How To Make Your Period Sustainable

Life-Changing Sustainable Period Products

An image containing a menstrual cup, a pad, and tampons

Even though menstruation is a natural, healthy, and powerful part of the lives of women, transgender men, and non-binary people all over the world, there are still many taboos and stigmas surrounding it. Moreover, society continues to enforce the idea that people who menstruate should be ashamed of their periods; which leads to a constant demand for them to conceal their periods and avoid talking about menstruation as much as possible. Consequently, the effects of such ideologies is heavily reflected in the making of period products. 

Unknowingly, people who menstruate are exposed to toxic chemicals from period products as the regular types often are filled with undisclosed fragrance chemicals, dioxins and furans, pesticide residues, and adhesive chemicals. Likewise, 90% of pads and 6% of tampons are made of plastic which means that every time you are flushing down and/or simply throwing away your pads and tampons, you are contributing to the 12 billion pads and 7 billion tampons which are discarded in the United States every year. Moreover, not only pads and tampons themselves contribute to creating waste and harm the environment, but also their packaging. 

Nevertheless, luckily you are living in a world where it has become possible to find solutions for both the toxic chemicals present within and the waste created by pads and tampons. There is nothing better than knowing that every month you will be able to utilize products which are not harmful to yourself or the environment. This is why we have compiled a list of several sustainable period products that can be reutilized while also offering you quality and comfort.

Here you will find:

  • Reusable pads
  • Sustainable tampons
  • Menstrual cup
  • Menstrual disc
  • Period underwear 
A pad with small flowers on top of it
Sustainable period products are better for the environment and for your body. Image courtesy of Pexels

Reusable pads

Who said that to help the environment you have to get rid of your pads? Even though some may consider pads uncomfortable and outdated, the truth is that they are very helpful and practical; especially for those who do not feel comfortable inserting tampons or who have a heavy flow. 

However, if you wear regular pads you probably are familiar with the funny odor that most of them have and how it becomes worse once it gets mixed with blood. Moreover, regular pads can often leave you feeling as if there is no space for your vagina to breathe which can be dangerous once you take into consideration all the toxins present on them. 

Therefore, reusable pads are the best answer for those who enjoy wearing pads but are looking for a sustainable solution without having to turn to sustainable tampons or a menstrual cup. Reusable pads are washable by hand and most of them can be washed in the laundry machine as well. The best part about these types of pads is that, depending on the brand, they can last up to 120 uses. You can find several designs, colors, and sizes in websites such as Etsy, Rael, Aisle, and many others!

Sustainable tampons 

For many people who menstruate, tampons are the most practical and efficient way to go through their period. If you are one of them, you are probably wondering how tampons can be sustainable and/or reusable. Therefore, the truth is that, even though it is not possible to find reusable tampons per se, it is possible to find sustainable alternatives which are comfortable and, most importantly, non-toxic. 

Anyone who wears tampons is aware of the existence of TSS (Toxic Shock Syndrome) and understands the importance of changing their tampons frequently and of not sleeping with them on. Consequently, even if they are free of toxins, such rules still apply to sustainable tampons and should not be dismissed. With that being said, the difference between sustainable tampons and regular tampons lies in the fact that the first alternative is often rid of plastic applicators or consists of BPA free plastic applicators, free of toxins, and made of organic cotton. 

Therefore, even though sustainable tampons may still produce waste, there is less waste and environmental harm being put in the making of and application of these products. Still, an alternative to the tampon can be found in the use of sea sponges which are natural and safe products which can be inserted in the vagina. Some brands of sustainable tampons are LOLA, Veeda, and Natracare.

A menstrual cup with flowers inside of it a small pouch
Most menstrual cups can be used for up to twelve hours. Image courtesy of Pexels

Menstrual Cup 

When it comes to menstruation, there is nothing more annoying than having to continuously change your pads or tampons, as well as having to deal with leakage and the embarrassment that comes with it. The truth is that the reality of many people when they are on their periods is one of constant worry and discomfort. For those reasons, and many others, the menstrual cup is a complete game-changer and life-saver. 

If you menstruate, there is a high chance that you have heard about the menstrual cup. There are no doubts that it has become a fever as many people are jumping on board and leaving behind pads and tampons. The menstrual cup often consists of small silicone cups which are inserted inside the vagina to collect menstrual blood. The best part? They can be used for up to 12 hours and you can even sleep with them on! All that you have to do is dump the blood, rinse the cup, and they are ready to be inserted back again! They are convenient, sustainable, and cheap!

When it comes to the menstrual cup, there are several brands out there for you to pick from and you can even find the right one for you right here! There are menstrual cups for every type of flow and needs. A great way to start is with the Diva Cup, but don’t be afraid to explore the other options available out there in case the Diva Cup doesn’t seem like the best option for you. 

Menstrual Disc 

Even though the menstrual cup and the menstrual disc are very similar to each other when it comes to their functionality, they are actually quite different. First of all, they are different in shape as the menstrual cup is shaped like a cup and the menstrual disc is shaped like a disc. Although such a difference may seem too obvious to be noted, it can be a pivotal part in the decision making process. 

Moreover, most menstrual discs are disposable which is important to take into consideration when looking for sustainable period products. Still, they can be used for up to twelve hours and help reduce the amount of pads or tampons that you might usually use. Nevertheless, a menstrual disc is actually more similar to a diaphragm than to a menstrual cup due to the fact that it sits at the base of your cervix and actually can be used, and are often the best option for, period sex! 

At the end of the day, it is worth it looking for reusable brands of menstrual discs, but you can start with a disposable one to help you get used to it and figure out if it is the best option for you. Some of the reusable brands are Nixit and Intima and a disposable brand is Flex.

A woman holding a menstrual cup with a flower inside of it
You deserve the best for your period, so don’t be afraid to explore sustainable alternatives. Image courtesy of Pexels

Period Underwear

For most people, the idea of wearing period underwear is often followed by the fear of bleeding through their clothes and being embarrassed in front of others, as well as ruining their favorite pair of jeans, shorts, and so on. However, the truth about period underwear is far from anything that your worst nightmares might have told you about them.

In fact, when you take into consideration the amount of times that your pads and tampons have failed you, it becomes clear that it is worth giving period underwear a try. Period underwear fits and is supposed to be used just like regular underwear, except that they are absorbent and their material is actually made to be able to wash period blood away. If you don’t feel 100% comfortable wearing period underwear on its own, it is totally okay to use pads and tampons with it. However, there is a certain freedom that comes with being able to let yourself bleed freely knowing that you won’t be getting anything dirty. 

There are several types and sizes of period underwear, just like regular underwear, that allow you to find the best fit for yourself! The best part about period underwear is that many brands are inclusive of transgender and non-binary people as well, which is very important. Some of the best brands are Knix, Thinx, Ruby, and Dear Kate

The period revolution starts with you! Once you decide to break free from period products which society has been imposing on people who menstruate for centuries, you will notice how there is nothing to be ashamed about. 

Camila do Nascimento

See All Posts >>

You Might Also Like...