The environmental impacts of our disposable sanitary products are quite shocking, an individual goes through approximately 11,000 disposable pads and/or tampons in a lifetime. Most sanitary pads contain polyethylene plastic as the adhesive and the time it takes for a tampon or pad to degrade in a landfill is centuries longer than the lifespan of the person who used it especially when it’s wrapped in plastic.
Tampons also contain harmful chemicals such as dioxin, chlorine and rayon and whilst I'm sure none of us want these anywhere near our bodies, when disposed of these chemicals also get soaked up by the earth.
Whilst it can seem daunting to move away from conventional ways of managing our periods that we've used all our lives, there are plenty of healthier, more environmentally friendly options out there. Whether you prefer pads, tampons or a mix of both then there is an alternative for you.
1. Reuseable Sanitary Pads
If you're someone who prefers's pads to tampons then reusable pads are a great option. You simply use them as normal and then wash them in between uses. They're available in different absorbancies so you can find ones that suit you. Our organic cotton pads are made from 100% natural organic cotton so theirs no nasty chemicals and they're soft and comfortable.
STAIN REMOVER TIPS - I find this Stain Remover stick from Blanc really effective for removing stains from my reusables.
Also drying in direct sunlight is supposed to bleach stains out. I haven't tried this yet though.
2. Menstrual Cup
They were invented in 1937, so definitely not a new invention. Menstrual cups are made out of medical-grade silicone, they hold up to 3 tampons worth and can be worn for up to12 hours. The cups come in different sizes depending on your age and whether you've had a baby, so make sure you find the right size for you. I would recommend using a reusable panty liner or period undies for the first few times using your cup so you get used to it.
For more information on how to use the cup checkout this guide.
3. Period Pants
Period undies have built-in moisture absorbent, leak proof technology that offers a comfortable alternative to disposable pads and tampons. Some of them can even absorb up to 4 tampons worth, meaning you can wear them night and day. They can be a bit of an investment but they save you money in the long run. They also contain antimicrobial properties prevent bacteria from building up and keep smells far away! To clean them simply rinse after use and then wash in the machine.
4. Reuseable Tampon Applicators
Dame for Good realised billions of tampon applicators were being thrown away each month so they came up with a solution. They came up with a safe and hygienic reusable tampon applicator. They also supply organic cotton tampons to go with it. Find out more about their applicators on their website.
5. Organic Biodegradable Tampons
If reusable isn't for you then these are a great alternative, Ohne sells 100% biodegradable tampons, totally natural, unscented tampons made from organic cotton. Also, they're a female-run business and there's no tampon tax, yay!
I hope you find these suggestions useful and find one that works for you.