Your Guide to a Green and Happy Period
Okay, women, let’s talk periods. Or more specifically, green periods. While 90% of us recycle kitchen waste, 50% of Europeans don’t recycle bathroom waste, simply because it’s inconvenient. This means 2.7 billion tons of bathroom waste hits landfills every year. A woman will use up to 17,000 disposable pads and tampons during her lifetime. The cardboard used in our toiletries contributes to the loss of 18 million acres of forest each year.
If this level of consumption continues, by 2050 there will be 12 billion tonnes of plastic in landfills. That is the equivalent of 35,000 Empire State Buildings. The UN has declared our current situation a ‘planetary crisis’, and no industry is exempt from scrutiny. So, we’re looking at eco-friendly period products to help you reduce your waste, and be kinder to your body.
- Menstrual cup
Aside from saving money and reducing waste, menstrual cups are brilliant for women as they are chemical-free and provide better leak-protection than tampons and pads. Menstrual cups work by creating a seal between the cup and vagina wall on insertion. Your flow is then captured in the cup. They can last up to 8-12 hours before needing to be emptied and come in different sizes so that you can pick the cup that works best for your body.
We recommend trying the OrganiCup or Mooncup. OrganiCup also does great biodegradable wipes so that you can clean your cup on the go.
- Period Pants
The newest addition to the green period product category, period panties, are proving to be popular. They are made from four bits of tech that make them antimicrobial, moisture-wicking, absorbent, and leak-resistant. The top layer of the in-built pad fights bacteria and absorbs any liquid into the thin layer beneath. Meaning you stay dry and comfortable.
Although more expensive than traditional panties, the reusable element of this product means they’ll pay for themselves within a year. There are lots of brands out there to choose from, and we recommend looking at ThinkX or WUKA.
- Organic, biodegradable tampons
Disposables tampons are made with a combination of plastics, cotton, synthetic fibres, and wood pulp. Conventionally produced cotton is one of the most toxic crops grown, using 20 percent of the world’s pesticides and herbicides. These materials are then bleached with chlorine dioxide, creating polluting, harmful, and bio-accumulative by-products like dioxins. These not only end up in the environment but also remain in our bodies for decades. Add this to the other synthetic chemicals and artificial fragrances often found in pads and tampons, and you’ve got a recipe for side effects. Think allergic reactions, hormone disruption, reproductive, and gynecological disorders.
So, if you can’t get on-board with reusable period products, we recommend switching to organic, biodegradable tampons like these from TOTM. Their tampons are made from sustainably sourced, pure organic cotton, and their packaging is biodegradable.
- Reusable cotton pads
Cloth pads are good for your body, the planet and your budget. They are free from irritating materials, so you can avoid unnecessary exposure to synthetic ingredients. They are also a lifetime investment! Remember those 17,000 disposables the average woman will use? If she’s buying a box of 20 tampons or pads at $5 per box, she’ll throw away upwards of $4,500.
Once used, just put them on a cold cycle, dry them, and they’re good as new. We recommend looking at Lunapads.
- Sea sponges
The use of sea sponges as a natural tampon goes back centuries. The first record of them being used as menstrual products is in the 17th century! Sea sponges are harvested from the ocean, washed and trimmed, and then packaged specifically for menstrual use. One sea sponge can last up to six months and needs to be changed throughout the day. With proper care these can be a great eco and budget-friendly option!
Check out Sea Pearls to find out more.
Reusable period products are nothing new, women have been using sea sponges and rags for years. Now we have the added benefit of being able to combine amazing technology with nature, allowing us to create natural, environmentally friendly period products that empower us! So, we say forget those boring, bleached, synthetic options, and go reusable, colourful and natural.