Periods are a rite of passage in every woman’s life. Love ’em or hate ’em, you do have to welcome them every month. Periods can often be filled with PMS, irritability, cramps, diet cravings, and more. But they don’t have to be toxic.
When pads and tampons hit the markets decades ago, they were seen as liberating products for women. They were convenient. They gave women and young girls the freedom to live life, without having to worry about that time of the month. Naturally, they gained widespread success and helped break the taboo around periods. It was in 1985, that the word period was first used in a tampon ad featuring Courtney Cox. Little did we suspect products that were instrumental in breaking the secrecy around periods, could be a major cause of worry years later.
Recent Studies indicate that traditional menstrual products like one-time use tampons and pads contain bleached cotton and rayon, that are known to have pesticides like diuron (a cancer causing element). In addition to these health concerns, these products also contribute to pollution. Reports suggest that Americans use 7 billion tampon applicators each year! Most likely, all of these end up in landfills and oceans, disrupting marine and eco-systems.
Just like we did decades ago, there is again a need to change the way we period, this time for a healthier, eco-friendly swap.
The recent discussions about plastic and chemicals have brought a sense of consciousness in all of us to try and find ways to reduce our trash and opt for options that are healthy for us and our planet. In the times we live in, we’re surrounded by plastic all around us and sometimes it hard to find alternatives that are convenient and easy to the infamous plastic. The good news is that there are so many sustainable brands now that are crusading a battle against plastic and chemical laden menstrual products and changing the way we period! Each one of us ladies, can make a difference, here’s a variety of options suited for each one of us:
Menstrual cups are a great alternative to tampons. They can take a little time to get used to, but once you’re there, you may never want to turn back! These reusable cups minimize waste as they are made from silicone that disintegrates into silica, a much safer material than plastic. A single cup can last you years! Our picks:
A huge part of sustainable living is going back to primitive ways. Cloth pads or bamboo pads have been used by women all over the world for centuries. They are an economical and reusable menstrual alternative to use and throw tampons and pads. We agree using cloth pads does can be messy, but it’s not all that hard. As long as you are careful to wash them properly after each use, they are perfectly safe and hygienic. Our picks:
Period underwear looks exactly like normal underwear, except they are layered with a super absorbent material at the crotch area. They are more suitable for light flows. If you get a heavy flow, you can use them towards the end of your period. Something is better than nothing, right? Just like cloth pads, as long as you are washing and drying these after each use, you don’t have to worry about hygiene.
Other Period Essentials
When you’re used to throwing away things after each use, getting used to the idea of washing and maintaining can sound like a handful. But these eco-products are so easy to incorporate into your routine, it won’t feel like an extra chore after a few days of use. And think about the extra load of waste that you reduce on the landfills and oceans!
Please Note: These tips are mere suggestions to help you lead a more sustainable lifestyle. We do not provide professional expertise in the field and by no means expect the reader to take the above opinions and tips as professional advice.