It’s official, I’m almost certainly now a fully fledged hippy! I thought I had reached hippy heights when I admitted that most of the time I go razor free and embrace my hairy habits, but this time I’ve taken a step further. I have invested, and been transformed by, a mooncup!
But is a menstrual cup really just for lentil eating, sandal wearing hippies? Or is it actually the way forward for every women, regardless of her new age credentials?
Like many people who have come across the concept of a menstrual cup, and never gotten around to trying one, I have felt equal amounts of intrigue, grossness and pure fear for the silicone ‘cup’ which replaces disposable sanitary products.
In a nutshell, a menstrual cup is simply a silicone cup which collects your menstrual flow, ready for discreet disposal and cleaning out, ready for re-use! It comes in two sizes depending on…er your size, and comes with a handy little bag to carry it in. It’s a very ‘green’ alternative to disposable products and – if looked after well – could last you a lifetime.
Whilst it’s estimated that an average woman throws away 100-150kg of feminine products – such as tampons and towels – into landfill in her lifetime, billions of us continue to do so; with detrimental effects to the environment.
It’s not just the landfill usage which is cause for concern. From the energy needed to make the products and their packaging, and the carbon transport them to their destination, to the damage to oceans and wildlife (and even our own bodies) that the chemicals inside can product; it’s all bad news for Earth.
In fact, earlier last year, Womens’ voices for the Earth launched their Detox The Box campaign, to raise awareness – and rally for industry changes – surrounding the risks posed by the presence of dioxin, colorants, dyes, preservatives, chemical fragrance and other chemicals used in feminine products.
They point out that “tampons are used by up to 85 percent of menstruating women and may contain dioxins or pesticide residues linked to cancer, hormone disruptors, allergens and irritants from fragrance” not to mention the amount of natural moisture that is soaked up unnecessarily.
You can watch their hilarious campaign film here:
So why spend money and cause harm to the environment (and potentially our bodies) when there is a simpler solution in the form of a reusable, far cheaper option? The answer is simple. It creeps us out a little, and has a misinformed, new age rep!
But, being the brave young soul I am, I decided to invest my £20 in this tiny goblet of fear, and test it out for myself. I figured that considering I would normally spend that amount on a couple of months of tampons, the worse case scenario would be that if I don’t like it, I lose a few quid. The best case scenario, however, would be that I’d love it and have saved myself a whole tonne of money!
It’s only been a week but I’m actually surprised to report that the best case scenario prevailed! After a few very tricky ‘trial runs’ to get the cup in position, it’s no different than using a tampon and is very easy to use.
The cleaning process isn’t as icky as I was expecting, and a squirt and swill from my water bottle was sufficient to cleaning it in between changes.
In fact, like many moon-converts, now that I’m using it I don’t know why I just didn’t bite the bullet earlier. Not only am I saving money and landfill, somehow it actually feels cleaner and easier to use that pads or tampons. And because it doesn’t matter the size of your flow, I love that there’s no faffing with different products at different stages of your period. The cup is the queen of the periods!
So is the Mooncup just for Hippies? I’d say hell no! Its for anyone who cares for the environment, their health or their bank balance!
And in a bid to change the hippy rep of their product, Mooncup are getting in on the awesome music videos themselves, with this genius rap-off between Tampons and the Mooncup: