A special thanks to Sophie Trevillion for writing this blog.
Your days off are in the diary, you’ve found an ‘eco-hotel’, paid to offset the carbon emissions on your flight, maybe you’ve even bought a mineral SPF to protect the coral reefs - and then you get your period. While this may seem unrelated to climate change, period pollution is damaging. Last year, a Google survey recorded a 70% increase in the number of people looking at sustainable travel options, so why are periods not being considered? Your period shouldn’t ruin your holiday fun but it also shouldn’t ruin the environment either. Flushed sanitary products are the 5th most common item found on beaches in Europe, and there’s nothing that ruins a sun-filled summer quite like frolicking around in a sea of sanitary products!
Eco-Tourism On The Rise
Over the past few years, ‘eco-tourism’ has become increasingly popular, and it shouldn’t ignore menstruation. While there are more sustainable options, such as menstrual cups, you might feel more comfortable using disposable products on holiday, particularly in more rural areas or places without reliable water sources, and, in any case, it’s not a great idea to try out a new period product for the first time on holiday. If you’re asking ‘can you flush tampons down the toilet?’, you’re not alone. Unless you’ve scoured the packaging of your preferred period product, you might not realise that the answer is no. And that applies to pads too. These products cause sewage blockages and lead to overspills - meaning that they end up in rivers and on beaches. This environmental damage is much more difficult to edit than your Instagram snaps, but luckily there’s a really simple solution, which is to bin, not flush, your sanitary products.
How Can Hotels Reduce Period Pollution?
The entire hotel industry is built around the guest experience - ‘the customer is always right’, as any exhausted, exasperated, and oft-shouted-at hotel employee has been told. And yet periods are often forgotten about. Providing bin-able sanitary bags would show that hotels care about their menstruating guests and are providing them with practical solutions to make their holiday easier and more comfortable. And with women making 80% of travel decisions, something as simple as installing a FabLittleBag dispenser in their bathrooms could really set a hotel apart whilst tackling how businesses add to period pollution.
As anyone who’s seen the F.R.I.E.N.D.S episode with Ross and Chandler and the complimentary hotel items knows, there are a lot of products provided - but very few of them are period-related. To help reduce their pollution, hotels could offer biodegradable tampons and sanitary pads (lots of people don’t realise but sanitary products actually have plastic in them, which slows down their decomposition). They could also provide period bags to give guests a practical solution to the fact that you shouldn’t flush tampons or pads, because, let’s be honest, there’s not much point in marketing the heck out of your beachfront property if the beach is going to be littered with sanitary products.
What To Do If You Get Your Period On Holiday Or Whilst Staying At A Hotel?
First of all, don’t worry! You’re still going to be able to enjoy your holiday, whether it’s going on long hikes or lounging poolside. Don’t let your period get in the way of you having fun, but also be kind to yourself and give yourself permission to take a day to explore the contents of your mini-fridge instead of your surroundings if that’s what you need.
Luckily, the tide is turning in the hotel industry (hopefully without washing up any sanitary products!) and more and more hotels are starting to provide products - at least on request from reception if not in the actual bathroom. While there may not be much of a selection in the hotel, the products provided will cover you until you can get to a store and buy a brand or style that you prefer. And then, to dispose of your sanitary products, use a FabLittleBag to bin them instead of flushing them down the toilet.
Another product that benefits from being able to be properly sealed and binned, instead of being flushed down the toilets, is condoms. 53% of Airbnb guests have admitted to having had sex on holiday, and the increasing number of ‘Johnnybergs’ seems to suggest that people have been flushing condoms to avoid informing their host or the hotel cleaning staff of what they’ve been getting up to! Just as with sanitary products, the fact that a FabLittleBag seal completely means that you can confidently bin your products without having to worry about mess or awkwardness. Nicer for you, nicer for the hotel staff.
So whether you’re using your holiday to get active, get tanned, or simply get lucky, using a FabLittleBag helps you to enjoy your hard-earned vacation without feeling any environmental guilt.
Especial thanks to Sophie Trevillion for writing this blog.