Arrow Fat Left Icon Arrow Fat Right Icon Arrow Right Icon Cart Icon Close Circle Icon Expand Arrows Icon Facebook Icon Instagram Icon Twitter Icon Youtube Icon Hamburger Icon Information Icon Down Arrow Icon Mail Icon Mini Cart Icon Person Icon Ruler Icon Search Icon Shirt Icon Triangle Icon Bag Icon Play Video
Message Us

Zero Waste Tips

Moving Away From Wastefulness

Moving Away From Wastefulness

Sitting here with my morning coffee alongside my laptop screen, I’m both tasting and smelling the rich, earthy aromas of my morning habit. Each sip fills me with the flavour that I crave as the light shimmers into my room through softly blowing curtains. It wraps around and through my body, heightening each sense in a careful melody that I have practiced day after day, month after month and year after year. It is a necessity of my morning, a bare necessity if you like. Yet, as the bitter taste coats my tongue I’m left thinking about more than the robust, earthy flavour this morning.


My mind is wandering to locations where I have been, to coffee fields I have walked through, to mountains I have climbed, valleys that I have strolled down and even other places that I have not yet been. Whether they are a town in Andhra Pradesh named Vizag where the beaches are meant to reach out toward the rising sun each and every morning or whether it is the mountainous, ice capped country of Bhutan. These days, as I take another sip, I know that they all have something in common. Something similar.


Each of these locations is now impacted upon by the way we have been living. Whether it is plastic discards, that take anywhere up to 700 years to breakdown to microplastics- never fully leaving our environment. Or whether it is something similar to the waste truck that, a few minutes ago, drove passed my window with my swaying curtains. The truck is filled with mixed waste. When it drove down the street I cast my eyes over cardboard contaminated with someone’s unfinished dinner from last evening, glass crushed together with shards sticking up for an unfortunate waste picker to clasp their hands around and many other nameless objects destined for the same fate.


My home in Bangalore has all of this around, so does that beach on the east coast of India, or that small mountainous country to the north. Everywhere has something in common. Something similar.


I’m down to my penultimate mouthful of my brown liquid, which is no longer steaming hot. My coffee. My morning desire. An essential part of my day. Where the beans for the coffee came from exactly I am not sure. I know it was not close, not within one hundred kilometres or so. I know that although I now have tomorrow’s ground beans in a reusable container the original came in a plastic bag that will not break down to anything more than a microplastic trail somewhere on land or in the sea. I know that before I bought it the bag was likely in a box but I do not know whether if it was recycled or not. I’m guessing, but confident to do so, that there was plastic tape holding the box together when it was shipped to the store where I bought it from.


I know all of this as I take my final sip. I also know that the next bag I am going to source of coffee grind, in this mega city in southern India, will not come in a non- recyclable/ inorganic bag- similarly to how I bought rice from a rice trader last week, unpackaged, using a reusable bag to hold all the grains- I am going to find a sustainable solution. I know that this simple step, this simple action will be a positive. Each day I attempt to move toward limiting the negative effects I am having on the environment. It is simple but it is working.


As the bitter taste lingers on my tongue for a moment longer I hope that there is another person out there trying to do the same thing. Then from both of us another two. Then from the four, well you get the picture of my dream. Each simple step is there to ensure that everyone’s necessity, whether that is a morning coffee or something else, is accomplished more sustainably. That step is priceless.


We can still all have something in common. Something similar. In coffee fields, beaches and mountains alike, but wouldn’t it be far better that that is not plastic, or mixed waste or wastefulness in general? Wouldn’t it be better if our bare necessities were sustainable? Wouldn’t it be better if the commonality, our similarity, was simply that we all enjoy the soft trickle of sunlight creeping through the blinds every morning of every day of every month of every year?

Continue reading

The SDGs and Me (And You)

The SDGs and Me (And You)

Bare Necessities as a Bangalore based start up has always strived to create zero waste products, grow the confidence and skill set of employees and raise awareness about circular economy methodology.


Since the establishment of the company a few years ago we have always seen that one of the main problems within Indian systems, and worldwide too, is that the products that we use on a daily basis are packaged in plastic and loaded with chemicals. It contributes to the largest global garbage crisis of our lifetime, which results in long term environmental damage.


