How to Make Your Period Sustainable
For menstruating, single-use products like pads and tampons can create huge amounts of waste. It is hard to calculate exactly how much waste comes from menstrual products because it is labelled as medical waste and therefore does not get tracked. The National Geographic estimates that a single menstruator will use between five and fifteen thousand pads and tampons. The vast majority of these will end up in landfills as plastic waste.
Over the past few years, the market for sustainable menstrual products is booming as individuals become more aware of not only environmental reasons to use sustainable menstrual products and health reasons. Below are our favourite products and where you can find them. No links or recommendations are affiliates. These are all just products which we have either tried ourselves or thoroughly researched to make it easier for others to make sustainable choices - that is all we try to do!
1. &Sisters Organic Cotton Eco Applicator Tampons
Despite there being more sustainable menstrual products (to be discussed) on the market, we do also appreciate that sometimes a trusty tampon is what you need. &Sisters Organic Cotton Eco Applicator tampons are 100% sustainably sourced, use zero synthetics or perfumes, are plastic-free, come in recyclable paper outer wrapping and… most importantly have a smooth comfortable applicator with promises of zero leaking.
You can buy them in very light, light, medium and heavy.
2. August Pads
Next, is another trusted classic made more sustainable. August Pads are ultra-comfy, 100% organic cotton and they fully biodegradable within a year (with a normal pad taking up to 800 years to biodegrade).
This wonderful company sells an array of more sustainable period products, with the option of “Building a Box” with whatever products you’d like to try.
You can find August Pads here.
3. Wuka Period Pants
Wuka Period Pants are award-winning period-proof period underwear. Each pair of pants are made up of super absorbent layers - designed to lock in the blood while ensuring you feel cool and dry. And to answer a question you probably have if you’ve never used period pants before - Wuka say that five to seven pairs are a suitable amount for most customers to last an entire cycle.
These secure, well-designed period pants get full scores from us.
You can find Wuka Period Pants here.
This award-winning “Period game changer” is the silicone menstrual Mooncup, trusted by millions. We know these look a little daunting to begin with, but we found them to be really easy to get along with after a little practice. It is designed by women, and made from soft medical-grade silicone, meaning that once inserted correctly, it won't be felt. It can hold up to three times more than a regular tampon and is free from plastics, dyes and toxins.
If you look after your cup as Mooncup recommends, then it can last for “years and years.”
You can find Mooncup’s here.
5. Aisle Reusable Cloth Pads
Aisle Reusable Cloth Pads combine edge-edge leak protection, with a patterned top layer that absorbs fluid. It is made from breathable cotton and can hold up to four tampons worth of blood. The company Aisle began in 1993, when they created the first modern reusable period care line 1993!
When you have used your pad, it can just be thrown into the washing machine! The pads are black in colour in order to avoid stains, for a hassle-free cloth pad experience.
You can find Aisle Reusable Cloth Pads here.
6. Dame Reusable Tampon Applicator
One of the problems regarding sustainability with tampons is the amount of plastic packaging, including the plastic applicator. So if you feel comfiest with tampons, why not buy plastic-free tampons (such as those mentioned above) and then a Dame Reusable Tampon Applicator? It can last over 3,000 uses and fits all tampons from light to ultra-heavy.
Once it has been used it can easily be wiped clean and kept in a bag until the next use.
You can find Dame Reusable Tampon Applicators here.
These are our top choices of things to try to make your period sustainable. All products are promised to be comfortable, leakproof and better for the environment! Let us know what you think on Instagram @ZeroSmartUK.