From cramps and fatigue through to nausea and mood swings, when ‘that time of the month’ arrives there’s certainly a lot to worry about. That’s before even considering the effects of your period waste on the environment. Not to alarm you, but the average woman disposes of 10,000 – 12,000 tampons in her lifetime. That’s A LOT of landfill.
Thankfully, due to the recent evolution of the period care toolkit, shifting towards a more environmentally friendly period need not be a hassle. Organic tampons, menstrual cups, period undies; whatever option piques your interest, we’re right by your side to guide you through the best ways to reduce your period waste whilst staying fresh and avoiding menstruation mishap.
Trust us, making the change to an eco-friendly period is easier than you think.
Organic Tampons and Pads
Alongside an ingredient list of bleached rayon and plastics, many conventional period brands also use non-organic cotton grown with pesticides. If that triggered an alert within you, it’s for good reason. Pesticides shouldn’t be anywhere near your hoo-ha, let alone inside it. So, whether you’re rocking tampons, pads, or liners, one of the simplest ways to have a more eco-friendly period is to opt for natural and organic period products.
TOM Organic tampons are made from 100% organic cotton, without chemicals, synthetics or plastics. If pads are more your thing, Tsuno offers planet-friendly pads made from a natural bamboo – one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable fibres available. We know what you’re thinking, and yes, both these products come with a super absorbent, breathable, antibacterial, soft and comfortable guarantee. You’ll barely even notice you’re wearing an extra layer down there.
If you’re keen to dive vag-first into the zero-waste period movement, your best bet will be with a menstrual cup.
A recent riser on the sustainable period scene, menstrual cups are a small, safe and odourless bell-shaped cup made from medical-grade, BPA-free silicone. Once inserted into the vagina, the period cup collects menstrual flow for up to 12-hours without disrupting the vagina’s natural flora. When the timing’s right, simply remove the cup, rinse, re-insert, go about your day and repeat. Menstrual cups will also need a proper sterilisation following each cycle – a thorough clean in boiling water will do the trick.
Lasting from 1 – 5 years, menstrual cups are the ultimate triple threat; gentle on the environment, your lady bits and your bank account. Just remember that it may take a few trials before finding the right brand and size for you. Start here, here and here for waste-free period inspo.
What looks like normal underwear, feels like normal underwear, and has the added ability to absorb your flow? It’s period panties, the latest wave of eco-friendly period protection. Designed with several moisture-wicking, highly-absorbent, odour-repelling layers, period undies offer premium protection on the light and the heavy days, absorbing 2-4 tampons worth of blood.
Consider them the underwear doppelganger of eco-friendly period care, removing the need for single-use tampons and pads. Better for you and the planet, Modibodi is the original leader of the period pantie movement, otherwise Thinx will take care of your stylish leak-proofing needs.
Check Your Packaging
If you can, opt for period care with an emphasis on sustainable packaging. We understand that when your period unexpectedly strikes early, you’re probably not going to be overly considerate towards the biodegradability of tampon packaging. And, that’s okay, you can’t win every round.
Whenever possible, try to plan by stocking your bathroom with extra supplies. Some of our favourite sustainable period brands are TOMs and Tsuno. Or, try a period subscription service like Juuni, so you’re never caught tampon-free.
Don’t Flush Period Products Down the Toilet
For those who missed this lesson during puberty, flushing single-use tampons, applicators and pads down the toilet is a solid slap in the environment’s face. The sole function of these products is to absorb water, so they’re not going to break down and will eventually clog the planet’s waterways.
At the end of the day, how you manage your period is your decision. Choose whatever method makes you feel your most comfortable, empowered version of yourself. That’s what Youly is all about!