I think it’s time to talk about the cup. Yep, that’s right – the menstrual cup. The first time I ever publicly announced (aka published) my love of menstrual cups, I heeded a warning: “This is an article that men may want to steer clear of.”
Well really, that was a bull shit disclaimer that I had to include because I dared to discuss menstruation in a magazine for college students. You would have thought I was trying to talk about fellatio in a magazine aimed at kindergartners. I think that all men – especially men like Al Gore – should want to know about menstrual cups, too. Why?
When I first learned about menstrual cups as a freshman in college, “eco-friendly” was barely associated with the concept. Back then, women liked menstrual cups because they were convenient, healthier, cheaper and worked better (i.e. less leakage) than other forms of collecting your monthly “gift”. The fact that they (and other reusable menstrual products) were also better for the environment was not really a consideration.
But today we live in a different world than we did in 2004, and if you aren’t eco-friendly now, you’re an eco-asshole.
So what are some great eco-conscious reasons to switch from pads or tampons to the cup?
1) Menstrual cups are reusable – for up to ten years! I’ve already had my Divacup for over five, and besides some discoloration (I know, I know, TMI) it works just as well as the day I bought it.
2) More than 20 billion pads and tampons are currently clogging up our sewer systems and landfills. Add the packaging these products come in to that, and you’ve got one huge eco-footprint.
3) Then add to that the resources used to make those 20 billion disposable products, and you’ve got an even bigger eco-footprint. Cups like the Keeper that are made out of rubber maintain sustainability by tapping natural latex rubber from trees.
4) All of those chemical additives in pads and tampons (dioxins, bleach, adhesives, surfactants, etc.) that can cause discomfort in your nether regions can also leach into the groundwater while sitting in landfills, creating a whole new level of pollution.
5) You’ve switched from using the 25 plastic bags that the grocery store gives you to those nice canvas bags that cut down your trips from the car to your kitchen by about a fifth, right? Well, switching to a menstrual cup is as easy as bringing your own bags to Wegmans, and packs similar benefits of convenience, too.
But, maybe you’ve listened to that George Carlin routine one too many times, and you don’t really give a crap about doing anything to benefit our environmental situation. Well, that’s okay (see you on the Axiom while we wait for Wall•E to clean up the mess), but there are still plenty of good reasons for people like you to use menstrual cups too. Come back tomorrow and find out why in May Your Cup Never Runneth Over (Part 2)!