How to reduce your period's environmental impact
|2019 has brought us Meghan and Harry’s royal baby, the polarising Game of Thrones finale and the release of the latest iPhone; but it has also brought us record-breaking heat waves, rising sea levels and extreme weather events across the globe – it’s no wonder environmental activist Greta Thunberg has been using ‘our house is on fire’ as her rallying cry as of late.|
While it’s easy to let a sense of doom and helplessness wash over us when it comes to climate change, there are steps we can take to reduce our environmental impact and do our part to ‘live lightly’ on the planet. If you’re a woman who menstruates, one of the best places to begin in your planet-saving journey is with a reassessment of your period care. The average menstruating woman will have around 450 periods in her lifetime, using up to 11,000 period products. While period products may seem benign, most mainstream brands use chemicals, plastic and other artificial substances that end up in landfills, oceans or the digestive tracts of land and marine animals. With nearly 4 billion women on the planet (most of whom have, do, or will menstruate), the number of single use, non-biodegradable period products that are thrown away each day is something we are dedicated to fighting (and helping you fight) against.
If you’re a woman who menstruates and you also happen to care about the environment, worry not – there are plenty of simple changes you can make to your period care routine that’ll be better for both your body and the planet.
|Go plastic free|
Single-use plastic seems to be everywhere these days, from our water bottles to the wrapping on our fruits and vegetables – but it’s also hiding out in our period products. While plastic tampon applicators may be most to blame, many mainstream products also use plastic in their tampon wrappers, pad backsheets and in the fibres of pads, tampons and liners. Once used, these period products are thrown in the bin (where they’ll end up in landfill), or even worse flushed down the loo (where they can end up in our oceans).
Take a stand against plastic pollution and make the switch to plastic-free period products. Look for products that are made from natural, plant-based substances, and reach for either applicator-free tampons or tampons with a biodegradable applicator. Our &SISTERS period products are proudly plastic free, meaning everything from our applicators to our packaging is biodegradable, compostable or recyclable.
Shop &SISTERS plastic-free period products here.
Switch to organic cotton
While your store bought period products might look like cotton, you might wish to take a closer look. Many mainstream period products are made using wood fibres, plastic fibres or other artificial substances. And if that’s not enough to put you off, this might – it’s also common practice to use pesticides, chlorine bleach or other harmful chemicals in period products, and although these appear in trace amounts, some of these substances can enter the bloodstream during use.
Say ‘no’ to all things artificial by making the switch to organic cotton period products. Organic cotton is naturally breathable and biodegradable, breaking down completely in about two years if composted. To get the Soil Association’s seal of approval, organic cotton must also be free from all unnatural chemicals and pesticides, so you can rest assured knowing that nothing nasty has come into contact with your organic cotton products. We believe in using only the best, most environmentally-friendly ingredients; that’s why all &SISTERS cotton products are made using nothing but certified 100% organic cotton.
Shop &SISTERS organic cotton period products here.
Invest in a period cup
Going plastic free or switching to organic cotton can have an incredible impact on your own carbon footprint, but nothing is quite as eco-friendly as reusable period care. Menstrual cups (period cups) were first introduced in the 1930s, and they’ve since been perfected for maximum comfort and leak protection. Instead of absorbing menstrual fluid like pads, tampons and liners, period cups collect menstrual fluid in a flexible, dome-shaped cup that’s inserted into the vagina. Period cups can be worn for up to 12 hours, they collect more fluid than most pads and tampons (perfect for heavy periods) and they’re reusable, making them a perfect choice for health conscious women who are also looking to cut down on waste.
Our hypoallergenic, pH-neutral, medical-grade silicone &SISTERS nüdie period cup is engineered with every woman in mind – wear it while you exercise, wear it in the pool, wear it for up to 12 hours. Once you need to change your period cup, simply tip it out and give it a wash – it can then be reused for up to 10 years, providing you a full decade of zero waste period protection.
Shop &SISTERS nüdie period cup here.