Aaah the Mooncup! The word all my male friends cringe at when I start telling their girlfriends all about it. But seriously ladies, what are you waiting for? The time for the Mooncup is now! As I approach the grand age of 30, I am celebrating 10 years with my Mooncup and I am super proud to have helped the environment, helped my purse and helped my vagina.
2018 and 2019 seem to be the years where the plastic and zero waste movement is becoming more prevalent. It’s always been important to me, but my Instagram and Facebook feeds are now full of plastic free preachers and groups informing others on how to reduce their plastic intake which is great. Despite the cardboard packaging of sanitary products being widely recyclable, the amount of actual tampons, pads and their wrappers that end up in landfill is shocking, and it takes centuries to decompose. On average women use 11,000 tampons in their lifetime and considering 50% of the world’s population menstruates (I know not ALL women use sanitary products) this is A LOT of waste and landfill. Not only is landfill a massive worry, the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm found that the largest impact on global warming was caused by the processing of LDPE (low-density polyethylene, a thermoplastic made from the monomer ethylene) used in tampon applicators as well as in the plastic back-strip of a sanitary napkin requiring high amounts of fossil fuel generated energy. Arghhh, the more you read, the scarier and more worrying it gets!
The cost of a box of tampons I used to buy was £1.89 and occasionally I would also purchase thin liner pads for the end of my cycle. Women are estimated to have 450 periods in their lifetime making this cost me personally around £1,000. A GRAND!!?! Imagine what you could do with £1,000. A Mooncup costs £19.99 which initially sounds expensive but will last you a whopping 10 years. This amounts to a fraction of the price of buying disposable sanitary products every month. Save some cash and have a nice holiday instead!
Did you know that tampon manufacturers don’t actually have to put the ingredients for sanitary products on the box? The chemicals they use are hidden to the female consumer so you don’t know what your vaginal walls are absorbing. If you’re bothered about emptying and rinsing the Mooncup in public, then don’t worry! It only really requires you to empty it in the morning when you wake up and in the evening before bed unless you have a super heavy flow. If you forget in the morning (as I regularly do) then just find a public loo with a sink inside the room too. I mentioned I sometimes forget to empty mine because you really don’t know the Mooncup is there if it has been inserted correctly. There’s no mess, no manky string to avoid peeing on, no smelly nappy-like pad and no leakage. I used to get worked up when my period was due and dread changing and inserting tampons, but now I feel empowered by my period because I feel more in control as I know all about my flow and I’m reassured by my Mooncup. When you know you’re due, it’s easy to slip in your bag in it’s handy canvas bag. It takes some practice working out how to get it in and out comfortably but once you’ve got it, it’ll change your menstrual life forever.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!
As well as the Mooncup, I use a bamboo toothbrush, a reusable bamboo hot drink cup, eat a plant based diet, take reusable bags to the supermarket, avoid buying water in plastic bottles, drink from stainless steel straws, use natural plastic free deodorant, recycle literally everything possible and re-use jam jars and plastic tubs for storing food items. I’m not trying to be super preachy and I’m not trying to be the bestest at being an eco warrior, I just believe we’ve all got to do our best for this planet as we’ve only got one chance here and we want to leave it as natural as possible for the future generations to enjoy. Buying and using a Mooncup is a small change to your life that can make a huge difference to the environment.