How to have a Greener Period
30 November 2021 | Amy
As we come to the end of Green November, we want to talk to you about ‘Green Periods’.
We love all things reusable here at The Nappy Gurus, and that includes reusable sanitary products. Those of us that menstruate can spend nearly 10 years of our lives doing so. That’s an average of 450 periods, which equates to roughly 11,000 tampons.
In the UK, it is also estimated that around 40% of women and 10% of men have some degree of incontinence, and this can require the use of pads or disposable underwear.
What’s the issue?
The issue which arises from this, besides cost, is the environmental impact of single use sanitary products.
One of the top contributors to sewer blockages are sanitary products - and they shouldn’t even be getting flushed down the toilet! What you should do is dispose of used products in the main waste, of course contributing to landfill. Which is a whole problem in itself.
How can reusable products help?
Reusable sanitary products can last from 2-10 years and even beyond if well cared for. Period pants and cloth sanitary pads (CSP) are a fab alternative to disposable sanitary pads, and are growing massively in popularity in the UK and beyond. These are designed to be reused again and again and will last for a number of years. Menstrual cups last for up to 10 years, meaning that instead of 11,000 tampons you could use as little as 4 menstrual cups in your lifetime. (Based on having periods from 12-51, which is the average, for 39 years).
What are your options?
If you currently use sanitary pads (either for periods or incontinence) then we would suggest giving our CSP or period pants a try! CSP are a wearable, washable cloth pad which snaps around the gusset of your underwear and can be bought in a range of sizes and absorbencies. We find our CSP are often more absorbent than disposable pads and can even be used postpartum too.
Period pants are designed to look and feel just like normal underwear, but with some absorbency built in. These also come in a range of styles, such as high waisted, briefs, boxers, and an array of different absorbency levels. When they have been used you can give them a quick rinse with cool water and then add to your usual wash at around 40°, and without any fabric softener*. If you are out and about you can just pop the pants in a small wet bag until you get home.
Menstrual cups are our most eco option lasting up to 10 years. These are an insertable cup which can be worn for longer than tampons and once you get used to fitting them can be very comfortable. To sterilise before and after each new period, you can either boil in water for 3 minutes, or use a specific cup steriliser*
A reusable tampon applicator is a more eco version of regular tampons. Applicator tampons generate huge amounts of single-use plastic waste, that is just unnecessary. If you are a fan of tampons, a reusable applicator is the way forward. You can use with non-applicator tampons, give it a quick wash and you’re good to go.
Some of our favourites
Will you be opting for greener sanitary products?
Let us know about your switching success stories over on our social media platforms and share any top tips for making the change to more eco-friendly sanitary products. Need more advise? If you would like more advice, you can complete our Personalised Period Protection Advice form and one of our Gurus will get back to you with what might work best for you.
*Please see the care guides for each individual brand as they do vary and can effect each products warranty.