Sustainability is big news. There are lots of posts about living a zero-waste and eco-friendly life, with some people even keeping all their trash in a jar! While I’m not going quite that far, I am working to reduce the waste I produce by always taking a tote bag to the supermarket, taking my own produce bags and recycling where possible.
So when it comes to my period, I’m becoming increasingly aware of the amount of waste I produce. As someone who almost exclusively uses tampons, I realised I was creating a huge amount of plastic waste. My period runs for around five days, so I easily go through an entire pack every cycle.
In fact, in your lifetime, you’ll use between 5 and 15 thousand pads and tampons, the vast majority of which will wind up in landfills as plastic waste.
Not only is this a lot of plastic, it’s also expensive. I’m making a habit of putting period products into the Food Bank boxes at supermarkets because period poverty is literally costing girls their education!
In an effort to reduce the waste I create during my period, I did some investigating. These are the best sustainable period products which will help the environment and save you money in the long-run.
This blog article contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Top Eco-Friendly Period Products
The menstrual cup is a soft silicone alternative to tampons and are readily available online and in Boots or Superdrug. Inserting one may feel daunting at first, but there’s lots of resources out there to find out the best way. I watched lots of YouTube tutorial videos which really helped!
Once you get the hang of using them, you’ll find this is a fuss-free alternative to tampons and pads. They come in a couple of sizes, so you can find the one that works for you. Plus, the upfront cost isn’t extortionate.
Physically, you can’t actually feel the cup inside you at all. It also sits lower than a tampon does, so you may find it to be more comfortable, especially right at the beginning of when you get your period.
The only slight problem I had was when emptying the cup in public toilets – you’ll need a bottle of water on hand to rinse it out when emptying it.
- Low upfront cost
- Literally zero waste
- Easily cleaned in boiling water
- No risk of toxic shock syndrome
- You can’t feel it
- Annoying to use in public bathrooms
- It takes a little practise to get it in and out
While Thinx were one of the first brands of period underwear on the market, there are now some cheaper options out there.
You can shop around and get a wide range of options depending on where you’re at in your flow. Some people prefer to just wear them at night, while others are perfectly comfortable wearing them in the day or when doing sport!
- Really affordable
- Easy to clean
- Feels secure and comfortable
- Limited styles and colours that are affordable
These reusable pads have over 200 5* ratings on Amazon and come in lots of cute patterns. I’d imagine that these sanitary pads come in particularly useful at night, as they might be a little bulky for day use. One reviewer, Sophie S. left a great review, “They are very absorbent and easy to clean (just wash by hand or washing machine). They fold quite neatly into packages which measure 7cm x 10cm.”
Not ready to ditch tampons altogether? That’s ok! If you’re always using applicators when you use tampons, why not try tampons without applicators? Just think how much plastic waste is created every cycle by plastic tampons which could be easily avoided. If you’re not ready to give up the applicator, you could also try tampons with cardboard applicators.