Zero Waste Periods – An Option for Everyone

If you read my review of the Organicup then you’ll know I’ve had this post in the works for a while. As in, it’s now a new decade kind of a while. It’s no secret that period products are big offenders in the single-use waste category. Luckily, it’s 2020 and there are loads of alternatives out there.

I know that everyone’s bodies are different and we all prefer to use different things, which is fine. I’ve found several options so that there’s an option for everyone. I’ve also picked a few brands for each category to provide you with more variety.

Menstrual Cup Zero Waste

Menstrual Cups

The cup is a great zero waste alternative to tampons. When I made the switch I didn’t have any issues and found almost no differences. Other than the fact a menstrual cup is a lot more comfortable, that is.

You insert a menstrual cup first by folding it, the most popular method is the ‘C’ fold. Then you simply squat and insert. Once it’s in, the cup will unfold itself and position itself comfortably. You may need to stand up and move around a little for this, though. It’s a little tricky the first couple of attempts but you’ll be a pro in no time!

Where to find menstrual cups

Obviously you aren’t limited to the six cup options I’ve listed below, but they frequently come up as some of the most popular options on Google. The same applies to the other categories in this post.

Organicup (my personal fave), Saalt, Mooncup, Diva Cup, Intimina, Femmecup

Period Products Zero Waste

Reusable Pads

If menstrual cups aren’t your thing, why not try a reusable pad? They’ve seen a rise in popularity and come in all sorts of funky patterns. These work in exactly the same way as a conventional pad. However the reusables versions usually have snap button closures rather than adhesive wings, allowing them to be used again and again.

Once done, a pad can be rinsed out either by hand in a sink with soap and warm water, or thrown in the washing machine!

Where to find reusable pads

Earthwise Girls, Precious Stars, Luna Landings, Sanfe Reusable Pads, Honour Your Flow, Luna Pads

Black Underwear

Period Underwear

Absorbent period underwear were introduced as an easy, non-invasive way to have a zero waste period. It’s quite literally the easiest option. As you can imagine, there’s nothing special you have to do here. Just pull them on and go about your day.

As for washing them, the process is the same as your reusable pads. Either hand wash with soap or put in the washing machine.

Where to find period underwear

Thinx, Modi Bodi, Ruby Love, Wuka, Knix, Flux Undies

Black Underwear Leaves

Sustainable but Not Zero Waste Alternatives

Although it states that there’s a zero waste option for everyone on their period, some of us just aren’t ready for the switch. Which is absolutely fine. We all become ready for change at our own pace, and we shouldn’t be judged for that.

So if the previous three options aren’t appealing to you right now, there’s a bunch of sustainable and/or organic options for your period.

Where to find them

Freda, Dame, TOTM, Ohne, Flo, Albany Mae

The Financial Benefits of a Zero Waste Period

It’s no secret that period products can add up in cost. So let’s do the maths here – how much would you be saving by switching to a zero waste period?

Let’s say the average box of 20 tampons cost £2. I’m basing this on the price of a box of Tampax regular cardboard applicator tampons. So £2 a month, for approximately 38 years. This is based on the information on the NHS website that periods typically start at the age of 12 and end in the late 40’s – early 50’s.

So that’s £24 a year on tampons for 38 years. Which brings us up to £912 in our lifetime. Or you can purchase a menstrual cup (approximately £20) which has a shelf life of anywhere between 2-4 years. That’s a total cost of £120 across those 38 years (if I’ve done my maths correctly). Which would be a massive £792 saving.

Have you switched to a zero waste period? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

4 comments so far.

4 responses to “Zero Waste Periods – An Option for Everyone”

  1. Kim says:

    I haven’t made the switch to zero waste period products, yet. But I think reusable pads would be best for me, I never got on very well with tampons, so I don’t think I’d get on with a cup. And I’d be worried about leakage with the period pants.

    • It’s all about experimenting and going for the option that you’d think would be the easiest transition for you personally. I have the exact same reservations about period pants but a lot of people swear by them! If you ever need a hand in finding the right product for you or need any advice just shoot me an email. El xx

  2. Kathleen says:

    My solution is to simply not have a period. I use the implant, and I don’t have them. Therefore I have no need to buy anything at all. And it means I don’t have to worry about pregnancy. Not for everyone, but it is an option that many women choose.

    Some may object to the use of hormones. I say it’s my body and I want neither babies or worse cramps and a heavier period, so I’m using the implant. It works well for me. I don’t have to remember to do anything.

    • I hadn’t even thought about that. It’s not for me personally but I love that you’ve found an option that works for you! As long as you’re happy, then it doesn’t matter what others think. Thanks so much for sharing Kathleen!
      El xx

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I'm Elen Mai, the brains behind Welsh Wanderer and 20-something human biology student from (you guessed it) Wales! Welsh Wanderer is designed with the eco-conscious adventurer in mind. So stick around for tips & tricks on living sustainably.

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