It’s that time of the month AGAIN, and we are simultaneously happy to say hello to Mother Nature while also wanting to punch a small hole and eat chocolate.
On average, a woman will get her period 450 times in her life, or for about 450 weeks...totalling out to a whopping 8.5 years and a ton of waste as a side effect. If someone was choosing to only using tampons during her period, she’d use approximately 20 tampons per period or ~9,000 tampons in a lifetime (following the recommendation of changing every 4-6 hours). Tampons, pads, and all other generic period products cannot be recycled or repurposed for sanitary reasons.
But what if we told you there were better solutions? Solutions that were better for your body, better for the planet, and made this time easier?
2021 has A TON of incredible sustainable period products that will have you wondering why they weren’t invented before, why you haven’t always been using them, and how you ever survived without them! So let’s get started!
Now here me out, I was completely resistant to trying menstrual cups. The thought of them weirded me out, BUT, being the sustainable researcher that I am and on a mission to live sustainably, I dove in. HOLY COW WAS I WRONG. Menstrual cups have 100% changed my life. A menstrual cup can be worn for 12 hours, which means there’s no longer a need to scurry to the restroom 3x a day to change anything. The 12 hour window also allows for it to safely be worn while sleeping. The time allowance alone was pretty game changing. With that being said, let’s get into the nitty gritty about the pros and cons.
Pros: no leakage, long wear, super comfortable (I workout almost daily and it has never once bothered me), completely safe and is considered safer than tampons, and is a one time purchase vs my regular tampon subscription.
Cons: like every sustainable product, intentionality is required (especially in the beginning). When you take it out after 12 hours, you must rinse it. Now, please know there is not some dramatic Quentin Tarantino blood scene that will ensue. Tampons make it seem like we bleed SO MUCH, and while some of us might, it’s still less than what you think. So, dump, rinse, pop back in. The con is, really, that you have to semi-handle what your body has created for about 40 seconds. This is my only con.
- Luna Cup
- What we love: Comes in several different colors and sizes. Cups are unbelievably comfortable
- Tampon Tribe
- What we love: A female owned and run company who has set out to eliminate plastic waste. Easy to clean.
- What we love: The pull tab/hoop is genius and makes removal incredibly easy.
Reusable pads are awesome for the ladies who love liners and want to continue down that path. There are a few options out there and the fit/thickness is really a personal preference. Reusable pads need to be washed after use, and can easily be tossed in with the rest of your laundry. Traditional pads (and tampons, but pad’s require quite a bit more) are made out of a low-density polyethylene that requires energy-intensive processing. The average pad is quite bad for the environment, considering the life cycle (landfill bound) and fossil fuel emissions of plastic production. In terms of feminine health, I’m not a big fan of putting something that is loaded with harsh chemicals and carcinogens close to my who-haa, ya feel me? Ok, AWESOME OPTIONS:
- Rael makes lovely reusable liners that are crafted from organic cotton and are good for around 120 uses.
- Pros: soft, durable, and thin enough so you dont waddle around aware something is in your panties.
- Cons: I wish these had one more strap on them, but with that said they do stay in place.
- Extra: They are a bit longer than normal disposable liners, which I guess is both a pro and a con. I don’t need that much coverage, but I can see how that feature is beneficial for sleeping.
- Charlie Banana
- Charlie Banana primarily makes infant diapers, but don’t let that deter you. Their adult menstrual pads get the job done in the cutest and softest way. Charlie Banana is a Climate Neutral Certified company.
- Pros: Their pads come in several different colors (so cute) and sizes which is great for you to decide just how much power you need your pad to be packing.
The most revolutionary product that has been invented as of late is period underwear. This nifty wardrobe piece removes all stress you might have about leakage and changing. Women swear by period garments and, in the same way that dry shampoo changed life as we know it, claim these undies have done the same. Now, let me tell you my personal thoughts….period underwear is GREAT for days when you’re spotting and for sleeping. Period. Please note that this opinion is coming from someone who generally avoids pads, and now loves my menstrual cup so so much. I generally dislike the thickness of period underwear for an all-day event but cannot argue with the fact that if i’m 1) lightly spotting, they are a game-changer and 2) not having to worry about leaking when going to sleep brings on the Zzzs in a brilliant way.
The best item for you is 100% up to personal preference (obviously). WIth that being said, here are my favorite period underwear!
- the OG, comes in a ton of different chic styles so you still look like the cutie you are even when you feel like a bloated potato
- The pair I have: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086163KVR?linkCode=ogi&tag=goodhousekeeping_auto-append-20&ascsubtag=[artid|10055.g.27421796[src|[ch|[lt|
- our favorite boyshort and several options that make you feel “held in,” if that makes sense
- Shorts I like to sleep in: https://knix.com/products/the-dream-short?clickId=3472125968&utm_campaign=21181&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_source=pepperjam
- Proof: has a whole variety of absorbency
- Proof is a new company and is making waves for how comfortable their undies are!
- The budget find
- We LOVE a sustainable budget find. We just love it.
Refillable tampons ar the newest sustainable alternative on the market and so, there are only a few companies that make them (that we’d recommend). As previously discussed, tampons are terrible for the environment and frankly, most contain a plethora of harsh chemicals that are also bad for you! This is our sacred space and we are putting a chlorine-bleached perfume soaked item into it? No thank you. Refillable tampon applicators take all of the plastic waste out of the tampon experience. As you might assume, you insert a package-free tampon into your reputable applicator, and insert exactly as you would a normal tampon! Instead of tossing the plastic covering though, you rinse the applicator and place into it’s small case instead. VERY handy, very sanitary, and all-in-all a money saver!
There are only two companies we’d recommend at the moment for these. Again, if you are a tampon lover, this is 1000% your option! Why spend literally thousands of dollars on tampons a year when you could swap to this?
Dame is the leader in the reusable tampon industry. Their set makes it easy and the bonus is they sell refill tampons on their website so it’s truly a one-stop-shop. Their applicator is award-winning and self-sanitising (has antibacterial sanipolymers), works with all tampon sizes, and has a life-time guarantee.
Like our reusable underwear, re.t.a can help you create a more sustainable and intentional period care routine. It accommodates regular *and* super tampons and is designed with medical-grade materials (not made with BPA or natural rubber latex). Plus, it means you don't put plastic waste into the environment every time you use a tampon!