Let's talk about the societal and environmental impact of periods.
The average woman has her period from 3-7 days per month, and goes through menstruation cycles from the age of 13 until the age of 51. That adds up to 456 total periods over 38 years.... another way of looking at the number is that most women will be on their period for about 6.25 years of their lives!
The most common period-management products on the market are plastic-riddled pads and tampons in plastic tubes... which quickly add up in landfills and loaded with toxic chemicals that are harmful to women's bodies. That's thousands of bits of plastic and cotton that take hundreds of years to decompose.
Thankfully, there are other options- ones that are better for your body and the earth- like menstrural cups, sponges, absorbent underwear, and reusable cloth pads, like these ones that I was recently given to review by Australia-based company, Ecopads.
If you're just starting to consider switching to an eco-friendly hygiene routine, fabric pads are probably the easiest option to get used to- sort of the gateway into trying other products if you become so inclined.
Ecopads come in three sizes- liners, regular pads, and overnight pads. The textured fabric backing keeps the pads in place, and snaps secure them. A waterproof and absorbent layer inside the pad keep you feeling dry and comfortable, but yet the pads are thin and not bulky!
Mine arrived with a sweet handwritten note and a few bags of tea- which I promptly tossed into a basket along with my collection of homemade rice-filled heating packs (I don't own a microwave so I heat these for a few moments in the oven when I need them).
For my own hygiene routine, I use a menstrual cup with reusable pads as backup, or on nights when I don't feel like sleeping with my cup. I've also begun keeping a pad in a little cotton bag in my bag in case I get caught unaware while I'm out and about.
Honestly, now that I've switched over to natural and reusable products, I can't imagine going back! Cloth pads are FAR more comfortable than their conventional counterparts, and they're easy to wash and care for (just rinse them out and toss them into your normal laundry).
Ecopad's mission isn't only creating eco-friendly period care alternatives- Freeda, Ecopad's vivacious and passionate owner is scaling up her company to increase the impact of the one-for-one model she's implemented: for every Ecopad you purchase, one will be given to a girl without proper access to female hygiene items.
Not only that, but rather than just sending made-in-Australia pads overseas to women in need, Ecopads will be providing employment opportunities from women at Eco Femme in India. Check out Freeda's video below for more details and head over to her crowdfunding campaign to order some pads and help Freeda reach her goals for Ecopad's growth!
Have you tried cloth pads? I'd love to hear about your experience!