On average, a woman will have five hundred periods throughout her lifetime, which is to say, slightly mind boggling and exhausting to think about. Periods take a toll on a lot of aspects of our lives, our emotions, mental health, body, skin and of course, expenses.
Periods are expensive. Stupidly so, I think we can all agree. It’s the sort of maths I can’t really do but it’s a lot, anyone’s whose ever bought a box of tampons or pads can agree with that.
On top of that, tampons and pads are incredibly unsustainable. Plastic waste being the largest side effect on our environment.
So, with the contribution to land waste and the drain on all our hard-earned money, what other options can you go down to save money and make your lifestyle a little more eco-friendly.
3 ways to make your period more sustainable
1. The Cup
Dominating the market at the moment, the menstrual cup. These little babies have actually been around since the 1930’s, made of silicone or latex plastic and can last you up to ten years. It can take a little while to get used to using, but once you have, it’s as obtrusive as a tampon and, dependant on your flow, can be left in for a lot longer, most brands claiming up to twelve hours. Take it out, give it a wash, put in back in. Make sure to give it a thorough clean with boiling water at the end of each cycle. Cups come in various colours, shapes and sizes for newbies and old timers.
I myself use Intimina Lily Cup for beginners, and whilst it took a little while to get used to, it’s nice to not have to think about it as much as a tampon or pad.
2. Organic Tampons
If the cup doesn’t suit you, but you still want the security of a pad or tampon, finding a brand that uses organic cotton, unbleached and completely natural. The lack of bleach also means that organic tampons are less likely to release chemical that disturb your hormones and won’t release any dioxin. Eco-friendly and sustainable, but they are most costly than your usual brand, so you won’t save money, but you will feel a little greener.
Hanging out with the organic cotton, you might also find sea sponges. Sponge tampons. Renewable resources from the ocean that should last you several months, absorbent by nature and easy and comfortable to use, they require careful cleaning and can be tricky to remove, but if you want to go as au naturel as you can, do some research and find a safe and reliable source for your sponge.
If you don’t like having anything up there and are a loyal and steadfast pad gal, there are different options floating around the market. First of all, with the organic cotton coming into tampons, you can also find pads made from more eco-friendly fibres.
Otherwise, look into the world of reusable cloth pads, or period pants. Pants you can bleed right into without worry. Sounds good. Different brands use different materials; bamboo, cotton and merino wool being the most popular. You can keep them on all day and pop them in wash, easy breezy.
Easy peasy period!
There is a whole host of option out there you can try to save yourself some extra pennies each month (chocolate money? Thank you) and reduce your impact of the environment at the same time. Take your period into your own hand (literally, with some of the options out there) and take some of that monthly strain off of your shoulders.
P.S. Period poverty is very real and very much a burden on girls and women across the world. There are loads of charities you can support and help to give girls the access to the products they need to keep them in school, at work, or simply to keep them going month to month. In the immortal words of Lorelai Gilmore: ‘solidarity sister.’
Have you got another eco-friendly period product that we haven’t mentioned? let us know in the comments!