According to the UN, we only have about 11 years left to prevent irreversible damage from climate change. Yikes. That’s a big, big, big yikes. Thankfully, there are lots of little things we can do daily to help our beautiful home planet. A little can go a long way in reducing your carbon footprint! One of the things we can do is cut out single use plastics. We’ve heard a lot lately about cutting out things like plastic straws, grocery bags, water bottles and coffee cups. But what we often don’t talk about is the plastic waste from disposable period products like pads and tampons.
What makes periods bad for the environment?
Stay with me here, it's time for some math!
The average amount of days someone will menstruate in their lifetime is 2400. And a single menstruator typically uses up 15,000 disposable period products during that time. According to National Geographic, that adds up to 5,800,000,000 tampons used in the United States in 2018 alone. Uh oh!
Disposable menstrual products have been filling up landfills since Kotex created the first menstrual pad in 1921. This is pretty scary, considering most pads contain polyethylene plastic on the sticky part of the pad. And most tampons contain a whole bunch of harmful chemicals like chlorine, rayon and dioxin. When these chemicals sit in landfills, they eventually get soaked up by the Earth and cause water and air pollution.
How to make your period eco-friendly
It’s easy! You can make your period eco-friendly the same way you make everything eco-friendly: by swapping out disposable products with reusable ones. Here are some products to make your period better for the environment.
Leakproof, absorbent period undies are a great thing to have if you want to tackle your period and climate change. Knixteen’s Period-proof underwear have a built in liner that absorbs up to 3 tsps of blood and can be worn and washed over and over and over and over again. Instead of wearing a liner or pad on light days, you can just wear these undies solo! If you have an extra heavy flow, these can still be worn to replace a pad/liner while wearing a tampon (or cup, more on that soon!).
The best part? These are now included in Knixteen's Brand New Period Kit. Not only are a set of undies included, but a cute reusable pouch too! It's an easy way to go green on your period.
Cups might seem a lil’ scary or gross at first but Earth will love you for it! Instead of using all those individually wrapped (and chemical filled) tampons, cups are made of high quality healthcare grade silicone. Not only does that make them super safe and reusable, but super comfortable and flexible as well! If you’re intimidated by the cup, that’s totally normal. It might take a little practice to insert, but you’ll get it! Here’s a handy guide:
If you need more details on how to insert a menstrual cup, you can check out our super handy guide here!
If you're new to having your period, you might have already decided that tampons are your go-to method of period protection. If this is you, you’re in luck! Brands like Lola, o.b, and L.Organic all have tampons made from 100% organic cotton. The best part? These options either have no plastic applicator, or applicators made from non-toxic or plant-based materials!
Period Tracker Apps
Period and health apps like Clue and Flo are great for predicting exactly when your period is coming to town and how long it’s going to last. This is a cool environmentally conscious tool because knowing exactly when things are happening will cut out the guessing game! Not knowing sometimes leads you to wear period products too early or late just to be safe. There have definitely been times I’ve worn a pad “just in case” when I haven’t needed to. And off to the landfill they went for no good reason. Boo! Get an app!
Do you have period alternatives to help your time of the month by more "in sync" with Mother Earth? Let us know by sending us a DM on Insta @knixteen!