Our periods are often the source of cramps, mood swings, bloating, and so much more. It's bad enough that Aunt Flo has a bad rep for being merciless, but it is also one of the major contributors to choking landfills and pollution.
Having a sustainable period is something we can choose to do. Like our mothers and grandmothers who used cloth pads, we can be eco-friendly but minus the inconvenience.
So how does one walk down the ecological path?
The answer is sustainable period products.
Why Should You Go For Sustainable Period Products?
An average woman uses around 16000 or more tampons or pads in her lifetime which roughly equates to 7 billion of these used products being disposed of.
Disposable sanitary products are presumably made from 90% plastic and since they are termed as medical waste, they are often not processed. As a result, they are casually strewn across the land or carelessly thrown into the water bodies.
This is a grim act because a non-organic sanitary product takes anywhere between 800-1000 years to decompose and adds to the rising pile of plastic waste every year.
To add to the blow, the microplastics in these products often seep into the water and release toxic elements like parabens, phthalates, and bisphenols which have a fatal impact on the hormones and may also lead to cancerous growth.
While there are facilities that incinerate these disposable products, they add to air pollution, which let’s face it, is no prize option either.
These stats might sound ominous to the reader but it is important to highlight the impact of disposable and non-organic period products are having on the environment.
However, if you still believe in sticking to the disposable products, you can always opt for natural cotton sanitary pads that are environment friendly, easy on your body and have the same exact ability and sometimes even more, to absorb.
You can also make a switch to 100% disposable cotton tampons, but without the plastic applicator. While your tampons do not harm the environment, the plastic applicator is no friend to mother nature.
Choosing Your Sustainable Period Products
To make the process easier and informed, we recommend you follow this checklist to select the best sustainable period products that are good for the environment and good for you.
Basically, we mean the percentage of plastic and chemical toxins that are present in your period products. As mentioned, most conventional disposable products are pumped with 90% of plastic.
When you buy your sustainable pad, tampon or any other product, take a look at the plastic content. While you may not get the exact number, you can read up the manufacturing details to check for the presence of polymers.
If you want your period to have negligible to zero impact on the planet, reusable products are your best friends. Products like menstrual cups and reusable cloth pads can be used again and again, on an average of 3 years.
Imagine forgoing disposable products for 3 years which not only reduces wastage but used right are great for your body too
When looking for sustainable period products, do not miss out on its antimicrobial properties. These are essential in your pursuit to have products that are not only great for the environment but works for your health as well!
Exploring Different Types of Sustainable Period Products
There is more than one way to make your menstrual journey more environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Reusable Sanitary Pads
Reusable sanitary pads of today have come a long way from being the inconvenient and messy cloth pads of the yesteryears.
Today, reusable sanitary pads are packed with almost 8 layers of anti-leak and certified fabric that are not only highly absorbent but are anti-odour, environmentally friendly and antimicrobial.
Avni’s cloth pads have been hand stitched by women support groups - boosting women employment, are lab tested and equipped with SmartGRIP shape for the perfect fit.
While many may believe that menstrual cups are the latest players, these silicone cups can be traced back to the 1930s.
Menstrual cups are the perfect example of sustainable period products that, when used right, are reusable, cost-efficient and very ecologically effective.
Most menstrual cups today can be used for at least 2 years, which means negating thousands of disposable pads and tampons from filling up the landfills or polluting the oceans.
Some menstrual cups are accompanied by natural washes, made from plant based materials that are easily biodegradable and great for a sustainable period.
Organic Cotton Pads
Cotton is a natural fibre which is biodegradable as well as healthy to use. Organic cotton pads are manufactured using sustainable materials and processes that are ecologically efficient and convenient, thanks to its disposable nature.
These organic cotton pads are great for those days when using reusable products is not an option.
Check out Avni’s Lush - Antimicrobial Organic Cotton Reusable Pad
Period panties look and feel like regular underwear but have an additional layer that does not allow the blood to seep out.
The first layer of the underwear is made from pure breathable cotton which is in direct contact with the skin. This ensures a rash-free interaction between the skin and underwear.
The second layer is the absorbent layer while the third level is made of leak-proof polyester that does not allow the blood to stain your underwear or your clothes.
In many sustainable options, the absorbent layer is made of vegetable or bamboo fibre.
Period panties too are ecological options and not to mention, cost-efficient as well.
Make your periods even more environmentally friendly with Avni’s Antibacterial Soothing Intimate Care Wipes
Periods, like every human body, do not follow a rule book. Sometimes, you might have a light flow or will be greeted with a heavy flow. Some days you might be travelling and other days, you might be pulling all-nighters at your office.
These variations might change the way you use your period products and you might feel bad about not sticking to sustainability. IT IS OKAY!
While it is impossible to stay true to your ecological goals all the time, you can switch things up to stay close to your aim. If you absolutely cannot avoid disposable products, use organic cotton disposable pads instead of your reusable pads or cups. Use plant based washes and wipes for a more eco-friendly period.
Staying consistent with your goal is the end game and we are proud of you for taking a step in the right direction!