20 years ago, the vast majority of people were using disposable pads and tampons for their period. Sure, a few hippies used sea sponge tampons, or the first modern day menstrual cup, the Keeper. But, most people just didn’t know about these products.
These days, there are a LOT of options to have a more eco-friendly period experience. Increasing numbers of people are using them.
Imagine the possibilities if every single menstruating person in the world had a reusable, or organic feminine hygiene product in their hands? It’d be a happy day for our Earth!
Some of these more environmentally friendly options for periods include the following:
- Reusable cloth pads
- Menstrual cups
- Period Panties
- Organic disposables (pads + tampons)
I’ll give you a few more details about each of them.
Option #1: Reusable Cloth Pads
Disposable sanitary napkins aren’t great for a whole lot of reasons! Some brands of them contain toxic chemicals from the pesticides used to grow the cotton. They also come from the manufacturing process, and bleaching in particular is quite bad. Plus, they’re made in large part from plastic which is non-biodegradable.
A better option are reusable cloth pads. They work in much the same way as disposables, but instead of a sticky backing, they’re held in place by snaps on the wings.
You can make your own if you’re handy with the sewing machine. Or, you can easily find them on Amazon. Some of my favourite brands include the following: Top 5 Reusable Cloth Pads.
Option #2: Menstrual Cups
Next up on our list of the best eco-friendly period products is the menstrual cup. You’ve probably heard of some of the more popular brands including the Diva Cup (Canada), Mooncup (UK) and Lunette Cup (Finland).
In case you don’t know what they are, menstrual cups are bell-shaped containers that are most often made from medical grade silicone. What makes them so eco-friendly is that they can last for years and potentially replace thousands of tampons over a lifetime.
Although period cups do cost a bit more up-front, they can potentially save you money in just a few months when compared to what you’d spend on tampons. Plus, they don’t contain any toxins and most people love the higher capacity of them.
There’s really nothing to not love about menstrual cups, apart from the learning curve that goes along with using them. The key is to not give up too soon! You’ll eventually figure out how to insert it correctly and get it to not leak.
If you live in the UK, you might want to consider the locally made Mooncup. It’s a top-quality cup that works well for most people and is very reasonably priced if you order it from the company website.
Option #3: Period Panties
Most people use a pad or pantyliner as a backup to a menstrual cup or tampon. However, you might want to consider period panties, which are reusable and a bit more eco-friendly.
Some period panties are designed to absorb menstrual fluid and can be worn alone, while others have only a leak-proof layer in them. Most people use the latter with a tampon or menstrual cup with, and the period panties serve only as an extra layer of protection.
Make sure you’re clear on what you’re getting before you buy them! You can easily find them on Amazon UK.
Option #4: Organic Pads and Tampons
If you’re going to use disposable period protection, considering going organic. Not only will you be reducing your exposure to toxic chemicals, but you’ll also be helping out the environment. These products usually contain no plastic in them (including the packaging) and this makes them 100% biodegradable.
Although organic pads and tampons are a bit more expensive than non-organic, you can find them for a reasonable price on Amazon. In general, if you buy them at a local health food shop, they’ll be ridiculously expensive!
One of my new favourite brands is Rael. They’re high in quality, have some excellent customer ratings and reviews, but are affordably priced.
About the Author
Jackie Bolen from the website, Reusable Menstrual Cups (check it out here) is a tree-hugging, friend of the Earth. She can often be found paddling the rivers, on top of a mountain, or drinking coffee around Vancouver, Canada.