Being a woman means forking over much more money than dudes do in the course of a lifetime (this is a US-based rundown, it gives a pretty clear example of what I mean... just don't read the comments) and, unfortunately, putting a lot more waste out into the world. How?
The cotton used to produce these products is a huge drain on the environment - cotton is an incredibly water-intensive crop to grow.
Apparently, the message that it's really not something you can flush down the toilet hasn't sunk in either, with 2.5 million tampons, 1.4m sanitary towels and 700,000 liners flushed into the sewage system. This one time, I went kayaking in the Thames (don't ask) and I saw probably half of them. I'm not squeamish about periods but COME ON. WE CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT.
Not only that, but these products incur a 5% VAT charge in the UK (a tax meant to tax luxuries... you know, because it's so luxurious to not bleed all over your clothes and underwear), and a 10% GST in Australia (where the tax is also, supposedly, for non-essential goods, but condoms are GST exempt).
Let's not forget that the sanitary industry behind it all is worth £267 million... Here's a calculator to figure out how many pads you'll use in your lifetime and how much money you'll spend on them. Is there something better you can spend your cash on? Likely.
So, is there a better way?
There are a couple of solutions that kinda sorta address the problem, including reusable pads (these with the horrendous title 'Pleasure Puss', but nice patterns) and organic cotton sanitary products. These are good solutions, but for me they still carry the element of disposability and also use of cotton.
Additionally, as someone who's not always in one place, the idea of carrying around loads of reusable cotton cloths isn't that appealing. Also, I really dislike pads.
For me, the best solution is probably introduced via rap battle:
If you think that buying a Mooncup might be a step you'd like to take, I'd love it if you would click here to buy - I get a small commission for referrals (it won't cost you anything extra, of course).