Thursday, August 13th, 2020

Your Menstrual Waste Calculator

Published on February 27, 2017 by   ·   115 Comments Pin It
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Bet you didn’t know that a big part of a menstruating woman or teenage girls environmental impact has to do with that time of the month. Try this Menstrual Waste Calculator to calculate the impact of your pad and tampon usage.  About 20 billion pads and tampons end up in North American landfills every year.

The average woman menstruates for 2470 days in her lifetime—7 years straight.

Using disposable pads and tampons has a significant impact on the environment:

  • One menstrual pad contains the same amount of plastic as four plastic bags
  • Plastic tampon applicators take centuries to biodegrade
  • Women create on average 275 lbs of disposable period product waste in a lifetime
  • Over 20 billion pads, tampons and applicators litter end up in North American landfills every year
  • The process of manufacturing disposable period products is resource and chemical intensive
image via the period store

image via the period store

So — what can you do;

  1. Switch to a reusable menstrual cup like Lily Cup, which does the job of thousands of pads and tampons. Lily Cups are upside-down bell-shaped devices made of medical-grade silicone and used to collect period blood. When full, they are emptied, washed, and then reinserted. A Lily Cup is reusable for up to 10 years. A recent survey by Intimina of over 1300 menstrual cup users showed that 79% switched to a cup to help protect the environment.
  2. Switch to reusable pads like LunaPads, which are extremely comfortable and come in endless colors, sizes, and configurations! We have ones we’ve used for 15 years that are still going strong!
  3. Not fully ready to make the commitment? Go halfway for now: Use old rags like cut up tee shirts, old towels, or other soft absorbent materials to tuck into comfy Grannie panties when home, then use organic tampons when you are out at work or life.  Insanely, plants love period blood (which I learned by reading Inga Muscio’s must-read Cunt) – so wring out your old blood and mix pour it into your houseplants, and watch it bloom. Or be less hippy, and rinse and wring the rags in the shower with a little gentle soap or shampoo when your in already.

Needlepoint by OkayMontana on Etsy

Needlepoint by OkayMontana on Etsy

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Readers Comments (115)

  1. Meredith says:

    Menstrual cups are great if you can find one that works for you! I loved the one I used pre-pregnancy but, after trying various ones of the past 10 years looking for the right fit, I have come to the conclusion that I won’t be using one again. I’m sticking with organic cotton disposables for the forseeable future.

  2. Cathy says:

    LOVE that you included menstrual cups in your menstrual waste article!! Way to spread the word!

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