Having an eco-friendly period might not be the first thing on people’s minds when it comes to addressing period problems - the literal gut-wrenching symptoms can be a lot to deal with as it is. However, the call for sustainable menstrual products has been growing over the past decade, and why not? Menstrual products are essential products. Globally, there are around 800 million women who have been using disposable pads and tampons since the 1920s and each menstruator uses up anywhere from 5,000 to 15,000 tampons and pads in their lifetime. One can only imagine how much these have contributed to pollution. It really is about time that we start seeking better options.
Here are some products to get you started on having eco-friendly periods:
1. Menstrual cups
The first on our list are menstrual cups. They might seem a little intimidating at first, but these cups are quite simple to use once you get the hang of it. They are made of silicone, are reusable, washable, and can last you 10 years with proper care. Menstrual cups may seem expensive but you actually save in the long run because it’s a one-time purchase as opposed to a monthly purchase of pads and tampons. If you’re thinking about making the switch, you can try the local brand Sinaya Cup or shop for other options at Beauty Manila.
2. Reusable pads and panty liners
If menstrual cups seem too daunting, then you might be more comfortable sticking to what is familiar. These pads work much like the disposable pads you’re used to. They even have wings that clip onto your underwear. The key difference is that these pads are not made of plastic. You can even make one by upcycling old clothes or rags. You can easily find printable pad templates online too if you ever decide you want to sew pads yourself. If DIY-ing menstrual pads is not your thing, you can always purchase some really affordable reusable pads or panty liners online at Shopee or Lazada.
3. Period Panties
Period panties already have the superabsorbent material sewn into them, unlike reusable pads that you need to clip on. Additionally, you don’t have to worry about staining your regular underwear when you choose to wear period panties. These are pricier than reusable pads but are a good investment as they can potentially last you for the rest of your menstruating life! If you have really heavy periods, then combining a menstrual cup with period panties can keep you completely leak-free. Brands like Thinx ship to the Philippines, and you can search online for locally available brands.
4. Organic/Biodegradable Tampons and Pads
This option is probably the most similar to the disposable products we are used to because these are still, well, disposable. However, these tampons and pads are made of biodegradable and organic cotton, which means they won’t contribute to plastic pollution. Choosing this option makes the eco-friendly switch less drastic of a change compared to switching to menstrual cups. One downside to these, however, is that you still have to buy them every month which does not really save you much money in the long term. Most also come in plastic wrapping, so they aren’t really the most sustainable option out there.