< Back to All Articles

Stewards Of The Earth: Women, Sustainability and Menstrual Health

At Days for Girls, we’re proud to offer sustainable, eco-friendly menstrual solutions that protect the environment while also protecting people with periods. We believe the health of women and girls is inextricably tied to the health of the planet – and our mission is to invest in both with our washable, reusable, earth-conscious DfG pads.

Did you know that the average woman uses between five and 15 thousand pads and tampons over her lifetime? That’s equivalent to an estimated 250 to 300 pounds of trash that ends up in our landfills and oceans (including toxic chemicals and plastic packaging that can take centuries to biodegrade).

Now multiply that by 800 million menstruating people in the world today. The global impact is staggering.

Days For Girls Sustainable Solutions

Fortunately, we have a choice. We can choose to limit our carbon footprint by forgoing disposables in favor of reusable menstrual products, like Days for Girls’ washable pads!

Not only do DfG pads reduce waste by lasting up to 3 years (sometimes more), they also require minimal water for washing and are 100% free of single-use plastics.

In some regions, we also offer menstrual cups a sustainable alternative that can last up to 10 years. While cups aren’t always considered age or culturally appropriate, they are an excellent and well-received option in many areas where we operate.

From the very beginning, sustainability has been integral to the Days for Girls movement. CEO and Founder Celeste Mergens first tried to help girls at an orphanage in Kenya by distributing disposable pads; the result was almost worse than the girls having nothing at all, because they had nowhere to safely dispose of the products (and were even tempted to reuse and share them due to the recurring cost). We see this same trend play out in communities around the world, especially in households living below the poverty line.

That’s why we’re proud to have spent the past 13 years innovating an alternative solution that is safe, accessible, reusable, easy-to-care-for and non-harmful to Mother Earth.

Women and the Environment: Stewards of the Earth

Around the world, women play a vital role in environmental stewardship.

On average, women comprise 43 percent of the agricultural labor force in developing countries (as much as 70 percent in some countries), and are frequently the ones responsible for providing food and water for their families. A close working relationship with the land means women often have unique, firsthand knowledge about natural resource management – and their collective wisdom may be key to fighting climate change.

But women can only step up as environmental leaders if they are supported to unlock their full potential. This requires breaking down gendered barriers that keep them from thriving, like menstrual inequity.

Sustainable, accessible menstrual health solutions lie at the nexus of environmental and gender justice. Washable period products help reduce landfill waste and protect our oceans, while giving women and girls an equitable shot at health, dignity and opportunity. In turn, they are better poised to step up as guardians of the Earth, for the benefit of all.

What could be more powerful than that?

Days for Girls
Days for Girls is an award-winning global NGO bringing menstrual health, dignity and opportunity to 2.1+ million girls (and counting!) worldwide.