How To Have An Eco Friendly Period

In today’s society, we’re all about convenience, which means many of us are reliant on disposable items. Over the years disposable items have almost replaced their once reusable counterparts. Unfortunately, it’s come with a hefty price – destroying our planet. I’m talking about the astronomical waste problem that we have. And it’s only getting worse.

But, you can do something to help. By making even small changes in your life to be a little greener, you can reduce your waste. One of the things that I talk about a lot on this blog is about periods. Mainly reusable menstrual products, which are as the name suggest, reusable. Before you click away thinking ‘ugh gross’, please hear me out.

How To Have An Eco Friendly Period

There are a few options to having an eco-friendly period, depending on how you like to manage it:

  • Menstrual Cup
  • Cloth Pads
  • Eco Disposable Pads/Tampons That Are Biodegradable Or Compostable (Natracare* & TOTM, etc)

Lena Cup Size Large And Small To Suit Heavy And Light Menstrual Flow

Menstrual Cups – designed to sit inside the vagina and are a brilliant alternative to tampons. Instead of absorbing blood and the natural mucous lining of the vagina, a cup will just collect your menstrual blood. They can be safely left in place for up to 12hrs at a time, depending on your flow and the capacity of the cup. Menstrual cups are available in different sizes and capacities, to cater to all different bodies and flows. There are many people who think they’re too heavy for a cup, yet many menstrual cups can hold more than a tampon.

Deer Girl Boutique By UK Cloth Pad Maker For Eco Conscious Individuals

Cloth Pads – much like menstrual cups, many people also believe they are too heavy to use cloth. But the reality is that cloth can definitely cope with heavy and gushy flows. You just need to purchase a suitable absorbency and length for your needs. There are many people who use cloth to cope with the extremely heavy flow that comes with endometriosis and report the cloth works better. Cloth pads are available in a range of sizes and materials, and instead of throwing out a used pad, you just place it inside a wetbag or bucket until the end of your period. Washing is very simple, and cloth pads can be washed in the machine or by hand. Check out my getting started with cloth pads guide for more info.

Organic Cotton Sanitary Towels & Tampons For People Wanting To Be Eco Conscious

Organic Cotton Pads & Tampons – If reusable products aren’t your thing, then consider switching to products that are either organic cotton or 100% cotton, and can be composted or are biodegradable. Menstrual products that aren’t 100% cotton/organic cotton tend to contain rayon, chlorine, plastic, and petrochemicals. These are really not great for the planet. The plastics do not biodegrade and can sit for hundreds of years totally untouched. Chances are, your menstrual waste will be around for hundreds of years! I can personally recommend trying out Natracare* or TOTM.

Why Should I Try Reusable Menstrual Products?

Did you know that on average, one menstruating person uses approx 15,000 pads or tampons in their lifetime? Or that the majority of these tampons and pads contain chemicals that are harmful to our bodies?

How about the obscene amount of menstrual waste washing up on our beaches after floating about in the ocean? Back in 2014, the MCS (Marine Conservation Society) conducted their annual ‘Big Beach Cleanup’. During this event they collected 2579 pads, tampons and backing strips from off our beaches. And what’s worse is that this was almost double than the previous year!

You CAN make a difference. I know some people think that they’re just one person, and nothing they do will help. But that’s not true. Any small change can help, and it could help influence others to do the same. Plus you’ll be saving yourself some money, too.

Would you consider trying reusable menstrual products?

*This post contains affiliate links. It does not cost you anything, but I make a small percentage from the sale which helps pay for my website costs. Thank you for supporting me!

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  1. Heather Link
    11th January 2017 / 1:43 pm

    Great article!

    • Tamsin
      11th January 2017 / 3:18 pm

      Thanks, Heather!

  2. christy bartle
    11th January 2017 / 1:43 pm

    Already do…. For 3 yrs this year (i think) 36 months at average of 15 pads a months, plus daily liners (365 x 3) Thats 540 pads and over 1095 liners saved from landfill!!! Thats the first time I have worked it out…. and wow!!!

    (i say average as some months I use more or less, and sometimes need to use up to 3-4 liners a day so could be more!!)

