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* There is no such thing as tabboo.

Art by Nicole Chui - @thatsewnicole

Eco periods: Products




Why should we consider the environment when menstruating?




While having an eco-friendly period is not everyone's main concern, you may find some of these products interesting regardless. Aiming to not just be better for the environment, these products also aim to better for us, our wallets and our cycles.

Did you know - “A menstruating person menstruates on average for 32 years and uses approximately 12,000-16,000 disposable pads and tampons in a lifetime” - IMSE VIMSE. That's £2,325 on average per person! (Price of one TAMPAX Regular tampon x 14,000 tampons). In comparison, a menstrual cup can last for 10+ years and cost around £15. For the price of three total cups against 14,000 tampons, you’d be saving £2,280 across 32 years. This seems like a no brainer!

These articles in the Eco-Periods series aims to inform you about the pro’s and con’s of different products that I think will genuinely make your periods easier to deal with, plus cheaper in the long run - they just happen to be more environmentally conscious!

If you would like to add your thoughts and user reviews for different products for any of the articles, please drop us a message on Instagram - @the.peach.diaries, or e-mail us - hello@thepeachdiaries.co.uk.



Happy reading!

What are the products available?




Reusable Sanitary Pads

ABOUT
Reusable cloth pads and their lesser known pals, reusable tampons, aim to be a like-for-like product compared to their disposable counterparts; the only difference is that you don’t throw them away, you’d wash and re-use!

MATERIALS
These products are made of natural materials such as bamboo and cotton, paired with a polyurethane layer that makes it leakproof. Bamboo, for example, is naturally anti-bacterial and more absorbent than their chemical-ridden disposable counterparts. Cloth pads tend to be more absorbent than disposable ones, and for this reason, are more comfortable as you'll stay fresher for longer.

LETS DO THE MATH
IMSE VIMSE pads come with a 10 year warranty. If you bought nine pads to rotate with during your cycle, this will cost £40.50. This means you’d spend £129.60 total in the 32 years on average of menstruating. Thats a saving of £2,195.40!

CLEANING
To clean, put them straight in the washer, or do a pre-rinse before hand if you prefer! IMSE VIMSE sell an eco-friendly stain remover too, but I would opt for the black or darker colours to avoid the extra cleaning step.

VARIETIES
Like disposable pads, there are many different kinds. Brands offer different absorbencies, day vs night sizes, a choice of colours, and whether or not you want a winged attachment. You can even make them yourself!

WHO ARE THEY FOR?
These are great for people with regular or irregular cycles, people new to their periods and don’t yet know how much they’ll bleed each day, and also mothers after having a new baby. Because the natural materials used are more absorbant, they are also great for people with heavier cycles.

TIPS
They are small and discreet for carrying around with you, but make sure you also pack a wet bag for used pads when you’re out and about.






EXAMPLE

THINX
Hip Hugger
£28.53
Period pants

ABOUT
There are so many different brands now for shopping period underwear. THINX, ModiBodi, Cheeky Wipes, FLUX, Knix & Knixteen are the most popular, but brands are popping up all the time. THINX openly say that they’re designed to completely replace disposable pads and tampons, and can be worn with cups as an extra layer for protection.

MATERIALS
Period pants are usually made from cotton and polyester in a multi-layered system, built to keep odour in and leaks out. When I wear my period pants I never feel ‘wet’, I’ve never leaked whilst wearing a pair, they aren’t bulky and are very comfortable!

LETS DO THE MATH
The average period length is 5 days. Two high absorbancy, two medium absorbancy, one light absorbancy pair, with two pairs for wearing at night to rotate with, a period pants set from THINX would cost £165 and last you 10 years. By far the pricier option if you plan to only use period pants. Alternatives are using period pants at night and a menstrual cup by day. This way you only have to buy two or three pairs of period pants!

CLEANING
Easy to clean, just wash them like you would any other underwear.

VARIETIES
There are a large variety of styles, colours and different absorbancies from a wiiiiide range of shops worldwide.

WHO ARE THEY FOR?
Period pants are great for people of all ages and body types, and designed to cater to all bleed types. So many brands offer leak proof underwear for all genders, as well as post-partum, pee-proof and more!

TIPS
Buy individual pairs from UK shops such as ASOS or Selfidges, but if buying a period pack, buy direct from the store directly as they often have multi-buy deals.



Menstrual cups

ABOUT
Menstrual cups sit inside your vagina and catch the blood before it leaves your body. Owning and using a cup has been a very easy and enjoyable experience for me and has completely transformed my period. They aren’t for everyone, in the same way reusable pads aren’t going to be for everyone, but I would highly recommend trying one out!

In regards to toxic shock syndrome, “There are globally only 2 cases of TSS in connection with menstrual cup use that have been reported since their invention in the 1930s. These were possibly caused by prolonged use” - Lunette. To avoid the risk of TSS when using products in your vagina, always have clean hands, wash your cup well before use, and take out to rinse and reinsert your when you get the chance.

MATERIALS & CLEANING

Because the cups are made from medical grade silicone, latex, or a thermoplastic isomer, they are really easy to clean. When cleaning, the aim is to rid the cup of any bacteria before inserting. I boil my cup before use for 10 minutes, but throughout the cycle I will only rinse with warm water before re-inserting.

LET’S DO THE MATHS
One cup will last you at least 10 years. In the average menstruation time of 32 years, you’ll only need four max. You’ll be saving £2,241 when spending a total £84 on menstrual cups. A massive saving!

VARIETIES
There are many different shapes and sizes of cups to help fit different people, including for teens, people who have had children, higher or lower cervixes and flow types. I figured out I have a lower positioned cervix because the average cup sticks out at the bottom - to fix, simply trim the end.

WHO ARE THEY FOR?
The cup is recommended for people who are busier and don’t want to be taking out tampons every four hours - leaving your cup in for 8+ hours is possible. You can do exercise with a cup in and also go swimming! Great for various flow types.

TIPS
A good tip is to put your cup inside a whisk as you boil it, as it will hold the cup under the water rather bobbing at the top.

In the times I’ve had to change the cup whilst out and about, I enter a public toilet but try to keep my hands clean (I’ll use my sleeve to lock the door), then tip the contents into the toilet. After re-inserting the cup, I’ll use loo roll to wipe any blood off my hands before leaving the cubicle. Easy peasy!

However, if I can’t find somewhere clean (rare), I’d rather leave a clean cup in for longer than use a dirty public loo to empty and reinsert. This seems more logical to me as I’m minimising the risk of introducing bacteria to my vagina (this is how TSS could start).





Organic Tampons, Reusable Applicators & Product Packaging

If you’re not wanting to mix up your period products too much, but would like to try something better for your body or the environment, seek out different kinds of tampons. Brands like TOTM are great because althought they’re disposable, they offer organic, ethical, sustainable, plastic-free and chemichal-free tampons too.

“Organic cotton produces 94%* fewer greenhouse gases. It uses 88% less water and 62% less energy than conventional cotton during production” - TOTM.