moon cup
When I first heard about the moon cup, or menstrual cups for that matter, I quickly dismissed it as something I did not want to hear about again.  It sounded like some weird feminist ritual and I mean, tampons are just so natural to most of us that I didn’t understand why I would want to use anything else. We all grew up on either tampons or pads so the whole process of the period is literally soaked up, eyes closed and binned as quickly as possible.

We’re detached from the process and that’s the norm. Not to mention, there are a lot of mixed feelings surrounding the period itself and sadly many young girls even opt to take the pill in their early teenage years just because they’d rather not go through this important monthly process.

It was when I started traveling that I realized there was something just not right about tampons and pads. It was through the course of one year that I started to have many of these realizations about products, chemicals, waste, the environment and where we all fit into this picture.

I had traveled to Bali, Indonesia a few times that year and flat out noticed the huge amounts of trash being washed ashore, piled on the beaches and then burned. My friend was getting sick from all the toxic smoke in the air and I started to take a really close look at the trash.

In the piles of trash were plastic conditioners, plastic razors, toothbrushes, instant noodle packets, water bottles, tampon wrappers and inserts, you name it one-off disposable plastics. I was overridden with guilt. Everything I bought in this beautiful country would be burned in the open or better yet, end up in our ocean.

In these 3rd world countries, you profoundly realize that there is really no place for trash. These tampons were creating all of this waste from the cotton tampon itself, to the plastic insert around it, to the plastic wrap around the plastic insert, all packaged in a box. Not to mention the production and transportation that brought the tampons to the store in the first place.

I went through a few more periods until I decided it was time to quit tampons and genuinely try the moon cup. I didn’t want to unnecessarily contribute to our world’s waste problem anymore and with one purchase I would save so much money that I spend monthly on tampons (meaning more traveling for me!).

1. Waste-free

Did you know the average woman throws away up to 300 pounds of feminine hygiene products in a lifetime.  [According to the book Flow: The Cultural History of Menstruation]. When you’re traveling, especially through countries like South East Asia, your waste directly affects the environment. Minimizing that footprint with something as simple as a moon cup makes this item my number one travel essential.

2. No Toxins

Okay you’re putting this thing in your vagina and with it quite possibly pesticides and bleach. Cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops in the world and residues from these pesticides have a good chance of ending up in the same cotton in your tampon. Then from there, the cotton is bleached and while in the US, this is monitored by the FDA with brands no longer using chlorine, in 3rd world countries you can’t be sure what you’re buying. Sure, at home you can buy organic cotton tampons, but abroad – good luck. Sometimes, you wont even find tampons for that matter, again making the moon cup a no-brainer.

3. More Money

A typical woman uses around 11,000 tampons in her lifetime. Do you know how much money you can save from buying a moon cup? More money to travel!

Do you think you’ll try out a menstrual cup? Will this become your travel essential too?