Four Ways to Make Your Menstrual Cycle More Eco-Friendly
The environmental impact of disposable period products is huge, but there’s a way to change that.
A woman’s menstrual cycle is a time of deep connection.
She is rooted in connection to the ebbs and flows of her body and the universe. But after years of stigma, shame & misinformation - we’re more removed from it than ever before. And modern “hygiene” products take a time that’s traditionally sacred and turn it into a creator of massive waste and toxic chemicals.
Since sustainability and organic living are a core value of The Local Mystic, I wanted to share a few ways you can make your menstrual cycle more eco-friendly.
Firstly, why does this matter? Surely disposable pads and tampons can’t be that much of a pollutant? Let me tell you - the U.S. alone discards over 19 billion feminine hygiene products every year. Not only that, the plastics used to produce them require an extremely energy-intensive process. This makes massive amounts of fossil fuels emitted just from the production of feminine hygiene products. The environmental impact of disposable period products is huge, but there’s a way to change that.
If you’re feeling called to make your cycle more eco-friendly, here are four ways to do it.
As I mentioned, the traditional materials used in making pads and tampons are taxing on the environment. Luckily, we’ve found other materials that are much kinder on Mama Earth.
One of my favorite brands - Kindfully - has found an ideal, natural alternative - bamboo. Compared to other materials, bamboo is more renewable. It’s a self-replenishing resource that requires less water and energy to produce. Kindfully makes pads using natural bamboo fibers and other plant-based materials. They’re all free of plastic and harsh chemicals, so your cycle can be kind to the Earth and to you.
Trying to ditch single-use altogether? There are a variety of reusable period products on the market today - from machine washable pads to crochet tampons. We’ve even seen tampons made from sea sponges out there!
Usually, the concern with reusable menstrual products is hygiene, so just be sure to wash your products regularly if you choose this route. It may take a bit more time and intention, but the planet will thank you!
Technically, menstrual cups would qualify as a reusable product - but I’ll stand the case that they deserve their own category. These silicone cups have changed the game. And compared to even a few years ago, there are tons of shapes, styles, and options to choose from.
I’ll throw out a word of caution, these can be a bit uncomfortable until you get used to them. And you will be a lot more up close and personal with your bleed. This tends to scare many otherwise interested women away from cups altogether. So, if you’re just starting your journey to a greener bleed, maybe start with some sustainable alternatives to what you’re already comfortable with.
Most of the time when you’re on your period, you just want to be as comfortable as possible. That’s what makes period panties so amazing. There’s no uncomfortable insertion, no bulk - and you’re allowed to just be you.
Traditionally, they’re made with a moisture-wicking material that keeps your flow from ruining your clothes or staining your sheets - we’ve all been there.
I recommend keeping a couple of pairs on hand so you can switch out when you need to.
Those are some of my suggestions for making your cycle more sustainable. Let me know which option you’re hoping to try in the comments.
Written by | Sierra Vandervort
Hey, there 👋 I’m Sierra!
I’m a writer, mindfulness coach, and community builder located in the here and now. I’m here to help you connect to something bigger, find your tribe & live in total abundance!