Zero Waste Red Week

Experiencing red week without any waste at all

I learned to ignore my fears and try something new. I used a moon cup and experienced red week without any waste at all. I got to understand my body and listen to my cycle. I learned that disposables are not essential, in fact, they’re a little gross.


Try something new

Compromising current norms and suppressing anxiety may be required to try something new. It’s out of the comfort zone, but worth it if you feel motivated about reducing landfill.

I was mortified by the thought of leaving the cotton pony behind. Switching to a reusable product did not sound appealing at all. I had a good thing going on with tampons. The system worked. It was simple, clean and easy. It was socially acceptable. It’s a lovely gesture to give someone a tampon when they’re in need. We have a stash of pads and tampons at work that anyone can freely take. That’s girl power, right?

Given that this system worked perfectly well for me, there was only one motivation for trying something new: Reducing my landfill waste. I pictured all the used tampons and pads sitting at waste disposal centres around the world. I pictured rats and other scavengers mistaking them for food. I pictured someone sorting through that rubbish and casually uncovering one, like it’s no big deal because they see them ALL the time. I no longer wanted to contribute to this picture.


Switch to a moon cup

Moon cups are available at pharmacies, natural alternative stores and online. They take a bit of getting used too. Expect an adjustment period (ha, get it?), as well as a new sense of empowerment and independence.

The Diva Cup. I was terrified and confused when I took this photo.

When I first experienced one whole red week 100% landfill free, it was life changing. Using a moon cup felt like a huge milestone. The moon cup I have is a Diva Cup, but there are plenty of similar brands making these small and mighty solutions to landfill free periods. The only waste was the recyclable box that it came in – and that’s potentially it for one whole year. Mind blowing!

 

Something about this gave me a sense of empowerment. I learnt a lot about myself. Achieving the same level of comfort and ease took a couple of days of practise but once I got to that stage, I was really impressed by this product. Had I experienced leaks, I would also invest in period-proof underwear like SheThinx. This was not necessary. The cup alone is all I need.


How to bleed for one whole week without using disposables

Take a deep breath and try something new. Familiarise yourself with your body and your cycle. Consider using a moon cup and/or period proof underwear. Practice makes perfect.

Next: Go deeper with Zero Waste Sex