Learnings from a Zero Waste Period

Article by: Kshamta Bishnoi

My transition to living a more sustainable life started a few years ago with a switch in my diet followed by a reduction in buying plastic wrapped goods and finally becoming more intentional in my choices when it came to health and lifestyle products.

One change that I was very hesitant to make was the menstrual cup. I had some very environmentally conscious friends who were already using the diva cup and were very happy with it. While the transition had been on my mind for a while, I was still resisting it subconsciously. Looking back, I realize that I was scared of switching a product that could have undesirable consequences like staining my clothes or causing me more pain while I was already cramping up (I have a negative pain tolerance)!

I had tried tampons before and found them very uncomfortable to use. This only made me more skeptical of a product that had to be inserted. I had been using sanitary napkins for over 15 years and was very comfortable with them but when I found out that it takes each pad anywhere from 600 to 800 years to decompose, I knew I had to make the switch.

I tried the diva cup and it definitely took some getting used to. It took me about 3 months to be able to insert and remove the cup effortlessly. I also had to be more cautious about sterilizing and storing the cup properly. However, after the initial hurdles, I found some great benefits that got me hooked to the product.

For starters, the silicone cup is flexible and thus very comfortable to wear for long durations. It almost makes me forget that I am on my period! Next, I noticed that I was getting done with my period faster! My cycle seems to have gone from 5 days to 3.5 days. Lastly, it led to some great savings as I was no longer investing in single use products! I have also read about some people having less painful cramps with the cup but I have had no such luck yet!

With about 2 years of experience with the cup, I would definitely recommend it to everyone. I have listed some pointers from my experience below and hope that they are helpful for anyone considering the switch.

  • · Menstrual cups come in different shapes and types. Try a few to find the one that suits you best.
  • · Give the cup at least 6 months before judging it. While it takes some initial adjustment (especially removing it in the morning), it is a great product!
  • · Ensure that you sanitize the cup properly every month. It’s easy and effective.

Have a sustainable period!

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