We are constantly making small shifts in the direction of becoming a a zero-waste family, and now that I am paying attention, the amount of waste created by my period is hard to ignore. Typically, I purchase one pack of pads, which are wrapped in plastic and a large box of tampons each month. I prefer flushable applicators and while these don't use plastic, each is individually wrapped, then wrapped in cardboard by size, and then they are packaged in a box, creating lots of waste. It's also worth mentioning tampons aren't good for your health. If you are at all concerned with what is in your food and the chemicals that are sprayed on crops, the same applies to cotton and that goes right into your body. Yikes! So if you aren't into ditching tampons for the environment, maybe your health is a good reason. Now let's talk about the steps I have made to approach my period in a sustainable way. First I purchased a pair of knock-off Thinx to wear around the house instead of pads. I actually really like this concept and appreciate that I don't have to purchase anything or throw anything away. After enjoying these panties for a few months, the next step was the menstrual cup.
When I first purchased my cup, I was confused about my size. I should have assumed I was a large since I have had a child, but similar to how I approach buying panties and shoes, I got a size too small. It's tough when you feel like a small but are actually a large, especially when we are talking about vaginas but hey, this is my reality and I accept it. After a few leaky months, I finally surrendered to this large menstrual cup and I am impressed with how well the cup works. I only have to change the cup a couple of times a day and I am not creating any waste! Interestingly, I avoided OB tampons my entire life because I never wanted to get that intimate with my period and now I am inserting a cup way high up in my vagina and dumping blood down the sink. Intimate to say the least but hey, I love a good sustainable solution.
I have heard great things about the reusable pads as well, is there anything you recommend for a zero-waste period? Tell me in the comments below.