All the Ways to Make Your Period Eco-Friendlier
Welcome to POPSUGAR Uninhibited, a space where anyone with a period can come for advice, recommendations and support. Here, we’ll tackle topics like PMS, sustainability, post-partum periods and bring you first-person experiences in our period diaries. We also want to raise awareness around period poverty, with the aim to ignite change with the help of our launch partner Modibodi and charity partner Share the Dignity. You can find all of the stories here.
Thankfully, period pain is finally being taken seriously as a real ailment that menstruating people experience and all the health issues that can stem from them. For me, the most difficult thing about period pain is the helplessness you feel. It’s frustrating to be in pain, but largely, that pain is natural and the only real remedy is to sit through it.
But one thing we can have control over is making our periods more sustainable. To look after our environment is super important, and making a few simple changes to our menstrual choices can make all the difference.
POPSUGAR Australia spoke to leak-proof underwear brand Modibodi to get all of their utra-eco tips. Here are five ways you can get back control and make your period more eco-friendly.
Replace Single-Waste Products With Reusable
Tampons and pads are single-use items that create excess waste that isn’t always necessary. Depending on your flow, you could be going through an entire packet of pads and tampons in only a few days, which amounts to quite a lot of waste.
There are some amazing reusable period products on the market at the moment that help to minimise this waste, such as period undies and period cups. Not only are these items reusable, but they’re also made with sustainable materials, such as Modibodi’s range of period and incontinence underwear, which are made with a mixture of bamboo, recycled nylon and 100% cotton.
Wash Undies in Cold Wash Instead of Hot
Many reusable period products, like period undies, can be washed in cold water rather than hot. Not only do you save the planet by reducing your electricity and carbon dioxide use, but it’s also gentler for your undies, which helps them to last longer. This cold water wash can be done in a short wash cycle, that reduces water waste too.
During your heavy flow days, you may want to wash your undies in warm water, but this could be a simple hand-wash, using a smaller amount of water than a machine.
Try to Avoid Products With Plastic, Where Possible
It’s really important to read the labels on your period products. This goes for any product really, if we’re striving for a more sustainable future. However, many mainstream period product brands use plastics, which are not only really bad for your vagina, but also for the environment.
When buying anything from tampons and pads to period undies and cups, make sure you check what they’re made out of. You can also go to the product website and find the sustainability information.
Prioritise Sustainable Materials and Packaging
One thing to remember is the packaging of products. It’s all well and good to buy sustainable products, but if they don’t come in sustainable packaging, then there’s still a heap of waste getting thrown out each month. Choose fabrics which are circular or renewable, check manufacturers for how their products are made.
This is one to be extra mindful of when buying tampons and pads (if you’re not into reusable products), as you’re throwing out packaging each time you use a new pad or tampon.
Opt For Natural Remedies
To be truly sustainable, you need a shift in mindset too. To begin understanding and respecting nature and all the incredible things it can do for us, will make looking after it that much more meaningful.
Instead of popping some painkillers and being done with it, try out some natural remedies that can help with period pain. Things like essential oil baths (neroli and eucalyptus oils are the best for inflammation), freshly brewed fennel tea, getting outside for a walk in nature (you never feel like it but it’s surprisingly helpful) or even a nice healthy dose of vitamin D have all been known to reduce pain, anxiety and stress.
Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.