When its that time of the month and you need to stock up on menstrual products, the last thing on your mind is being eco-friendly. It is so easy to forget the harmful impact that they can have on the environment. Traditional pads and tampons, both plastic-based and containing a range of potentially irritant chemicals, are not the healthiest option when it comes to our bodies and our planet. For people who experience periods, deciding which product to use is a pain (pun unintended). But there is no need to worry as there are many options when it comes to expenses, brands and sustainable ways to deal with our periods.
Eco friendly pads & tampons:
Many brands now manufacture plastic free, biodegradable pads and tampons. For example, Natracare’s pads and tampons are made from organic, combustible materials unlike their traditional counterparts that are approximately 90% plastic. This means that in using their products you are not only reducing plastic pollution but also treating your body more kindly as they are free from irritating perfumes and dyes used in most mainstream products. While a bit more expensive than conventional products, if you want to cut down on plastics, they are definitely worth considering.
Although they might not be for everyone, period underwear are a further sustainable option worth considering. As their name might suggest, period underwear are simply pants designed to function in a similar way to tampons and pads, collecting your flow and protecting you from leakage throughout the day. They come in all shapes and sizes and, of course, prices. Typically, they cost from around £15 – £30. But when you factor in the period products they replace, period underwear are a cost-efficient choice. Popular period underwear brands include Modibodi, Wuka and Thinx.
Another sustainable option to consider are reusable cotton pads. Online you can purchase cloth pads in a range of sizes, shapes, colours and patterns that make periods a lot more light-hearted. Many also come along with wet bags for storage and washing. Again, they produce zero waste and in the long term save a significant amount of money. However, the process of soaking, washing and drying them between each use can be quite time consuming and requires a lot of effort.
Menstrual cups are an increasingly popular alternative to conventional period products. Essentially, they are a surgical silicone cup that acts similarly to a tampon, collecting your flow once inserted. Yet more impressively they can be used up to 12 hours for a time and while they are more expensive, often costing up to £25, they can be reused for several years. Popular brands include Divacup, Claricup and Mooncup and can be bought online or in some mainstream drugstores.