Sustainable period products are the best way to ensure you have an environmentally friendly period. But what exactly are your options when it comes to sustainable period products? And why should you be using these products instead of the traditional sanitary towels and tampons on offer in the first place?
Traditional Period Products Effects on the Environment
It’s no secret that our environment is suffering. Adverse weather conditions has lead to things like uncontrollable forest fires, and devastating flooding. It’s not all bad news though. We can work to reduce our carbon footprint in lots of different ways. If each person does this individually, it can make a real difference. Surprisingly, a big place we can make a difference is the products we use during our periods.
Plastic has become an essential part of modern life, and it is only in the past couple of years that we’ve upped the anti to combat our use of plastic. Traditional period products are a hub of plastic! Think about it, sanitary towels come in a plastic bag, with each individually wrapped in plastic. Tampons are also individually wrapped in plastic, and encased in a plastic applicator. Due to sanitary reasons it is discouraged for us to recycle the plastic applicator meaning it will end up in landfill. Plastic items like this can take up to 1000 years to decompose. Meaning our tampon applicators will be around a lot longer than us. Considering a person uses anything between 8,000 to 17,000 tampons throughout their lifetime, we’re looking at a whole lotta waste!
Luckily, there are ways we can combat the amount of waste going into landfill when it comes to our periods.
Here are the sustainable period products you need to know about:
Menstrual cups have become very popular in recent years. They are fairly straight forward to use. Like a tampon, a menstrual cup is inserted into the vagina. It sits in place and collects menstrual fluid. Menstrual cups are made of a flexible medical grade silicone allowing them to fit your body quite well. Like tampons, there are different sizes available so be sure to get one that fits. Unlike tampons, menstrual cups can be cleaned and reused meaning very little waste. Depending on the heaviness of you flow, menstrual cups can be worn for up to 12 hours.
Whilst traditional pads come wrapped in plastic, and contain a lot of plastic, biodegradable pads have a similar look and feel but they’ll break down in landfill. Most brands will even have packaging that breaks down easily.
These can be really helpful if you’re not a big fan of tampons or menstrual cups. They are what it says on the lid, a pad you can wear and then reuse. You wear your pad like normal, but when it comes to change it you toss it in a wash bag and into the laundry instead of in the bin. They can take a little while to get used to but help to drastically reduce how much plastic is in your period.
Plastic Free Tampons
If tampons are what you are most comfortable with, then why not opt for a plastic free version? You can also purchase reusable applicators which will help cut down a massive chunk of waste in periods. A lot of brands offer organic, plastic and chemical free tampons, as well as a reusable applicator that have very long life spans.
A big problem with sanitary towels (apart from their environmental impact) can be that bulky feeling they create. So what if you could have the handiness of a pad combined with the comfort of your everyday knickers? Queue period pants! These can be especially helpful if you have only started your period. WUKA is one brand paving the way in period pants. The ease of WUKA period pants “means it is especially suitable
for girls having a first period, those with active lifestyles as well as for students in the classroom and can be worn for up to eight hours all day – or all night.”
WUKA currently have an amazing offer on their My First Period Pack, which includes three pairs of period pants and a wash bag for £49.99. They also include an informative booklet on everything you need to know about your period! Simply enter the discount code: Firstperiod at the checkout!