Did you know that it takes one tampon longer to deteriorate than the lifespan of the woman who wears it for just a matter of hours? And on average, one woman will wear up to 11,000 single-use tampons in her lifetime so that’s almost 200kg of waste ending up in landfill or beaches.
As one of the least obvious and spoken about sources of single-use plastic, the figures surrounding period products can seem shocking but from simple swaps to long lasting lifestyle changes, here’s our top tips on how to make menstruation more sustainable, both for your body and the planet…
Swap to organic tampons
Conventional period products can contain up to 90 per cent plastic, with just one box of mainstream tampons laced with almost as much plastic as five carrier bags. But don’t worry, you can care about the planet and still use tampons; you just need to be choosing the right ones. For example, ohne’s 100% biodegradable tampons are totally natural, unscented and unbleached, containing no nasty toxins. TOTM also tackle period plastic head on with their organic cotton tampons, free from fragrance, deodorants and chlorine.
Try period pants
Imagine a world where you don’t have to worry about carrying around your sanitary products? Designed to absorb your period, Hey Girls UK washable, reusable briefs sustainably replace mainstream period products. With a range of styles and colours available, each pair are odour controlling, super absorbent and leak resistant, keeping you fresh all day long. Funding the fight to end period poverty across the UK, Hey Girls have a buy one, donate one approach to sustainable menstruation. So, for every pair of period pants you buy, one pair will be donated to someone in need. Bravo!
How to wash your Hey Girls pants with Dr. Bronner’s:
- Before washing, give them a rinse with cold water until the water runs clear
- Avoid soaking but instead, give them their very own bubble bath in the sink with the castile soap
- Don’t use fabric softener – the baby mild soap is gentle enough to maintain the absorbency of the gusset fabric.
- Once squeaky clean, stretch them back to their original shape
- Air dry or rest on radiator (make sure not to tumble dry) and wear again – easy!
Opt for zero waste with a menstrual cup
Eliminating pad and tampon waste all together, a menstrual cup is perfect for those looking to put their eco-warrior hat on. As the original menstrual cup, the Mooncup is a zero waste and completely plastic free solution made out of soft, durable and 100% medical grade silicone. Holding up to three times more than a mainstream tampon, the cup can be worn during both light and heavy days and even when working out. Aside to the immense reduction of waste it creates for our planet, each cup lasts for up to ten years. So, the initially higher price tag redeems itself after just six months when saving on other sanitary products
How to clean your Mooncup with Dr. Bronner’s:
- Mix baby unscented castile soap with warm water and swill the cup at the end of each cycle to remove stains, sanitise, and deodorise, then rinse off and store
Other small tips to keep you going:
- Buy a separate recycling bin for your bathroom, to easily dispose of your period products in a sustainable way, as well as a separate bin for your used tampons. Flushing your tampon down the toilet is a huge no-no!
- Pop the money you save on mainstream period products into a self-care savings pot. Spend on those days you need a pick-me-up!
Be kind to yourself throughout the process and remember, every swap, however small is making an impact on our planet. But most importantly, don’t forget to high-five yourself for changing the world, one period at a time
Dr. Bronner’s is a family business committed to honouring the vision of our founder Dr. E.H. Bronner by making socially and environmentally responsible products of the highest quality, and by dedicating our profits to helping make a better world. “All-One!”