Have a planet-friendly period - the best sustainable menstrual products
The average woman menstruates for approximately 40 years of her lifetime. Can you imagine how many tampons and sanitary towels are used during that time? It’s hard to put an exact figure on it but it’s been estimated that a single menstruating woman will use from 5 to 15 thousand sanitary towels and tampons. And where do all those sanitary products go once they’re finished with? Landfill mostly, as plastic waste.
Unfortunately, tampons and pads both contain plastic that isn’t recyclable. So typically, the waste that is generated by our monthly periods just ends up in a hole in the earth, where it can take up to 500 years to break down! Sometimes, tampon casings and pads are irresponsibly flushed down the toilet, and when sewerage systems fail, they can then end up in our oceans too.
Isn’t it time that as women, we adopt more sustainable ways of managing our menstruation? There are so many affordable and convenient ways to tackle your period in an environmentally friendly way. Here are some options you could try:
Did you know that typical sanitary pads are made from 90% plastic? And it’s not only the plastic content which is a concern, but also the chemical content. You might not automatically think that chemicals would feature in your intimate hygiene products but in fact, they are typically used as standard in the manufacturing process. Pesticides can be present too, as they are involved in the bleaching of cotton. If your usual product of choice is perfumed, you should also be aware of the chemicals involved in creating synthetic fragrances, which can be up to 3,900 different chemicals! When put like that, traditional pads don’t sound like the sort of thing you’d want in your pants or in the eco-system.
But don’t despair, there are a growing number of more naturally made alternatives available on the market today that are female and planet friendly. Organic, biodegradable and made from natural materials without the use of chemicals, plastics and other synthetic elements, eco-friendly sanitary pads may be made using fibres from cotton, bamboo and even banana. We highly recommend exploring which brands are available to you.
Check out how these pads are made using banana waste:
We love period pants, that is; underwear that has been designed to contain your menstrual flow whilst keeping you feeling dry and comfortable. There are lots of great brands selling period pants today and searching online will reveal just how many styles and options are out there. You can find pants that have been designed with removable padding and others which have been designed as one piece, with the absorbent liner fully integrated.
Using period underwear is super simple After wearing, just rinse with cold water and then wash. This video from Bright Girl Health provides great advice about how and why to use period pants:
Menstrual cups are soft and flexible bell-shaped silicone devices designed to be inserted into the vagina. Menstrual cups have actually been around for a long time, since the 1860’s at least, but back then they weren’t popular due to being made of uncomfortable rubber. These days though, the medical grade silicone that is used to make menstrual cups makes them safe, comfortable and easy to use. You simply insert the cup into the vagina and as it unfolds, it creates a seal and catches menstrual blood without leaking.
Unlike tampons, you can safely wear a menstrual cup for up to 12 hours and additional benefits include reduced odour (since menstrual blood is not exposed to air when using the cups), reduced drying inside the vagina and reduced exposure to potentially harmful chemicals that are sometimes found in tampons and pads.
When the cup is full, you can easily remove it, rinse it out and use it again, so it is a super sustainable option compared to disposable period products.
Check out this helpful video to learn more about using menstrual cups:
Get in touch!
Do you use any sustainable period products? We’d love to hear your recommendations for achieving environmentally friendly menstruation. You can get in touch with us any time on social media or by email.