Butterflies

Use Menstrual Cups

Not just for blue-bloods.

Women and other assorted human beings have periods. In a world inhabited by a few billion women and other assorted menstruaters, we’re getting through trillions of tampons and sanitary pads. Naturally, as self-harming climate dickheads we’ve decided to pack pads and tampons full of plastic and then send then off to landfills, sewageries and seas. According to figures from somebody somewhere, in the UK we spend every single day of our lives flushing 700,000 panty liners, 1.4 million sanitary towels and 2.5 million tampons down the bog. Some of us are even dumb enough to flush plastic applicators, which will almost certainly end up blocking a cuttlefish’s windpipe and making orphans of its children. According to the Earth Watch Institute, about 3% of plastic waste found in Europe’s fresh waterways comes from sanitary items. We’re talking a ton of carbon dioxide to make a ton of plastic to make a ton of plastic waste to make a ton of microplastics clogging up our oceans. It’s stupid.

Happily, women and other menstruaters can save the universe by using menstrual cups or reusable period underwear and pads. Used internally like yer basic tampons, menstrual cups collect rather than absorb menstrual blood (blue in adverts, red in real life) which can then be flushed down the bog without plastic and other cuttlefish-suffocating clag. The cup can be washed and reused instead of binned, massively reducing the 11,000 single-use sanitary products the average menstruater will get through in their lifetime.

That’s one in the eye for carbon dioxide and period poverty. And it’s one in the eye for the patriarchy which has been so squeamish about periods it invented tampon applicators to save women the embarrassment of touching their own twinkles. It hides periodwear in bashful supermarket aisles labelled “feminine hygiene” as if we don’t know what goes on down there. And it apparently stopped leading Suffragette Courtney Cox from saying the word “period” on TV until the 1980s, although that’s hard to verify as typing a celebrity’s name and “periods” into a search engine gets you nothing but very specific fanfic. Having reclaimed our menstrual blood from the patriarchy we can paint with it, use it as a belter of a fertiliser or – no shame in being a normie here – flush it and move on.

Reusable menstrual products are one more way to cut down on carbon emissions, plastic production and ocean microplastics. If we’re eligible, let’s all make the switch. And if we’re not but still want to reduce the amount of stuff we flush down our bogs, we can shit on a rose bush and increase the amount of piss we get on the toilet seat and floor. Solidarity!

Use menstrual cups

 

keep millions of things out of landfill

 

Save the goddamn world

 

Photo credit: The Zero

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