Certainly, it can seem challenging to understand how we can address the array of issues associated with such a conclusion but not insurmountable! You see, the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) help many startups in India understand that there is a global framework to help guide us in our ambitions.


Of the 17 goals, Bare Necessities works largely (but not exclusively) toward the achievement of 8:

  • Goal 5 (Gender Equality): We train and upskill local women as part of our core team, with some never having had a permanent job before! In fact the entire manufacturing unit is run by women.
  • Goal 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth): We provide formalised employment and source all our resources to create our products within Karnataka. All of this while growing an independent local business.
  • Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities): Through our consulting service (including waste audits, talks and workshops) we raise awareness throughout India about how resources can be managed. This in turn allows a sustainable environment to blossom because more and more people are taking part!
  • Goal 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production): Through our zero waste products and educating a growing audience about zero waste living, circular economy methodology and the reasons behind the need to become more sustainable we are changing the rhetoric of waste in India.
  • Goal 13 (Climate Action): Using both our product range and our consulting services we are minimising the amount of single use products that individuals use (or want to use because they have learnt about the negative effects of creating a single use plastic bag for example), thereby limiting adverse effects on the environment.
  • Goal 14 (Life Below Water): The amount of plastic and other single use products that end up in our waterways (Google about some of the major rivers in India!) or in our oceans is dreadful. By changing the way things are manufactured, used and reused we are moving toward a new, circular system that won’t allow inorganic items to end up in our valuable water.
  • Goal 15 (Life on Land): Everyday walking down the streets of India (and across many other countries too) discarded products can be seen in many wasteful forms. By reducing the amount of single use products we are taking steps to limit the adverse effects on our natural environment.
  • Goal 17 (Partnerships for the Goals): Our partnership base includes like minded individuals, i.e. independent enterprises, CSR representatives. Our aim is to grow our reach from solely organic growth to targeted approaches to help stakeholders in India adopt sustainable practices at an accelerated rate.

The SDGs are a great starting point for all of us. They’re for both me and for you, for the people who come after us and all life on our planet. With each step, with each concerted effort that we are taking together, we can break the habit that we’ve found ourselves in.

Continue reading

Nobody Told Me

Nobody Told Me

It was so long ago when I attended school that I can scarcely remember a lesson. However, I’m sure, if I was pressed to answer whether or not I was told about the effects of waste in our environment, or the impact that one person can make or reduce on the planet, or even how the climate is warmed by the mass use of fossil fuels, my answer would be that nobody told me. Or, at least, not with enough emphasis to matter. Yet, these days things appear very different. Fortunately so, I must add.


The founder of Bare Necessities, Sahar Mansoor, recently attended the American Embassy School (AES) in Delhi as part of an Earth Week educational program for the students. Sahar, over the course of operating Bare Necessities, has run many workshops and talks like she delivered to the children on the 22nd of April. She has always aimed to spread awareness about how to move toward a zero waste lifestyle, sustainable living and minimising consumption in order to have a positive impact on the planet. She has presented on these important issues for young and old, but, well, it was a little different on that day.


At one of her sessions at AES, she was stunned by the thirst for knowledge the eighth graders had but more than that she was amazed, awestruck perhaps would be a more accurate description, by the high level questions that they asked.


None of those eighth graders were leaving it to chance to finish school saying that nobody told them about the waste problems our world faces, how they can help minimise impact on the environment or limit global warming.


Their questions, when I was their age, would not have figured in my mind. Not until I was more than a decade older. This, therefore, is a wonderful, profound realisation. The children of today are here, well educated and alongside us adults, to ensure that we can all, collectively, change the course we’re on in order to protect our precious environment.


They’re already on board. They have studied, they have researched, thought, pondered and found the information they need to form a solid foundation to grow from. All talks and workshops for this age group are invaluable, just as Earth Day is, not only for the children but for us much older than them who need to continue to see everything like they do, optimistically.


With an optimistic mindset that encourages us to communicate these issues with one another in order to fix the mess we’ve made, we can ensure that no future generations can say the words nobody told me.

