Disposable sanitary towels are a relatively modern product, first produced in 1896, they didn’t really become popular till the 1920’s, which is also when the first commercially available tampons went on sale in the US. Before that women used cloths or rags which they washed and re-used!
On average a woman will use around 17,000 disposable menstrual products in her lifetime!
When we talk about disposable menstrual products we’re talking about, tampons, pads, panty liners and one of the biggest sellers – hygiene wipes. If you start doing a little bit of basic mathmatics, you can see it soon starts to add up.
If we assume that you will probably menstruate for around 35 years of your life:
If you use tampons you will spend around £1500
If you use pads you will spend around £2500
If you use panty liners you will spend around £650
If you use hygiene wipes you will spend around £2800
So if we then assume that you use tampons, plus panty liners (in case of leaks or for light flow days) and you like to feel clean so you use hygiene wipes as well, you could be spending nearly £5000 over your menstruating lifetime! That’s around £150 a year!
And to be honest these figures are quality guesstimates based on figures that are bandied about by the industry. In reality the numbers may well be higher than this.
Now you could argue that its less, after all with the growth in shops that sell everything for a pound or less it isn’t hard to buy cheap mentrual products, but then wouldn’t you be worried about quality? We’ve talked about the concerns around the material content of commercial menstrual product before when we wrote – Is your period making you toxic? – manufacturers are not required to list the materials on the packets. Whether you buy cheap or expensive you have no idea what you are putting in your body.
It has been mentioned that organic, washable pads such as those available at Moon Times are expensive, but it depends on how you look at it really and then putting it into context of the numbers above.
A set of Moon Times organic cloth pads will cost from £25.00 (various set sizes and patterns available) and last you for 20 years or more so you could spend £50-£100 and cover your whole life of bleeding!
A menstrual cup will cost you from £20 (depending on brand) and last for around 10 years so you could spend £60-£80 and cover your whole life of bleeding!
A menstrual sponge will cost you from £6.50 and last for around a year, saving you around £36+ per year compared to tampons!
As for hygiene wipes, we think they are just all round a bad idea. The perfumes and chemicals in them aren’t going to be doing any good to the delicate flora of your yoni. The fluids you secrete are designed to help keep your yoni healthy, to help you enjoy lovemaking and to help your fertility. If you wipe them away you are destroying this natural biome and all its benefits, and possibly causing irritation as well! Normal levels of hygiene, e.g. regular showers or baths are all that is needed. If you really feel uncomfortable and want a little extra cleansing then some simple, organic cloth wipes with water are all you need. A small number of washable cloths will last you for years! You may feel more comfortable if you make the switch to re-usable menstrual products as well anyway!
If you still not convinced then have a think about this. What do you spend in other areas of your life? Do you like cosmetics? Perfumes? A regular night out with the girls? A bottle of wine or two?
For the cost of a couple of nights out your moon time will be sorted for the rest of your life, and the money you save in those years will pay for more nights out! You can’t lose really!
As ever let us know your thoughts via email or over on our Facebook page.
The facts and figures for this blog post were produced based on figures gleaned from the Womens Environmental Network and the prices of some well known menstrual products as checked online on the 26/10/2014.
© 2014 Awen Clement, All Rights Reserved