Think about it this way, periods come every month for 4-6 days per time and this cycle repeats its self for maybe 40 years? On our heavy days we use a few sanitary pads or tampons (or both) and on our less heavy days less.
I want you to just stop for a second and think about how much waste we produce every single month. The average woman will throw away roughly 15,000 pads or tampons in her lifetime. However, we cannot just quit using sanitary products. So what is the solution for a greener period? How can women who are mindful about the environment do their part to produce less waste?
Thankfully, innovative entrepreneurs have stepped up in the last few years and have come up with some greener solutions to periods. Depending on your individual needs and preferences there are a number of eco-friendly period products to choose from nowadays.
The choices are:
- 100% organic tampons and pads.
- Reusable/washable sanitary pads or underwear with a built in pad.
- Menstrual cups.
Choosing brands that use only organic unbleached cotton is definitely a good start. You will still create the same amount of waste but at least when they end up in land fields they will safely biodegrade without contaminating the soil. Conventional period brands use plastic in their pads and bleach their tampons, so it’s not only bad for the environment but also but for you.
An even greener option is to reuse your period products. I know it sounds unpleasant but it’s not exactly how you imagine it to be. THINX is a cool innovative brand that does reusable period underwear, which come in all kinds of different designs and colors! It’s kind of like having a built in pad in your underwear that you then wash and reuse. Another option is reusable pads. There are numerous women on Etsy who sell new handmade reusable pads in all sorts of designs too. Again, you just need to rinse them with cold water as soon as you want to replace them, and then on laundry day, you wash them on a cold setting.
My favorite choice and the one I use for my periods is a menstrual cup.
What exactly is a menstrual cup?
It’s an alternative to tampons that catch your flow while the cup is inserted. Unlike a tampon, it’s not absorbent. It’s just like a little cup that collects your period throughout the day, and once it’s full you just empty it in the toilet, clean it properly with cold water from the sink, and reinsert it again. It’s genius. I’ve been using mine for the past year and honestly, I can’t even think of using tampons anymore. They are much more hygienic, they last for 10 years if you take good care of them, and they are incredibly economic. The brand I use is OrganiCup.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with your period products. You can always try a greener option and if you don’t get on with it very well, you just try something else next month.
The Green Edit