Continue reading

Eco Warrior: Divya

“Start with small, simple steps towards zero waste that are easy to incorporate” - Divya


Meet Divya, she is a zero waste warrior striving to build sustainable ways of managing day to day waste in the busy city of Mumbai and beyond. Divya Ravichandran set up Skrap to help change the current approach of discarding garbage which is hazardous, unsustainable and environmentally detrimental. Skrap focuses on reducing waste and diverting as much as possible for recycling or composting, so that a minimal amount of garbage is discarded in dumping grounds. Her work with Bacardi NH7 Weekender Pune helped the festival repurpose and recycle a whopping 81% of the waste generated! How cool is that?


We wanted to find out how her journey into zero waste living.


Her journey zero waste started with a massive fire that broke out in Mumbai’s Deonar dumping ground. The fire raged on for days, spewed toxic chemicals in the air, and engulfed the city in black smoke. That was the first time she learnt about the dumping ground and the dangers of our unsustainable waste disposal.  

This incident forced her to take a closer look at her trash bin. She started taking more responsibility for the waste she generated each day, so she could avoid contributing to the dumping grounds. She learnt to segregate her waste, brought home a composter, and sent her recyclable waste to local NGOs. Within a few weeks, She was sending less than 10% of her waste to the dumping grounds. She wanted to reduce this further and so gradually began to avoid products and packaging that were non-recyclable.

One day, as she was packing her monthly recyclable waste to hand it over to local NGOs/ recyclers, she realised she had accumulated a lot of in four short weeks. She opened up all the waste and categorised it to understand from where she was generating this. Turns out most of it was from grocery packaging, online product orders and takeaway containers.

She slowly started making changes in her shopping habits to reduce this waste. She reduced online shopping for products, groceries and dinners. She preferred to buy from local kirana stores and farmers markets where she could buy unpackaged products.

Around this time she also discovered the zero waste movement online and found thousands of like minded people living zero waste lifestyles. “This was really encouraging, and pushed me to make a more concerted effort to avoid using disposable items.” says Divya.


A product she always has?  Cloth Bags


We asked her if any misconceptions about this lifestyle that she would like to dispel?


That a zero waste lifestyle can be more expensive. Buying fewer items, investing in more durable products and making my own products at home has probably been more economical in the long run.

We had asked her What’s the hardest thing about being zero waste?

Explaining to and convincing close family members about the zero waste lifestyle she chose to live wasn’t the easiest thing to being with. Requests for no gifts, no packaged food items, no new clothes, etc haven’t been easy to get through.

Her easiest switch ? Reusable water bottles

When asked about her tips, recommendations and advice to zero waste beginners she says,

“It’s a good idea to start with small, simple steps towards zero waste that are easy to incorporate in your daily routine. Such as giving up plastic bottles, carrying cloth bags, etc. Adopting too many changes at once can get overwhelming and frustrating.”

Continue reading

Eco Warrior: Mehendi

Eco Warrior: Mehendi

“Why I do what I do? - It's pretty simple” – Mehendi

Next up is our Desi Conscious Chokri, who is defo not a hippie and is defo not moving to far mountains to live the rest of her sustainable life! She’s an everyday city gal who believes that our species creates way too much trash! Our Chokri points out that we are a highly consumerist society that looks for happiness in the things we buy as opposed to the things we do and experiences we have.

                  

So, we wanted to hear all about her zero-waste journey living in a busy city like Mumbai.

Her journey started three years ago when she was living on her own in Sydney pursuing a Master of Social Entrepreneurship. She was studying subjects like sustainable development, social impact assessment, environmental planning etc. Studying these subjects prompted her to look at her own lifestyle and measure her own carbon footprint. During that time, she also happened to meet people who were composting their kitchen waste and were generally mindful about their consumption patterns. All of these reasons combined pushed her to evaluate her lifestyle and she happened to chance upon the concept of zero waste living. she was intrigued and found herself doing a lot of research and reading about the global zero waste movement. she knew she had to make some major changes to her life but it took me some time to get started on this path. It's been a year since her started her transition and it's been a challenging journey but also very rewarding.

Studying about sustainability and not adopting a more conscious lifestyle didn't sit well with her. Mehendi think that it's important to share more information about the need to reduce our waste and address this global crisis.

