Millions of people menstruate across the world every day, yet I still find it’s a bit of a taboo to talk about our periods openly and honestly. It shouldn’t be this way, it’s time to talk about periods!
The average woman will have more than 400 periods in a lifetime, and with the vagina being the second most absorbent part of our body, we get through a lot of tampons, sanitary pads, and other period products in our lifetime! But our planet is in a state of emergency, and even though we are all trying our best to reuse more, and dispose less, we aren’t all that environmentally aware when it comes to choosing our period products.
If you’re interested in making your period more sustainable, here are my tips on how you can do it …
Don’t flush your period products down the toilet!
Each day, it is estimated that 700,000 panty liners, 2.5 million tampons, and 1.4 million sanitary towels are flushed down the toilet. Sanitary products flushed down the loo are the biggest cause of fatbergs and sewage blockages! This, mixed with the fact that most period products are made using plastic, has big consequences on our planet and the environment.
If you are using non-reusable sanitary products, then please remember to dispose of them in a bin instead of flushing them!
Invest in reusable sanitary pads
Did you know that one pack of sanitary towels contains the same amount of plastic as 4 plastic shopping bags, and a single pad takes around 500 years to decompose?
ShazzyChic, Etsy Reusable menstrual pads – 100% cotton – Eco Friendly £3.00-£4.00 each
Reusable sanitary/menstrual pads are a great alternative to disposable pads, and are inexpensive, absorbent, and come in a range of stunning patterns and designs. I’m a huge fan of Etsy and supporting local and smaller retailers, which is why I love these reusable menstrual pads, which are made and manufactured in Rhyl.
Cheeky Wipes Cheeky Pants Cloth Sanitary Pads 10 MULTI-PACK £40.95
Cheeky Wipes also have an excellent multi-pack range of reusable sanitary pads, so if you’re like me and like to sleep in a thick and absorbent pad whilst on your period, then these are a great option for you.
There are so many brands out there with a variety of names selling menstrual cups. Cups are a great alternative to tampons, as they are reusable and made out of silicone, rubber or plastic. They collect the blood rather than absorb it, so it can be emptied and reinserted throughout the day. They will also save you a lot of money over time because they last ages, and tampons can be expensive!
I use the OrganiCup which I love. Although it takes a while to put them in for the first time, you get used to it really quickly and they’re super easy to insert, empty, clean and reuse.
Organic period products
If you are most comfortable using tampons and not keen on using a cup or reusable pad, then there are many organic tampons out there too.
These DAME tampons are made of cotton and are synthetic free and entirely biodegradable. They even offer a subscription service so you’re never caught short of tampons when it’s your time of month!
Tampons, their packaging, and plastic applicators go straight into landfill when thrown in the bin after use, and can take centuries to decompose! This is why cardboard applicators are often a popular alternative to plastic ones. But … what’s even better than a cardboard applicator is a reusable applicator, that can be used time after time again.
This Dame applicator is carbon neutral, self-sanitizing, compatible with all types of tampons and lasts for life!
I never thought knickers or bikini bottoms that claimed to protect me from leakage would work as well as a tampon or sanitary towel did, if at all. But since trying out these Lace topped Period Pants by Cheeky Wipes and Classic Bikini Pants by FLUX undies, I’m totally converted!
These pants are highly absorbent, breathable, comfortable, and a great design. And best of all, I’ve not leaked through them once.
They’re perfect for when you’re just having a day at home and able to change your knickers frequently (as often as you’d change a tampon) – they’re also inexpensive and reusable.
Cheeky Wipes Feeling PRETTY – Lace topped Period Pants £10.50
FLUX undies Classic Bikini – Heavy Flow £27.95
Donate to period poverty charities
Did you know that 1 in 10 girls aged between 14-21 in the UK can’t afford to buy period products? If you have excess period products that you don’t need, why not consider donating them to your local women’s centre or food bank?
Furthermore, refugees and asylum seekers (some of the most vulnerable people in our society) often struggle to afford period products. The charity Bloody Good Period have partnered with 40 asylum seeker drop-in centers around the UK, to help more girls and women have access to period supplies. You can donate money and/or period products to Bloody Good Period here.