turn a blind eye to it so easily, I can’t just neatly wrap up my waste and dispose of it. Instead I have to deal with the blood more directly. Because of this I’m faced with the reality of how I am in my body and mind, and this has helped me adjust my activities a little as I consider the expectations I have of myself and whether I really need to push on through pain, decreased energy levels, greater desire for some time to myself and so on.

Hubby is quietly patient of all this girl stuff, whilst gently reminding me that whatever solution I adopt I might not needed it for very long given that I’m now 43! 😦

8 thoughts on “Using less plastic. Period.

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  1. Thanks for your thoughts on this. I too, have periodically (no pun intended!), re-evaluated my menstrual habits with regard to its effects on the environment. I have yet to find a solution that serves me well. I have to admit, I have had the thought, “Well, it only a few more years now (I am also above 40), can’t I just finish out the way I started?”

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    1. But who knows when menopause will begin? I think the investment on cloth towels is still worth it for me, financially speaking, and for the environment it feels right to try something. But we’re all so different in needs and experiences. Shall I make a go with the flow joke..? 😉

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      1. I agree with you wholeheartedly! Actually, as soon as I read your blog, I started investigating cloth pads and think I will give them a try. And, yes, definite make the joke! I think menstruating is still something that is considered taboo by far too many—humor around it may help!

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