How To Have An Eco-Friendly Period
We break down your options.
The days of simply picking up some pads or tampons at your local Walgreens might soon be a distant memory. More and more of us are transitioning to alternative methods for managing our periods and it’s all because of the massive environmental impact that plastic and cotton practices are having on our planet. Nowadays, we have some sustainable options for how to manage our monthly period while taking care of our bodies and, the planet. Are you interested in making your period eco-friendlier? If so, we’ve got you covered.
The first alternative to the traditional tampon is the period cup. While the Moon Cup is probably the one you have heard the most about, there are many brands out there that produce silicon cups built to collect your menstrual blood much like a tampon, without the harmful chemicals and wasteful cotton.
So what are the benefits of using the cup?
Firstly, they can be worn for up to 12 hours (depending on the brand). They are also comfortable and convenient so you might even forget you are on your period. Let’s be real, that’s the dream! All you need to do is rinse it through, re-insert and you are good to go. What’s more, the cups are entirely waste-free, which means you are not contributing to the damaging landfills of tampon and pad waste that can take up to 600 years to decompose. Between your periods, it is recommended that you disinfect the cup by boiling it in water with a sterilising solution or tablet. Easy enough.
Hear us out. This one needs a little explaining if you are not familiar with the concept already. Several brands including Thinx, Modibodi and Lunapads have created underwear with special technology to absorb menstrual blood, stop leaking, keep you dry all day and control odours. And they really work! Plus, the underwear is actually really cute and available in a bunch of different designs and silhouettes. We recommend checking out the Thinx range online to find your perfect style and fit.
So how do you reuse them?
This part is easy. Just give the underwear a quick rinse before you put it in the wash at 30 degrees and then, let them air dry. We recommend buying a couple of pairs to take you through your cycle for a drama-free visit from Aunt Flow.
If you’re not fully ready to embrace the reusable options, that’s perfectly understandable. Hygiene or an unease with menstrual blood is often a concern for people looking to transition to alternative period methods. But, there is another alternative for people who want to have a fuss-free, eco-friendlier period. The disc is often confused with the menstrual cup, but, the two are very different.
So what’s the difference?
The disc is inserted much higher up at the vaginal fornix so, to insert: pinch, fold it in half and push it back to behind your pubic bone. Unlike the menstrual cup, the discs are disposable and made from medical-grade polymer instead of silicon, so expect to use about eight discs during an average cycle. This means that there is still much less waste than if you were to use tampons. (Massive bonus: the disc is one of the only options that is safe to keep in during sex! You’re welcome…)
Wherever you are in your journey to achieving an eco-friendly period, it is vital to research your options; ask your friends and experiment with the various sustainable methods available. You heard it here first: 2020 is the year we break free from pads and tampons. Who’s with us?
(images via Vice, Ova Woman, Dot Cup)