Periods are a highly stigmatized topic, despite being something that most women (as well as some trans men and non-binary people) will experience. Consequently, period products are not a common subject of discussion, especially not zero-waste options.
Considering that individuals who have periods will throw away 250-300 pounds worth of products including pads, tampons, and applicators in their lifetime, I’d say its worth investing in eco-friendly alternatives. Not to mention that reusable options can save you money in the long run.
As menstruation become less taboo more sustainable period products will be introduced, so don’t be afraid to start a conversation about it! Also remember that the stigma around periods stems from misogyny, and they should never be considered gross or shameful.
I am not sponsored by any of the following brands. The Rael referral discount is the only affliate link in this article.
1. Menstrual Cup
Menstrual cups are probably the most well-known and widely used products for zero-waste periods. They are easy to clean, and a good option for people who are uncomfortable with reusable pads or period underwear.
While there are tons of brands on the market, I found Saalt to be one of the best options because its a certified B corporation and their cups can last up to 10 years!
Best For: Long days or heavy flows
2. Period Undies
Period Underwear is my personal choice, because I find that they’re the most comfortable and practical for my lifestyle. You can also wear these with a reusable pad if you have a heavier flow.
I use Thinx brand which has a wide variety of styles to fit your personal needs, and while these are the most expensive option on this list, I think that the convenience is worth it.
Best For: Anyone! Different styles support varying flows.
3. Cloth Pads
A similar option to period underwear is reusable pads, which are a lot cheaper but may not work for heavier periods. If you’re worried that the pads may not support your flow, you can still use them on your lighter days and opt for an alternative on the heaviest days of your period.
Rael has both liners and pads in multiple sizes, and you can use my referral link for 20% off your first purchase!
Best For: Light or medium flow
Cost: $30 for 3
4. Reusable Tampon Applicator
Thinx also offers a reusable tampon applicator, for those who don’t want to give up traditional period products but are still looking to reduce their waste. The product can be used with any size applicator-free tampon, and is made from medical grade materials.
Best For: Conventional folks
I hope you’ll choose to use one of these alternatives in the future! And if you still prefer disposable products over reusable ones, try using pads or tampons that are organic, biodegradable, and/or sold in bulk packaging.
Please leave a comment if you use any of these products, or let me know if there’s any that I forgot. Thank you for reading, and I hope you have a lovely day!