Here’s why EUSA’s ‘environmenstrual’ workshop is important for all women | The Flow
Saving the environment one tampon at a time
EUSA will be holding its very first "environmenstrual" workshop this Friday as part of a #PeriodsWithoutPlastic campaign organised by the Women's Environmental Network. In today's climate, environmental issues are on everyone's lips, with many news outlets and scientists claiming we're moments away from being unable to save our planet. Likewise, with women's health issues such as periods being such a prominent topic, the workshop has come at a perfect time to help everyone who has a period understand what they can do to help the environment.
It comes as no surprise then that we are starting to look at our periods as a starting point for helping the environment on an individual level. In a recent study by UKDN Waterflow, it was revealed that 13 per cent of people surveyed put tampons down the toilet. Not only that, but the Ocean Conservancy Volunteers collected 27,938 tampons and applicators from beaches worldwide on one single day during the International Coastal Cleanup in 2013. If you think about the fact that many period products are made from materials of up to 90 per cent plastic, and they take centuries to decompose, this is certainly a very shocking thought.
The workshop aims to educate people about the environmental impact of our periods, and just how much waste these one-use disposable tampons can cause. It's sure to be a bit of a harrowing revelation, but when we've been so quick to condemn the use of plastic straws, surely we will be able to utilise that common energy and need to protect our planet by switching to more eco-friendly period options.
And there are plenty of options out there. One of the most popular period product in recent years has been the Mooncup, which is a breathable, sterile silicone menstrual cup that is reusable and can last 10 years. They're not the cheapest, compared to a box of Tesco's own brand tampons, I'll admit, but paying on average £20 for one menstrual cup that lasts years earns its price per use back very quickly. There are numerous brands and sizes out there, so you can shop around. If you're still uncertain about the idea, here's what one of our own writers thought of her first Mooncup.
This price difference, however, raises the important issue of period poverty, and whether menstrual cups really are a viable option for the leagues of women who struggle to afford even the cheapest products. Luckily, EUSA's workshop intends to address the issue, and will be enlightening and inspiring for all who attend – because this is one of the ways we can make an impact on environmental damage on an individual level.