A sustainable living approach to having your period
by Laura Stern, Waste Reduction Coordinator
Based on the feedback we received from the 2016 Zero Waste Challenge, Reep Green Solutions has decided to omit feminine hygiene products from counting as waste in the 2017 challenge. However, if you’re interested in taking the Zero Waste Challenge one step further, keep reading and learn how you can further decrease your impact on the earth.
The average woman menstruates for about forty years and uses about 20 tampons per cycle. This means that using about 9, 600 tampons in her lifetime (Eco- Divas- Community, 2017). Tampons and pads are made from unnatural plastics and additives that are detrimental to the environment. Switching to reusable hygiene products is both more environmentally and cost friendly. These products are also more natural than the leading brands, thus better for your health!
Option 1: Menstrual Cup
One of the most popular zero waste options is the menstrual cup. Menstrual cups function very similarly to a tampon and can be used for 8-12 hours at a time! There are many different kinds available and preferences really do vary per woman. Some of the popular brands are the Diva Cup, Moon Cup and the Lunette Cup.
These products can be purchased locally at stores such as:
- Fiddleheads Health and Nutrition
- Eating Well Organically – King St S, Waterloo
- Full Circle Natural Foods – Charles St W, Kitchener
- Goodness Me – Erb St W, Waterloo
- Rexall Pharma Plus
- Shoppers Drug Mart
A second popular product is re-usable liners. These liners work the same as all other brands of liners, however they can be re-used rather than thrown away. Most brands can be rinsed, put through the washing machine, then they’re as good as new! These liners are made from natural cotton materials as opposed to the synthetics and plastics used to make disposable liners. Again there are many different brands available!
Option 2: Re-usable Liners
The products are primarily available through online shops, however I did find some selection locally at;
More options to consider
In addition to these two recommendations, there are other options on the market, such as sea sponges and period panties. I decided to limit my recommendations to the two described above because enough information is available that I felt very confident making these suggestions!
Share your story
If you have had your own experiences with sustainable living options for menstrual health, we would love to hear your story! Please leave a comment down below and share your thoughts. After all the best way for us to learn is from one another.