Before you buy a regular tampon from your pharmacy or supermarket it has probably travelled thousands of miles already. If not the tampon itself then the cotton it’s made from surely has. To keep the manufacturing costs down the reality is it’s cheaper to ship cotton around the world than to use cotton sourced from within developed countries. It’s also been individually wrapped in plastic and might even have a disposable applicator with it too.
All of these resources have come together to allow you six to eight hours of period protection. Then they get tossed in a landfill.
The Superiority Of Natural Sea Sponges
Now look at natural sea sponges. They grow naturally, don’t consume electricity, don’t emit carbon and certainly don’t need any fertilisers to help them grow. When they’re big enough a diver cuts the heads off, leaving the stems to regrow and the divers boat takes them to shore. Apart from trimming and cleaning there’s not much else going on with them in terms of resource consumption.
Compared to the tampon there is so little involved in getting you your period protection and yet a quality sponge can actually last for over six cycles. How many tampons, tampon wrappers and tampon applicators would end up in the dumpster during those six months?
Six months is a good useful life for a menstrual sea sponge but there are a few caveats.
Getting The Longest Life From Your Sponge
Firstly, Mediterranean sponges are stronger and denser which means they will last longer than Caribbean sponges for menstruation. As time goes by your sponge will weaken until eventually it tears when you pull on it. For makeup removal of skin care the type of sponge isn’t so relevant as you’re not wedging it into a tight vagina then tugging on it to remove it. So three months is a good run for Caribbean sponge, usually longer, and over six months for a Mediterranean sponge.
The weakening and deterioration of the sponge is also accelerated slightly if you purchase a bleached sponge rather than a natural brown sponge.
Boiling sponges seems like a great idea for hygiene but can instantly knock a few months off it’s useful life.
So if you’re looking for the longest life sponge, go for an unbleached Mediterranean sponge, treat it with TLC, gently wash it and leave it to air dry and eventually when it reaches the end of it’s useful life, just throw it out with the organic waste.