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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Waterloo chapter.

It’s so crazy to think about the amount of money we have to spend on essential things like tampons and pads. Most women need them, and yet we have to break the bank to buy something that important. Not to mention the amount of waste that comes with these everyday necessary items, including deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, and razors. 

Let’s start off with your period; once a month, ranging anywhere from 2 days to over a week, you need to use some sort of feminine hygiene product down there. Most women tend to favour pads or liners due to how easy they are to learn and use. Tampons, however, may take some practice getting used to, and many women wane away from them because of the possibility of toxic shock syndrome, which is a rare complication that can arise from leaving a tampon in for too long. All of these products are expensive and are very wasteful due to the packaging and the product itself. There is another type of product that many women don’t know about: a menstrual cup. It sounds weird, I know. You don’t really associate a cup with your period; however, this product can save you so much money and waste. They cost roughly $50. A menstrual cup is a small, rubber, funnel-shaped cup that you insert inside like a tampon, and it catches the blood. When you need to “change it,” you just dump the blood into the toilet. When your cycle is over, you should boil it in water to get rid of any bacteria. This eco-friendly menstruation product saves so much waste and is super easy, and not to mention, it can stay in for up to 12 hours. You’ll save so much money, too, which is always a plus.

Another product you should consider is bars of conditioner and shampoo. These are just solid forms of shampoo and conditioner that eliminate the waste of buying bottles. There are certain kinds depending on your hair length and type, so you can find an easy match. The first time I used this, it was a few years ago, and I bought them at Lush; there are so many options to choose from, and it might even be better for your hair than what you’re using now! It’s definitely something to try.

Something we all use is deodorant. Instead of buying and throwing out a new deodorant every time you run out, you can actually just buy one refillable container with a stick. Whenever you run out, you just refill the container with your stick! Neat, right?

We all wash our face; why not use one product to do this instead of buying a new pack whenever you run out? Something that my mom bought me a few years ago is this product called the Eye Pad. A company called Enjo created these products using special fibres that, when wet with warm water, help trap and collect the dirt and makeup off of your face. Then, to clean it, just wash it in cold water to let the fibres relax and release the makeup, oils, and dirt. Using this will save you so much money, and will save you from using thousands of cotton balls or wipes in your lifetime; all you need is water, and it’s so compact that it’s great for everyone! You have to replace it every few years depending on how much you use it, as there is a little bar on the tag that slowly lowers the more you use it!

You can also try a reusable razor; instead of buying new ones every few weeks or months, invest in a reusable shaver so that you only have to replace the blade. This eliminates so much waste and will save you money, too. You can find these online or at stores like Zero Waste Bulk. In fact, you can find all of these products at Zero Waste Bulk. Just bring a reusable container, and when you buy their products, it comes package-free and right into your container.

All of these options are great for saving money and ultimately decreasing waste. These options are easy and sustainable; you should definitely give them a try!  

Hey! I'm a third-year honours arts student at the University of Waterloo! I major in English with a Digital Arts Communication minor and a tech writing specialization! Oh, and I also write for HC Waterloo! I'm an avid reader (go Gryffindor), obsessed with friends and gilmore girls, and a plant connoisseur!
Hey - I'm Vanessa Geitz, a fourth-year Public Health student at the University of Waterloo. I am currently the President and Campus Correspondent for HC Waterloo and love writing articles! Also a big fan of the Bachelor, BBT, and books.