If you’ve made the switch to reusables recently (cue the sweet sound of baby turtles giving you an adorable round of applause) you may find yourself with a stash of disposable pads or tampons that you’d like to never chafe with again. Good riddance, right?! But wait! Please don’t throw them out. We have a few ideas on where those unwanted disposables may still come in handy, and/or where they will be truly wanted and even desperately needed.
Emergency Kit – Keep a small emergency kit on hand with you wherever you spend a great deal of time (in your car, in your backpack, at the office, etc.). Include basic essentials in case you or someone you’re with is in a pinch (basic first aid supplies, hand sanitizer, face mask, shelf stable snacks, period products, etc.).
Preparedness Supplies – There’s no need to rush out and hoard period products in case of a(nother)pocalypse. But if you already have them on hand from the before times, and you’re happily using cloth pads or a cup in the now times, then move your unused disposables to the garage shelves with the freeze-dried food, multiple gallons of drinking water, and everything else that might make you the envy of the neighborhood if/when the grocery store shelves are stripped of sanitary supplies due to panic-buying.
Take Them To School – Know a teacher? Having period products on hand for middle school students all the way through adult education can make the difference between keeping a student in class to learn, or rushing home. Your teacher friends likely already have a small stash on hand that they’ve been paying for out of their own pockets, because teachers are superheroes and guardian angels, and even though this shouldn’t be the case, it is the case, so just in case! Please share what you have with a teacher.
Donate – Disposable period products often make far more sense than reusable ones for people facing houselessness. Without reliable access to laundry facilities, cloth pads can be a burden. And while menstrual cups are the next best thing to Peanut M&Ms in my opinion, they might be a giant point of stress for someone who lacks a familiar and comfortable bathroom where they can remove and clean their cup. Here are a couple of places where we donate disposable period products that might inspire similar local-to-you donation opportunities:
Catholic Charities – Their refugee resettlement program and their housing transition program both accept donated products.
Domestic Violence Shelters – You can find local shelters near you on this website, and see what their current wishlist needs might be.
Trade ’em in! – If you’re in the Portland area, come to a local GladRags event for a trade in opportunity. Bring in your unused disposable period products and we’ll swap em for a brand new GladRags Pantyliner or Day Pad. Sign up to our newsletter and you’ll be kept in the loop of local events.
Congratulations (or as we like to say, Con-GladRags-ulations, bahaha!) on making the switch to reusable period products. It’s a comfy club to be in, that’s for sure. And if you have ideas on other ways single use disposables can make their way to people who truly need them, please leave a comment and share!