The most significant thing she noticed is – her ability to question everything and how a product is made, who made it, what cost did it come at. she finds herself feeling challenged at many junctures but she’s also hopeful that more people are seeing value in this kind of lifestyle.

Living such a lifestyle causes you to question your habits, let go of old habits and create new ones. Habit formation can be challenging but with time it gets easier. Bringing your family and friends on board without being too harsh can also be difficult. One has to learn how to put their message across while being empathetic and persuasive as well as customising the reasons to move to this kind of lifestyle based on who you’re speaking with.

The biggest misconception is that transitioning to a low waste, sustainable lifestyle is expensive and a lot of hard work. Contrary to popular belief, it's actually helped me save a lot of money and made life simpler. I no longer spend tons of money on different products for different needs. She’s learned how to use a few basic ingredients for multiple different purposes. For example, she uses soap nuts to make my shampoo as well as my laundry detergent. She uses a mixture of vinegar and lemon as a cleaning agent in my bathroom and kitchen. This lifestyle isn’t as inconvenient as people may perceive it to be. It’s pretty easy to make products at home without too much effort. For example, it takes her all of 5 minutes to make my homemade shampoo.

A product she always has? - A reusable bag, box, cutlery and water bottle

An east switch? - Giving up the use of plastic straws! It's easy, it takes literally no effort and helps save soo much plastic from entering our landfills and oceans.

Tips and tricks? - Start observing your own lifestyle and work on eliminating single-use products. There are tons of options available out there, all of you have to do is observe your life and then make google and Instagram your best friend. There is a lot of information available out there on alternatives to single-use/packaged products from shampoo and soap to toothbrushes and package free food. Everything you put out there into the world ultimately affects you in the form of contaminated water, food, soil and air. Take the initiative and make a change because if you don’t want, who will?

 

I :  Conscious Chokri

 

Continue reading

Eco Warrior: Kathryn

Eco Warrior: Kathryn

While all our blogs are about warriors in the zero-waste scene, our next warrior has gone through larger storms and is a true warrior, she fought breast cancer. Kathryn a professional performing artist started her zero-waste journey as a consequence of the tumors that was discovered in her breast when she was in college. This made her question what she’s putting on and in her body. She learned many of the products we use in everyday life like beauty products, cleaning products, and plastic contain endocrine disruptions which interfere with how our body regulates our hormones. To fight her battle, she started making her products from scratch to control what was in them and to avoid plastic. Kathryn realized that the same things she was changing for her personal health, were also problems for the health of the planet.

Biggest change? Her life was now easy and simplified life can be!

A lot of people think that a zero-waste lifestyle is more time consuming or hard and it's neither of those things. It's all about building habits, and once those habits are in place, you don't even realize you're doing anything differently.

Kathryn likes to call it the big 4 – the easy steps. she recommends that everyone:

  1. Says no to straws
  2. Bring a reusable bag with you for your groceries and produce too.
  3. Bring a full reusable water bottle with you when you're out.
  4. And recommends a double insulated water bottle because it doubles as a thermos so you can avoid disposable coffee cups too.

However, there are always 2 sides to every coin, she definitely thinks it's a bummer that more people don't have access to package free food and composting services, and really hopes that changes.

One thing she always has on her is simply her water bottle, always hydrated!

One tip to start the zero-waste journey? Try her 31-day challenge!

 

 I: going.zero.waste 

Website: Going Zero Waste 

By: Harsha Patil 

 

Continue reading

Eco Warrior : Padmini

Eco Warrior : Padmini

Our next warrior is a fighting a true battle, not only is she leading a zero-waste lifestyle, she also works at the center of science and environment where she delves into various policies to combat climate change.

Padmini, a student of Environmental impact started questioning what was truly in her capacity to reduce her environmental impact and her carbon footprint. In her pursuit to understand and practice a zero-waste lifestyle, she too stumbled upon Lauren Singer while exploring. However, for Padmini, she wanted inspiration from someone close to home – that’s when she found Sahar and Bare!

It started for the way, the way it does for many, a simply bare workshop. Since the workshop, the zero waste gates were open and there was no going in other way.

