It’s that time of the month again. The flow has begun! Being a woman can be tough and expensive. And our period waste can have a huge impact on the environment. But being a woman can also be empowering, strengthening, and ignite change in the world if we work together as a sisterhood.
So let’s look at how our period waste effects the environment and what alternatives we can use to reduce our waste and save a ton of money. Because saving money is always a plus! Right?!
On average woman use around 10,000 to 12,000 products during their lifetime, and some of these products can take around 500 to 800 years to biodegrade. Whoa! That’s a long time. You not only have to worry about the actual cotton in these products put the plastic they are individually wrapped in and also the packages of these products.
- Reusable Pads & Liners
Reusable pads and liners dramatically reduce waste. You not only save on the cotton and chemicals put into landfills you also save on the plastic waste from applicators and wrappings. You can buy these online on Amazon and from Etsy. You can also make your own from old flannels. Find out more here. If you make your own from old flannels these can be virtually free. If you would like to make your own the prices can vary but tend to be around $16-$20 for around 6 to 10 pads. Some even come with a wash bag.
The DivaCup is pretty awesome. It’s a small cup that you fold and insert into the vagina. It collects the blood and is made to be be rinsed, reused, and then boiled for cleaning. These cups save the earth from a ton of menstrual waste as they are durable and can be reused every period. There are two sizes and a ton of knock-offs. The DivaCup is about $30 on Amazon.
3. Sea Sponge
Using sea sponges as tampons is super trendy right now and, if cultivated correctly, the sea sponge can actually be healthier from the clippings. Learn more about the sea sponge here. You can get two sea sponges from Amazon for about $25. However, using a sea sponge as a tampon is still controversial in the medical community. Some doctors fear that the sponges aren’t well tested and can contain contaminants that may not be good for woman’s health. Ask your doctor and check out this article.
4. Period Panties, Pants, & Body Suits
I first heard of period panties from the YouTuber Safiya Nygaard. She has a web series where she tries out different types of period products. I have yet to try these just because they can be pretty pricey and I don’t have that kind of green. But, in theory, these can be a great alternative to traditional products that create a lot of waste. Most period panties cost about $35-$45 a pair. And you’ll need a few pairs if you want to use these during your entire cycle without doing laundry every day. However, there are knock-offs on Amazon for about $15 a pair. You can also buy period legging and body suits but they start at about $45.
5. Bio Pads & Organic Tampons
There are a ton of options when it comes eco-friendly pads and tampons. However, these can be pricey depending on the company you chose. A popular company that is dedicated to finding eco-friendly alternatives to menstrual waste is Natracare. Natracare products are created from certified organic cotton and are chlorine free, plastic free, and made from biodegradable materials. These are great for those who want the convenience of disposables without the harsh footprint on the earth. The plastics uses in these products are made from plant starch and wood pulp so they degrade faster than traditional plastics. You can purchase these products from most retailers that sell menstrual products. You can also buy them from Amazon and occasionally on Thrive Market. Natracare products cost about the same as other brands.
6. Reusable Tampon Applicators
These are great because they allow woman to use cotton tampons without the disposable plastic or cardboard applicators. (Cardboard decompose better than plastic but still have an ecological impact on the environment.) The DAME applicators are made from medical grade plastic, are BPA free, and leak free. Check out their video here. You can back the kicktstarted and receive two DAME applicators for 30 euros. They will be released in 2019, next year! You can check out their kickstarter here.
Disclaimer: Information expressed in this article is solely the opinion of the writer. The writer is not held liable for any damage or health concerns resulting from information or endorsement from this article. If in doubt, always contact a health professional before using a new product on yourself or others.
*Article not sponsored by suggested companies.