When embarking on a more eco-friendly lifestyle one of the most important actions you can take is to replace as many disposable products with reusable ones. This will not only help to reduce waste but it will also help to reduce carbon emissions and will even save you money in the long run.
Choosing to have an eco-friendly period is quickly becoming more and more popular and when you see facts like these it’s easy to understand why…
“A study, commissioned by Menstrual cup brand Intimina, found a person spends £10.24 per month on menstrual products adding up to £4,916 during an average reproductive lifetime – 12 to 52″Evening Standard
“There are around 18 million women of menstruating age in the UK. Disposal of single-use menstrual products – tampons, pads and applicators generates 200,000 tonnes of waste per year”Environmenstrual
On top of this, the majority of disposable period products contain plastics, chemicals and are bleached white which can lead to common vaginal health problems including thrush and other infections and rashes.
Overall, the eco-friendly period products win hands down and here are 3 that have been causing waves.
1. Menstrual Cup
A menstrual cup is a cup-like device made from silicone and designed to fit snugly inside your vagina similarly to a tampon. The main difference here is that the cup is plastic and chemical-free and can be reused each and every month.
There are many varieties on the market and once you begin to research them you will also notice that they are usually available in two sizes. The size you choose will be based on your age and whether or not you have had children vaginally.
Finding the right size and style is essential for your own comfort, as well as its function, I have more information on the menstrual cup here.
Prior to use, you must safely sterilise your cup either in boiled water, using bottle sterilisers or sterilising tablets or fluid. From here, you gently fold the cup over on itself (there are different methods that you can follow online) and begin to insert it. Once in place, (lower than a tampon) the cup will pop open and sit comfortably.
You can wear a menstrual cup for around 4-8 hours before needing to empty it. To do this all you do is gently squeeze the cup to release the suction and then pull on the stem. You can empty the contents into the toilet, rinse or wipe the cup with toilet roll and re-insert it. It is safe to wear all day every day, overnight and for exercise and swimming.
2. Period Pants
Period pants are knickers with an additional protective layer allowing you to have a period without using any other sanitary products inside them.
Usually made from a stretchy fabric, period pants are designed to move with you, be extremely absorbent and prevent any leaks. You can purchase them in a variety of flows to accommodate the type of period you have. They should last you around 8-12 hours allowing you to go about your day without having to worry.
Once they have been worn you simply wash them in your machine with powder, no conditioner, air dry and reuse.
Suggested read: FLUX Undies Period Pants Review
3. Cloth Sanitary Pads
Cloth sanitary pads (CSP) are used in the same way as disposable sanitary pads/towels but are made from soft, absorbent fabrics which can be washed and used over and over again. They are available in a wide variety of designs and styles, they use poppers to secure them in place instead of a plastic tab and are usually made from fleece, bamboo or cotton and charcoal.
They contain no chemicals or perfumes which allows your period to feel more comfortable, often lighter and shorter. You can change your CSP as often as you need, rinse them out after use with cold water to prevent stains and then pop them in the washing machine on a 30° or 40° wash (depending on the brand).
The Best Eco-Friendly Period Products?
The wonderful thing about having these reusable period products available to us is that you can use just 1, a mixture of 2 or even all 3 to fully cater to the whole week of your period. Being more eco-friendly allows you to look after yourself as well as our environment.