It’s no secret that disposable feminine hygiene products can be a very wasteful part of your personal care routine. Most of them contain plastic and chemicals that are potentially harmful to your health and only contribute to the pollution of the environment.
Maybe you have already made a switch to a more eco-friendly alternative for your period or are just curious about what else is out there, but there are several positive benefits you can consider.
So, what are some reasons to be eco-friendly during your period?
Reasons to Be Eco-Friendly During Your Period
1. Go-Plastic Free
It’s estimated that the average woman goes through about 10,000 sanitary items or 250-300 pounds (113 kg-136 kg) in her lifetime. This is way too much plastic waste that is tossed into the environment and ends up sitting in a landfill for years on end.
An eco-friendly alternative such as a reusable menstrual cup is designed to collect your menstrual flow rather than absorbing it. It can provide complete protection for up to 12 hours, it only needs to be emptied out every few hours. They are 100% plastic-free and made from high-quality medical-grade silicone. A conventional tampon holds only 10ml of fluid whereas a reusable menstrual cup can hold up to 30ml.
Making the switch to a plastic-free reusable menstrual cup can seem like a messy option at first, but thousands of women say they will never go back to using standard pads or tampons again.
Venus Menstrual Cup
The Venus Menstrual Cup (link to read reviews on Amazon) comes in two sizes (small and large) based on your needs during your menstrual flow. Venus is a brand that pays close attention to detail and has designed its reusable menstrual cup with the customer’s comfort and needs as their first priority. Made from 100% medical-grade silicone which is soft and pliable, it can easily be folded for insertion with just the right amount of firmness on the rim to help it open when the fold is released. The base of the cup is designed with a coned stem and patterned grip rings for secure and comfortable removal.
If you’re a first-time user, don’t worry. Venus has you covered with a detailed instruction manual for proper use, cleaning, and care. Packaged and manufactured in the USA, the Venus Cup is FDA registered and free from any potentially harmful chemicals such as BPA, latex, or phthalates. Most importantly, it’s a game-changing switch, that will reduce your plastic waste, keep you comfortable, and save you plenty of money in the long run.
2. A Safer Choice
Yes, big brand conventional tampons and pads are technological advances that have leak-proof protection and excellent absorption, but these also contain potentially harmful chemicals, plastics, fragrances, dyes, bleaches, pesticides, and other chemical by-products. Some fragrances have also been linked to skin irritation. All risks that you shouldn’t be willing to take in your personal care routine.
Sadly there is not much industry oversight as the FDA considers tampons as a “medical device” so manufacturers are not required to share their ingredients. Fortunately, by using an eco-friendly alternative, you can prevent your exposure to any potentially toxic chemicals.
3. Ditch Your Disposables
When your tampons are thrown out, more often than not end up in the landfill, as they are not recyclable due to the chemicals and types of plastics they contain. It’s estimated that the average woman will generate up to 300 pounds of waste from single-use feminine hygiene products throughout her lifetime. Now that’s a lot of waste for one person! On top of that, disposable pads or tampons can take decades or even centuries to fully decompose in a landfill.
Ladies, it’s time to ditch your disposables. The truth is, conventional single-use feminine hygiene products such as tampons or pads are not eco-friendly. By switching to a reusable option such as a reusable menstrual cup or reusable pads, you are preventing hundreds of pounds of waste from piling up in a landfill.
Have you ever tried out period panties? No, these aren’t an old-fashioned granny style but instead, come in many different cute form-fitting modern styles. Period panties are a fantastic eco-friendly alternative to panty liners for spotting or discharge. The best part is that they are comfortable! Made from eco-friendly materials like organic cotton, you can get the protection you need without sacrificing comfort or style.
Most period panties are leak-proof and have the option of absorbent padding with a leak-proof layer. They are washable with a simple hand or machine wash and air dry. A care-free option that is perfect for light flow days, all without the worry of exposure to harmful chemicals while reducing your plastic waste at the same time.
5. Save Yourself Some Cash
No more buying your menstrual products in bulk or having to search for the right brand every month. With a reusable menstrual cup, you may be spending more money upfront, but in the long run, you will save money with time.
Most reusable menstrual cups range from $15-40. Disposable pads and tampons are considerably cheaper but the more expensive cost of a reusable option will be made up within several months. Many reusable menstrual cups or pads will last up from 3-5 years.
6. Give Back
A brand that produces eco-friendly produce their products using organic and eco-friendly materials. They are also committed to making safe and sustainable products while protecting the environment.
Some brands will even go the next step and donate a portion of their profits to charity or a non-profit organization. Cora, a modern women’s wellness company, produces organic cotton tampons. With each purchase, they pledge to provide pads to young women in need in developing countries. A selfless cause and a brand dedicated to helping the future of womanhood.
7. Go Organic
Many small brands are beginning to offer women the opportunity to go organic for their personal care products. I understand that switching to something like a reusable menstrual cup can be a big change, but if you want to continue using conventional tampons or pads you can still stay eco-friendly.
Organic tampons and pads are now offered which are made from organic certified cotton which is free from pesticides, chemical bleaching, chlorine, fragrances, and dyes. No more worrying about potential skin reactions or exposure to toxic chemicals like BPA in plastic.
8. Reuse, Reuse, Reuse
Do you still prefer to use a tampon with an applicator but want to go plastic-free?
The folks at Dame have just the solution. They have created the world’s first reusable tampon applicator. You no longer have to throw out your plastic applicator that only contributes to global plastic waste, but instead, you have a hygienic and environmentally friendly option that can be reused over and over again. A clever invention that is changing going against the grain of conventional feminine hygiene products.
Other eco-friendly reusable options include menstrual cups, reusable pads, menstrual, discs, and sea sponge tampons. All have eco-friendly reusable benefits.
9. Straight from the Sea
Choose a unique eco-friendly alternative that comes straight from the sea. Reusable sea sponges are a renewable resource that has been used for feminine hygiene for thousands of years.
Reusable sea sponge tampons are sustainably harvested from the Mediterranean Sea, so they are 100% natural and won’t contain any chemical additives. They are soft, durable, and extremely absorbent and can easily be washed a reused for months at a time. Yes, it may seem strange taking something from the sea and using for a tampon, but many women have claimed these are the most comfortable tampon they have ever worn and refuse to go back!
10. Make A Difference
If you make the switch tomorrow, to a plastic-free option or even biodegradable option, you are preventing a few ounces of single-use plastics with toxic chemicals from rotting away into our soil.
Now that may not seem like much, but multiply that across a lifetime and then several generations. You are then left with thousands of pounds of plastic waste that has been now prevented. Take this mentality into other areas of the home such as the bathroom or kitchen and you are well on your way to making an even bigger difference for the planet.
Whether it’s a big switch or a small and simple change to an eco-friendly alternative for your period, it can go a long way for both your health and the environment. It’s the easiest decision you can make. Period.