Saving The Planet One Pad at a Time

Photo courtesy of Eco Femme

Let’s talk periods. I know, I know, this is still not a topic that is openly talked about. We still feel the need to keep it to ourselves. But us women are all in the same red boat on a monthly basis!

I came across reusable cloth sanitary pads a few years ago when I started investigating ways our family could reduce the amount of chemicals we use, as well as the amount of waste we create. I stumbled across cloth pads during one of my google searches. My initial reaction was “eeeewwww, that’s gross!” But when I started reading more into the concept I realised that actually there are so many benefits and it really isn’t gross at all.

Women will have around 480 periods during their lifetime (according to the NHS). Aunt Flo’s monthly visit means I had personally been spending an average of £5 per month on sanitary products, sometimes more if you include the comfort food needed to get me through! That’s a whopping £2400 during my menstrual lifetime…yikes! Reusable sanitary products contain an initial outlay. I spent just under £38 but these pads will last me up to 5 years depending on how often I use them and how well I care for them. It will also save me around £260 over those 5 years, that’s over £50 per year, including washing costs.

As well as the financial benefits, there is also the comfort element to think of. Oh my goodness, these products are so soft and comfortable! No more sweatiness and irritation. You hardly notice you are wearing them because they are just so soft. They are absorbent without the use of chemicals. Being made from cotton with a PUL backing means you can feel confident you won’t have any leaks. Using cloth pads also reduces the amount of waste you send to landfill. Each disposable pad takes between 500 and 800 years to decompose. That is crazy! The company I buy from also has a scheme called ‘pad for pad’. For every pad I buy, they donate a pad to someone in need, helping to reduce period poverty one pad at a time.

I guess the bit for me that I was most concerned about was the washing element. However, it really isn’t an issue at all. All you do is store your pads in a wet bag or lidded tub. When you are ready to wash them, soak them in cold water for a minimum to help avoid staining. Then pop them in the washing machine with your regular clothes on a 40-60 degree cycle. You can air dry them on a clothes horse or hang them on the washing line. I am not even worried about my family seeing the pads on the clothes horse, because they are just so pretty!

So reusable cloth pads use natural materials meaning no chemicals next to your delicate skin allowing for comfort rather than sweatiness and irritation. The lack of chemicals is also said to help reduce the heaviness and length of your period, as well as cramps. Cloth pads are cost effective saving around £50 per year. They reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill and in turn reduce the amount of chemicals seeping into our watercourse. They are easy to use. They are soft, comfortable and pretty. All in all, I am a convert!!

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