    • Tamsin
      11th January 2017 / 3:18 pm

      Wow, that is a LOT! Well done you!! πŸ™‚

  3. Justine
    11th January 2017 / 5:36 pm

    Great article, Nice to see organic disposables included. πŸ™‚

    • Tamsin
      11th January 2017 / 7:31 pm

      Thank you! I feel it’s important to be inclusive and remember that not everyone is comfortable using reusables. At least they have a better option πŸ™‚

  4. 11th January 2017 / 7:07 pm

    All about cloth pads! I also alternate between pads and a cup if needs be, but prefer cloth pads.

    • Tamsin
      11th January 2017 / 7:32 pm

      I am a huge cloth lover, too. Although cups have been SO helpful for things like long appts at hospital where getting half naked makes me feel conscious about them seeing my pad. x

  5. Hayley
    11th January 2017 / 9:28 pm

    I’m a convert already and would never go back, i fluctuate between cloth only, cup only and cup and cloth pad cycles depending on how I’m feeling. I made the switch almost 4 years ago now and I’ve never looked back, nor would I ever use disposable products again as I simply have no desire or need to. For people debating it, please just take the plunge, it took me around 5 years to pluck up the courage to try them and I wish I hadn’t waited. My periods are lighter, comfier, cheaper, shorter and there is absolutely no period smell at all! Thankyou Tamsin for helping me find my goldilocks cup too, I went through various brands trying to find the perfect cup (they all worked may I add, but there was always something missing!)

  6. Kelly Palmer-George
    11th January 2017 / 10:39 pm

    Excellently written and very informative!

  7. 11th January 2017 / 10:53 pm

    I don’t get periods but i would definately go for those eco friendly tampons. Never been a fan of pads

  8. 11th January 2017 / 11:25 pm

    I had no idea there were so many reusable menstrual products out there! I’ve never tried any personally, but I’d never say never!

  9. Louise
    12th January 2017 / 9:13 am

    I didn’t know you could get Eco pads will look in to that 😊

  10. 12th January 2017 / 9:23 am

    I’ve gone beyond the need for this. Glad it works for you – and good on you for publicising the options

  11. Tara
    12th January 2017 / 9:59 am

    Another great post, I’m so glad I decided to have more eco-friendly periods. If only they showed up on time!

  12. 12th January 2017 / 3:45 pm

    I’ve been thinking about using a menstrual cup for a while now but not quite brave enough just yet. Jo x

  13. 12th January 2017 / 8:53 pm

    Sounds like a good idea but can’t imagine using one myself!

  14. 12th January 2017 / 11:07 pm

    These are all fantastic ideas for eco-friendly periods. I keep thinking about trying out menstrual cups but I always get scared and chicken out incase they don’t work for me and I embarrass myself!

    Louise x

  15. thestyletune
    14th January 2017 / 4:31 pm

    i have never heard of eco friendly cups so thanks for sharing!

  16. 14th January 2017 / 4:46 pm

    I’ve heard of menstrual cups, but never seen cloth pads. Very interesting post.

  17. lauren
    14th January 2017 / 8:51 pm

    Awesome blog post! Reusables are the future, not just for our vaginas, but the planet! Switched when I was 15 and never looked back, my cup is still going strong too! Xx

  18. Louise Vicentini
    14th January 2017 / 10:39 pm

    I love my cloth pads for many reasons. They are soooo comfy and soft against your skin. They don’t cause me itching. They don’t smell. If you have a big enough stash, they don’t run out. They’re pretty. So many fabric choices (who doesn’t love a minky pad in cold weather!). Saves money in the long run. No damage to the environment. And for me, since switching, no more period cramps.

  19. 15th January 2017 / 6:26 pm

    This post is so good for someone like me! I’m always looking on ways to be more eco-friendly and to reduce any re-usable products I use, and to downsize more, so all of the advice and tips you gave were brilliant. I really like the sounds of those cloth pads, so I need to try and get a couple! – Tasha

  20. This post is an eye opener, thanks for sharing. I am not sure about the menstrual cup :-(. But the cloth pads reminded me of my aunt making me use some kind of cloth during the 80’s when I had my first period which I actually did until I discovered pads. It’s also great to know that there are Organic Cotton pads that I will certainly look if I could find one in Singapore.

  21. 14th May 2017 / 11:20 pm

    This was very informative for me to learn about some of the alternatives that are available. I’m not sure that I would be able to cope using them.

  22. Reuse Honey
    30th January 2018 / 9:40 pm

    This is a great article!
    Unfortunately, many composting facilities will throw out the “compostable” items.
    I work closely with composting companies and they typically avoid these because of toxicity and contamination risks. πŸ™