She uses the word ‘transformational’ to describe her journey, and believes she has become more sensitive to her surroundings and much more aware how ingrained plastic has unnecessarily become a par of our lives. Plastic was not something that often crossed her mind before, but now it’s always noticed everywhere she goes.

With every battle comes some loss and defeat. While she is always ready-set-zero-waste, sometimes she feels like she is ill-prepared or just unable to get something in bulk due to time-constraints and so ends up having to use plastic (people in the zero-waste community call these "plastic fails"). While she has a quit a few of those, Padmini has learnt to accept that the most important thing is to not quit over a small guilt trip, but to keep fighting against and do your best. While it may be intimidating to think about a battle ground where one has to focus on choices that generate no plastic, Padmani believes going "zero-waste" doesn't have to mean not creating waste at one go. It can be a slow journey - take small steps to go plastic free and once you have a hang of it, level up!

 Easy switch, must have and a recommendations for new soldiers?

  1. Switch: Refusing single-use plastic that is offered to you, such as refusing plastic straws, bring your own cloth bag for grocery shopping and taking your own box to put in takeaway when you eat outside.

 

  1. Must have (always in her bag): A cutlery set, a metal straw, a cloth napkin, a metal straw, a collapsible tiffin box, a big bag

 

  1. New soldiers: If you have already bought things that are in plastic continue to use them until they are over, and then switch to a sustainable and plastic free alternative. You shouldn't have to waste resources that have already been spent on. Definitely start making a habit of leaving a cutlery set and napkin in a bag that you always take.

 

  I:   @pdidzy

By Harsha Patil 

Continue reading

Eco warrior: Bianca

Eco warrior: Bianca

Everyone has a story to tell and a journey to talk about. In all our journeys various simple things inspire us, here is one person who was inspired and empowered to start her mindful lifestyle by deodorant and toothpaste!

Bianca, a former student of sustainability at one point felt like she was only doing so much, studying the subject might have been one thing, but acting on it meant a lot more. As many of us, she too watched Lauren Singer, read blogs and several videos to figure out how to navigate around this maze of zero waste. To start, she first made her own toothpaste and deodorant, and that’s all it took for her to keep unraveling the mystery.

As she kept going she realised, there is no maze or mystery, but a whole lot of misconceptions, simply because many of us are unaware. While many believe zero waste is ‘expensive’ Bianca thinks that’s among the biggest myths. Over the last 2 years, she has saved a lot more of her wages by simply by buying fewer items, better quality, second hand and taking her own water, coffee and snacks. Not does she save by buying more mindfully; she saves a few pounds making her own personal care products. The only thing that changed was how she spends her money, while she made more conscious efforts to reduce her plastic and carbon footprint. She believes the second misconception associated with zero waste living is its hard. Zero waste is about being more mindful of your impact and trying to do better, which isn’t hard. It becomes hard if you’re one of the people that believes that being zero waste should mean actually producing no waste and always making perfect decisions. (she thinks, if a sloth like her can do it – anyone can do it!)

One of the most significant she found was she invested her time and money in items that she truly loves and she also saved a lot of money. Bianca now spends a lot more time researching her products and considers all her options: like how badly does she need it, can she buy second hand or if it is available from an ethical/ sustainable brand.

Her go-to advice is – refuse. It is at the stop of the 5R hierarchy! Refusing things like disposable plastic bags, freebies, straws and so on are the easiest way to start reducing your waste wherever you are without spending a cent. A simple example would be: “even if you're getting take away food in a disposable container, you can still refuse the napkins, the plastic cutlery and the plastic bag, yes it would have been better to bring your own reusable container but even when that's not an option, refusing the rest is still possible and positive!”

We were very curious on what products she always has on her and what the essentials are. Something she always has is her water bottle. It’s the best way to stay hydrated by default. Other items include her container for food, a cotton napkin and some cutlery and her KeepCup.

