Eco-Friendly Period Products

Without a doubt, anyone who goes through their menstrual cycle knows the pain of buying expensive period products. Ever since that first awkward sex ed class or that “talk” with your parents, we were taught that the only methods of controlling a period are the pad and the tampon. Although both techniques do their job well, there are some significant drawbacks. 

According to Ellisa Stein’s Flow: The Cultural History of Menstruation, the average American woman disposes of 250 - 300 pounds of period products in her lifetime! This includes every single plastic applicator and cotton pad that are thrown away in the bathroom. That’s a lot of damage done by one person alone. 

But now, every one of us girls with a period can make a positive impact on the environment by switching up our menstrual products. Eco-friendly period products have become a rather big hit on the market in recent times. The items listed below are sure to decrease the amount of trash we dispose of. It is, however, a good idea to talk to your doctor about these products and decide which is the best for your personal cycle. 

1. Period Underwear

I first heard about period panties by watching Safiya Nygaard review them on her YouTube channel. There are a couple of brands to choose from, including Thinx (as shown in Safiya’s video) and Lunapads. These are essentially pairs of underwear that catch the flow of your period with no additional products needed. They’re made for comfort and ease of use, and are definitely gentle on the environment. 

2. Period Leggings

I know, right. Safiya also made a video on these leggings back in 2017 and I’m STILL amazed by them. They’re basically the same principle of the period panties, but you don’t wear any underwear or other products whatsoever. You can purchase period leggings from Ruby Love, or even buy period yoga pants from Dear Kate! 

3. Menstrual Cup

One of the more popular trends of the eco-friendly menstrual product industry is the menstrual cup. The purpose of the menstrual cup is catch your flow while it’s inserted, so like a tampon but heavier. They are reusable and can even be worn up to 12 hours! A few of the popular brands include DivaCup and Lunette. According to an OrganiCup study, you would (on average) dispose of 264 pads and tampons in just one year. By using a menstrual cup, you can reduce that statistic to one period product. 

4. Reusable Pads and Cloth Pads

We’re all familiar with disposable sanitary pads, whether they are the thin ones or ultra thick ones from the school nurse’s office. Reusable pads, however, provide comfort and last years compared to pads that you dispose of after every use. Instead of tossing your cloth pad, you just rinse them in cold water, then add them to your laundry. GladRags and Lunapads offer cute designs of cloth pads, and in multiple sizes, as well.