One thing I realized in my #LessWasteJourney is that things won’t happen overnight. It will be a continuous conscious effort for the first months or even years until it becomes an effortless habit and a lifestyle. I read a Bloomberg and a TED article which discuss how small the impact is of reducing or banning plastic straws. According to the Bloomberg article, the biggest contributors of plastic waste in the ocean are fishing nets and other fishing gears. TED article, on the other hand, points out the huge waste contributed by microfibers.
This is what I have to say, though, – No matter how tiny the effort is, let’s welcome it as a good start for a deeper care for the environment. Honestly, I’m not happy with my consumption of plastics. You know, I’m a take-out and delivery type of person, and, I always forget to tell stores not to put plastic cutleries. Also, some stores pack food in plastic containers and as a consumer, I feel helpless about it. Sometimes, I also forget to tell waiters not to put any straws on my drinks.
Good news, I now use shampoo bars. The sad news is that it makes my hair very dry. It has to be complemented by a hair conditioner which comes in a plastic bottle. But, I’m wondering, diba plastic shampoo bottles are being recycled naman. You know why I think is that? I sometimes see huge trucks loaded with plastic shampoo bottles. Can anyone here enlighten me? Kasi, if they are indeed recycled, I’m thinking of going back na lang to them instead of using shampoo bars wrapped in one-time use plastic packaging and increases my consumption of hair conditioner.
Anyway, not all are bad naman. I am glad to share with you what I consider as a huge victory. I’m finally (and proudly) out of disposable sanitary pads including panty liners. I tried to search the decomposition rate of sanitary napkins but I could not find any information on the Internet. I figure it’s something close to the rate that of disposable diapers which is four-hundred-fifty years!!! When I was young, I saw how my mom washed her own DIY sanitary pads made out of lampin (cotton cloth usually used for babies). Now, I may not be into lampin but I’m using washable bamboo cloth sanitary pads and panty liners.
At first, kahit washable panty liners lang because I’m really not comfortable without one, kahit nasa bahay lang, especially when I was pregnant. You know what I mean, mommies. I was hesitant to use bamboo cloth sanitary pads during my period. I’m scared it might leak. But I tried it still, and, I liked it, so much!
What do I like about Washable Bamboo Cloth Sanitary Pads/Panty Liners?
- Obviously, they are better for the environment.
- They are gentler on our skin including our private/sensitive part. This is why washable baby diapers are also made from organic bamboo cloths. Besides, disposable panty liners contain chemicals that fight odors, eliminate bacteria and prevent leaks (possibly harmful too). For me, you can fight unpleasant odor through proper hygiene. From what I observed, at the end of the day, disposable ones smell worse than bamboo cloth. Also, our private parts have its own mechanism to keep bacteria at bay. That’s true! My OB-GYN told me so.
- Bamboo cloths have tremendous absorption capacity. More absorptive than the disposable ones!
- Bamboo cloths reduce the chance of getting infections and skin rashes.
- They are soft and hypoallergenic.
- I don’t throw money on the garbage every time I dispose of panty liners. They can be used for up to five years or even more with proper care.
Of course, there are but a few disadvantages. One, you have to invest in bamboo cloth sanitary pads/panty liners. Two, you have to wash them carefully and properly not only to preserve their quality but also for hygienic purposes. I find it easy though to wash them every day or every night right in the middle of my bath time. For those which have stains, I soak them in warm water overnight. Use mild detergent soap. Give a final rinse in running water. Don’t bleach. Don’t use fabric softener. Sometimes, I put salt (I saw that hack somewhere). Then air dry. Expose to direct sun, if possible. Don’t iron. And, voila! Ready to use again.
Aside from those two, I can’t think of any more disadvantages. Still, the advantages outweigh them, right?
Where to buy?
I bought mine at Lazada (where else? Hehe.) – from a trusted Lazada seller whose product has nothing but great reviews. The price varies but my first pack cost me P1,000.00 which includes 5 bamboo cotton panty liners, 2 bamboo charcoal sanitary pads for regular flow and 1 bamboo charcoal sanitary pad for heavy flow. As I said, at first, I was not into using bamboo cloth as a sanitary pad but I tried it on my recent menstruation period and it passed with flying colors. The bamboo charcoal (the black one, the white one is called cotton) really impressed me. No leaks! And, it’s not messy nor yucky to look at. I actually thought my menstrual flow was unusually light, I was beginning to worry. But, when I washed the bamboo charcoal sanitary pad, I was surprised at how much it absorbed.
If you like to show how much you care for the environment and want to step up the game, a notch higher than the self-imposed banning of plastic straws, I strongly urge you to try and shift from disposable sanitary pads and panty liners to washable bamboo cloths. If you do or if you already have, please let me know what you think. 🙂