It sounds easy as 1 2 3 which is awesome, but we wanted to know about the what were some of the biggest hurdles. Bianca admits it is the balance between her mental health and her wish to do better. While Social media are an amazing place, it's also a place where being fragile and imperfect isn't easy, and the result can be that we feel comfortable only in sharing the things that we do perfectly and that look good. What this does is that it gives the illusion of a perfect life, which simply creates frustration and self-judgement in all of us. She thinks that the zero waste movement is about working hard to avoid falling into this trap, but it's not easy, because in the end when you share imperfection even though 1000 people will support you, there will always be someone that judges you, and unfortunately that often has a larger impact than all the support put together

Easy as 123 or hard to strike a balance, she is an eco-warrior and Bare is a true admirer of her dedication. Here are the few tips and tricks she shared with us for you!

  1. Give yourself time: Taking your time will allow you to use up what you have, to adjust to every little change and to save money (by buying things when you need them and only if you need them).
  2. Learn to forgive yourself: This is the most important step! It's not possible to be 100% zero waste and not have any negative impact on the world, and that's mostly due to the fact that we live in a society where easy to use disposable options and cheap alternatives are the most important thing to offer to customers. Just remember - that every little success deserves celebration, and that "failures" are not your fault, you're still doing your best with what you have and that is more than enough!

 Bianca is the co-founder at zero waste path shop

 

 I:   @zerowastepathshop

 E:  hello@zerowastepathshop.com

 

 

Continue reading

Waste Dairies

Our philosophy at Bare extends beyond selling zero waste products, we are working towards building a strong community of eco-warriors in India and around the world! Two such eco-warriors, Natasha and Unnati decided to document the waste problem in their respective cities, and here’s what they had to say.

Natasha Makhija 

 

 What are you currently doing, and where do you reside?

I am currently a Political Science student at Gargi College, living in New Delhi.


Why do you care about our waste problem?

I think the growing amount of waste is a large contributory factor to our environmental problems. To live sustainably and to ensure a clean environment for future generations, focusing on reducing waste and also spreading awareness about it is very important. Often people aren't aware of the impact that their decisions have and the only way to spread awareness is to talk about it.


What made you want to make photographs of the waste around your city? And what was the experience of making these photo's like? Did it help you realize anything?


Photography is a great way to spread awareness and show people the reality. Working on this project made me think about the severity of the situation, which is often easy to dismiss in our day to day lives. It becomes easy to disassociate ourselves from these problems, but going out to these locations and working on this project made me realize that this is a problem that we all need to work on as a society, and it's not going to be solved unless everyone is willing to make a change and contribute.

 

 




Unnati Choudhary 

What are you currently doing, and where do you reside?

I am currently pursuing  B.Sc Biotechnology.  I am originally from Delhi.


Why do you care about our waste problem?

Delhi being a metropolitan city is highly dependent on single-use items like any other metropolitan city. These items are actually very convenient for anyone. But what actually no one cares about is the impact that these products have on our environment.

What made you want to make photographs of the waste around your city? And what was the experience of making these photo's like? Did it help you realize anything?

To find a solution to this problem I finally tried finding companies who sell zero waste products. Then I came across Bare Necessities. And I was concerned with such a low number of companies like these in India whereas countries like the USA have so many companies like these. We neglect such issues which can be hazardous to your future generations. When I started clicking photos around the city, my realization became even strong. I never knew that this problem is rising rapidly. I want everyone to realize this problem with my photos and take a moment to think about this issue.

 

 

 



Continue reading

Green Your Time of the Month. Period.

Green Your Time of the Month. Period.


Green your time of the month by using a menstrual cup they are healthy, environmentally friendly and economical!
Let's talk about periods baby! Let's talk about you and me!


Did you know women have been using the menstrual cup since the 1920's with no negative health impacts associated with it?
Did you know you can use the cup for 10 to 15 years? Did you know tampons contain bleached rayon - a material that creates the possibly carcinogenic byproduct dioxin? Plus the bleach and cotton drains your body of healthy fluids! You could also get toxic shock syndrome from using tampons, a bacterial-spurred illness.
Did you know pads have an equalvent of 7-9 plastic bags in it, taking 200 years to start decomposing?
Do you like the idea that your local municipality cleaner has to sort your pads and tampons?
Did you know you could save approximately Rs 12,000 in 10 years by switching to menstrual cups?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Alright, now let's deep dive into these facts!  
There is no official data on menstrual waste in India, but on average, a woman is said to have 3,500 days (between the ages of 12 and 45) of menstruation. According to Down To Earth magazine there are about 300 million menstruating women in India. Allotting 12 sanitary napkins to a woman per month, it found that this added up to 432 million soiled pads, weighing a staggering 9,000 tonnes a month – enough to cover a landfill spread over 24 hectares. A non-biodegradable product, that takes 500-700 years to even start decomposing. The plastic would end up going into the soil, leaching toxic chemicals into the soil, contaminating ground water, and clogging the world's oceans and rivers. If you are on camp tampons, you will consume 9,600 tampons during your entire menstrual life cycle. Purchasing organic tampons and pads sidesteps the problems of chemicals, pesticides and GM cotton.


