Updated: Jun 15
Pads? Tampons? What's the most sustainable period product?
Artwork by Tanishk Katalkar
Every menstruator has experienced that dreaded moment every month when you think your period is out to get you. You’re not alone because, at the same time, there are several period products that are out to get the environment. Menstrual hygiene products can have a considerable environmental footprint, but switching to greener alternatives can be challenging. Here are some options for mindful, sustainable menstrual products to make your period more sustainable. Read on for a comparison of all your options!
A menstrual cup is a type of reusable feminine hygiene product. It’s a small, flexible funnel-shaped cup made of rubber or silicone that you insert into your vagina to catch and collect period fluid.
Menstrual cups Benefits
Cups can hold more blood as compared to most other methods and can be worn for up to 12 hours. This eliminates the need to change it frequently
They are durable and can last up to 10 years
They are made of medical-grade silicone so menstruators with latex allergies or reactions to certain materials can use them with ease
Reusable Cloth Pads
The cloth pads are usually made in several layers that have cotton or hemp, but not plastic. They absorb the menstrual blood and should be washed after use, to be reused.
Reusable Cloth Pads Benefits
They can be used for up to 4-5, the same as disposable pads
The fit of the reusable pads is perfect and they will stay in place thanks to the holder and the band.
Period underwear is an undergarment that absorbs liquid without leaking or staining. Period underwear consists of an absorbent material that holds one to two tampons’ worth of flow, a moisture barrier to keep you comfortable, and a layer designed to prevent any leaks or staining.
Period panties Benefits
They are designed to look just like regular underwear
Can easily be washed and re-used
Period underwear can be used as extra protection during a heavy flow with another product and on its own as well
Made of organic cotton, these tampons are biodegradable. Since they are not made of viscose rayon (a fibre made from processed wood pulp), unlike regular tampons, they are naturally absorbent.
Biodegradable tampons Benefits
The organic cotton is free from any chemicals, dyes or fragrances
These tampons are biodegradable
The mechanism is the same as regular, non-biodegradable tampons, making it easy to use