When it comes to periods, there is a lot to deal with: from managing cramps, mood swings and skin breakouts to low energy and food cravings. It can be difficult to have a spare thought for what happens to our period products when we’re finished with them. One person uses approximately 11,000 disposable pads and /or tampons in a lifetime (source). That’s a lot of waste heading to landfill! Adjusting the way you approach period products can make a big positive environmental impact but it doesn’t have to be scary or a huge upheaval. Why not start by investing in one eco-friendly alternative and use it in conjunction with your normal products?
Here are some of my favourite sustainable alternatives:
My favourite brands for period pants are WUKA and Cheeky Wipes but there are lots of other brands available. Period pants can hold 2-3 tampons worth of blood and are so comfortable. Simply rinse after use and then wash them in the machine. These are especially great for nighttime – no leaks and no fuss.
You’re probably heard of MoonCup by now but maybe are a little apprehensive to try one out. They’re really not as scary as they seem! Tampons are not only single use but they can contain chemicals and plastics too. Once you’ve got the hang of a cup they’re comfortable and convenient. One cup can last 10 years! Try MoonCup, Organicup or DivaCup.
Conventional pads contain high percentages of plastic and it’s time for them to go. Reusable pads can add so much cuteness to your period! I had great fun choosing adorable patterned pads on etsy from small businesses and makers. There are lots of different fabrics to choose from, different sizes and weights so do a little research and start with one pad to see if it works for you. They don’t have to be bulky or uncomfortable. When you’re finished with a pad, roll it and popper it closed and then pop it into a wet bag in your handbag (wet bags are usually sold by shops that make the pads – there are loads on etsy). When you get home, stick it in the wash.
If you’re not totally ready or are unable to go zero waste there’s still lots you can do! There are companies that make plastic free, organic pads and tampons. My favourite is Natracare who make natural, biodegradable products with no chemicals or plastics. They’re perfect if you’re really sensitive. I also love Flo for their organic, biodegradable products. they also donate a percentage of their profits to women in need.
Personally, I would recommend a combination of all of the above. Having lots of choices available during your period will give you the freedom to choose what feels right each day for you. Have a missed anything? What works for you? let me know in the comments!