Guwahati: One thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us is that ‘Earth is bleeding’. The wrath of nature that we’re facing, be it with the deadly virus, devastating cyclones, destructing landslides, volcanoes or earthquakes, is terrible.
However, we can do our part by adopting ‘green menstruation’ for the sake of the environment. Several Bollywood celebrities and NGOs are now promoting awareness about menstrual hygiene and its products.
Studies say that there is an increase in consumption of plastic sanitary pads to almost eight times and such pad takes up to 500-800 years to decompose. So, it’s time we start working towards a world where everyone has access to sustainable menstrual hygiene products or ‘green menstruation’.
What is green menstruation?
Green menstruation is the term that is used when women are using biodegradable menstrual hygiene products — green, because they are environment friendly. The products include menstrual cups, organic cotton-based pads, reusable cloth pads and period panties.
Mayuri Bhattacharjee, a Tezpur-based menstrual hygiene educator, spoke with EastMojo regarding the significance of sustainable menstrual hygiene products.
“Speaking about sustainable menstrual products, we all know it includes menstrual cups, organic cotton-based pads, reusable cloth pads, etc. These are environment friendly as well as pocket friendly because instead of 10 sanitary napkins per period we have to buy one menstrual cup or five reusable cotton or cloth pads for almost 12 periods. If I speak particularly about menstrual cups, then these are very comfortable and easy to use,” she said.
“Plus, these products are good for women’s vaginal and reproductive health because their usage decreases the incidence of rashes, vaginal infections and various serious health issues due to the harmful chemicals in plastic pads,” she added.
She also said that regarding these sustainable products there are several myths and concerns in most women. “Since childhood, we’re taught to use sanitary napkins and the concept of green menstruation is kind of new for society. So the adoption of these sustainable products will need time and it’s understandable. Many women are mostly concerned and scared for inserting menstrual cups, so they will need adequate time and awareness for the adoption of such products,” she added.
What can be done?
“Proper menstrual hygiene education is important to raise awareness about these concepts so that it becomes normal among people. Also, for these products, the prices should be more affordable for every woman to use, be it rich or poor. Although several developmental organisations provide free menstrual products to women who cannot afford them, it would be ideal to educate and give a menstrual cup to a girl instead of sanitary pads so that it can have a positive environmental impact in our society”, she added.