So far in my Less Wasteful series, I’ve covered ways to reduce waste in your makeup routine, day to day life and at home. As someone who menstruates monthly, I thought it was time to take a look at the ways I could address the waste surrounding this unavoidable bodily function; as it turns out, there are plenty of things you can do to have a less wasteful period, and I’ll be highlighting a few key ones here.
| Invest in reusable pads
I used to be someone who’d go through a whole box of panty liners in one cycle, not thinking twice about where they’d end up (let alone what was in them!). After reading about reusable cloth pads online, I thought I’d give them a try, and have been so impressed. The velour fabric feels much more comfortable – in fact, I am hardly aware that I’m wearing a pad. They can be easily cleaned in the washing machine or by hand using a soap nut and warm water. My pads are from Honour your Flow, but I’d like to try some from Lunapads next – their inserts seem very practical and I love that they support charitable causes and offer an inclusive, period positive community.
| Consider a menstrual cup
I’ve been using a cup as my primary form of menstrual care for years now, and I’ll never look back. Cups are not only far less wasteful than using dozens of tampons during your period, they are also more cost effective in the long run. They may seem scary to begin with but if you approach them in a relaxed way with an open mind and don’t give up after your first try, you ought to get used to them in no time.
| Support a good cause
A few months ago, I was contacted by Yoppie – Your Happy Period – a British-based tampon subscription service, who kindly offered me a trial*. Either once a month or every two months (I went with the second option, as I’m mainly using my MoonCup), Yoppie post out a beautifully packaged box of 18 organic cotton tampons on your chosen date, prior to your period. You can fully customise the size of the tampons you receive; I went for an assortment of their 3 options – mini, regular and super. The tampons are closely wrapped in plastic which can be removed with a simple twist; while they are still packaged, there is far less packaging than other brands as Yoppie’s tampons don’t come with an applicator or a bulky wrapper.
What drew me to the brand the most was their emphasis on doing good and supporting charitable causes. My period is something of a mild inconvenience for me, but for so many others, menstruating can be fraught with shame and stress due to lack of sanitation among other concerns. Across the world, young girls are missing out on an education because they are staying at home during their periods – Yoppie is working to turn that around. For each month you use their service, they will donate much needed resources to help those most in need to have happier, safer periods.
| Pack a period survival kit
Now that you’ve equipped yourself with some low-waste menstruation essentials, it’s time to put together your period survival kit! Being caught off guard can lead to having to buy more than you needed to. We’ve all been there – you come on unexpectedly and have to leg it to the corner shop to stock up on tampons and painkillers, both of which you already have at home. To avoid this, I put all my shark week must-haves into a small drawstring sack and pop that in my backpack a few days before I’m due. I keep some ibuprofen tablets, my freshly boiled MoonCup, and some tampons in mine; Yoppie’s subscription service also includes this dinky little case into which you can put a few tampons for easier transportation.
I hope these tips come in handy next time you find yourself in the red. Let me know if you have any techniques for lessening your waste during your period.
| Tamsin at Eco Fluffy Mama has written loads of posts on reusable menstrual care
| Tara at Cattitude & Co is a period-positive powerhouse
| FemmeHead has lots of videos on her channel promoting good menstrual health
*I was sent this product to review, and have given nothing but my honest opinion!