Plastic-backed pads, individually wrapped in plastic, then bundled up in batches of twelve, packaged in even more – yes, you’ve guessed – plastic. Single-use items that clog up the drains when flushed (don’t, for God’s sake, flush!) and landfill when binned. And tampons are just as bad – worse, if they’ve got a plastic applicator.
I dread to think how many I’ve used in my lifetime.
About a year ago, I ordered two cloth towels on-line. I was being cautious, unsure if I’d really get on with them. I mean, it’s a bit icky, isn’t it? I was worried about what I’d do with the used ones if I had to change when I was out, if they’d make my handbag smell, and if it’d really be okay to throw them in a 30 degree wash with the rest of my laundry. So I started small, just to see what they were like.
And they were fine. For me. I should level and say that, thanks to my contraceptive implant, I only have a light flow, so I don’t know if they’d be suitable for those who don’t. Maybe a menstrual cup is a better answer for women with heavy periods? I’ve never tried one, so I can’t recommend them. I mean, they look like a good idea though, right?
I’m happy to report that I have had no problems carrying a used towel: I have a little wetbag they go into until I get them home. And as for washing, after googling for advice, I simply rinse them in cold water and then chuck them in the wash. Simple! If you hang them up, they dry overnight, so you don’t need too many. I bought another four on-line and then my mum made me a further six. She says they were easy to do – but, as I don’t have a sewing machine, I’ll have to take her word for it. Thanks, mum! Twelve is plenty for me; I never run out. They’re all between nine months and a year old, and they look – and smell – as good as new.