HEALTH BENEFITS OF MENSTRUAL CUPS:
o   DO NOT LEAK HARMFUL CHEMICALS INTO YOUR BODY
Traces of dioxin (a known carcinogen) and the synthetic fiber rayon are also found in tampons. Dioxin is a by-product of the bleaching process in the manufacturing of tampons and the synthetic fiber rayon can leave residue in the vaginal wall. According to the World Health Organization, dioxins are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.


o   DO NOT ALTER THE NATURAL PH LEVEL OF YOUR VAGINA
More than a quarter of the fluids absorbed by a tampon are, in fact, natural and necessary vaginal secretions. When you insert a tampon it just absorbs everything. The cup doesn’t absorb anything and doesn’t not alter the natural chemistry of your vagina.


o   NOT ASSOCIATED WITH TOXIC SHOCK SYNDROME
Cups do not carry the risk of Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) associated with tampon use.  Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a type of staph infection that arises when a tampon provides a breeding ground for bacteria in the vagina during menstruation. it is scientifically proven that menstrual cups don’t change the composition of blood during the time the cup is kept inside the vagina. There are no reported cases of TSS in connection with use of menstrual cups since the cups were invented in the 1930’s. 


o   MADE WITH SAFE MATERIALS - MEDICINAL GRADE SILICON
I’ve heard some women say that they did not feel safe putting plastic in their body. I get it: silicone isn’t exactly a product of the earth. But I feel safe since silicone does not leach chemicals into your body and no safety issues have been reported, even with silicone bake-ware when it is subjected to very high temperatures. But for those who would prefer an alternative to silicone, there is a brand made from natural gum rubber (latex).


ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS OF MENSTRUAL CUPS:
o   Saving 5,760 sanitary pads/ 9,600 tampons and tons of boxes, plastic sachets, applicators from landing in dustbins, landfills, seas and rivers in your menstrual life cycle.
o   Reducing waste of resources in the production, transportation and disposal of menstrual products


ECONOMIC BENEFITS OF MENSTRUAL CUPS:
It is a one-time Rs700 investment that yields waste-free periods for about ten to fifteen years.
Let’s look at the economics of a menstrual cup
Menstrual Cup:
Rs 700 x 1 purchase for ten years = Rs 700
Tampons:
Rs800/box x 2 boxes/month = Rs1600/month x 10 years = Rs 16,000
For a net savings of: Rs 15300
A menstrual cup costs as much as a box of Tampons if not less.
Additionally, you are saving public money - local governments spend significant amount of their budgets on waste management.


OTHER BENEFITS OF MENSTRUAL CUPS:
o   You can safely leave your cup in for 24 hours, but it is recommended to empty and wash it every 12 hours at least.
o   Less changing hassle.
o   Less things to carry in your bag.


CHOOSING AND USING A MENSTRUAL CUP:
Choosing the best menstrual cup is dependent upon one’s size. To help you choose which cup is best suited to your flow and size I suggest a visit to menstrualcup.co to view their comparison chart. I highly suggest watching an instructional video before using a menstrual cup as it takes a little time to adjust to. If want to support an Indian company the Silky Cup and Shecup are the only menstrual cups made in India, and I am darn proud of them! Moon cup and Diva Cup are popular UK and US brands respectively. To answer some frequently asked questions about menstrual cups check out the Menstrual Cup’s page. 
Let’s sum this up, pads and tampons cause environmental harm, waste resources, compromise women’s health and are unnecessarily expensive. Menstrual cups are awesome. Buy it. Use it and you will never go back! 

Continue reading