What are the most sustainable period products? – Review of the best eco & environmentally friendly period products + a Carbon Jacked membership benefit
Stomach cramps, mood swings, mother nature. It's about bloody time we talk about periods - and more eco ones at that. Dina Asher-Smith recently shared how her period was the cause of her cramps in Munich during the European Championship 100m final - it's big news. But it shouldn't be. We all need to get more comfortable with talking about periods, women's bodies and sport.
Period products can be really bad for the environment, but they don't have to be. With loads of eco period products now on the market from menstrual cups to period pants, we’ve written this explainer on how to make your time of the month as green as possible.
The problem with traditional period products
In our lifetime, us women are expected to throw away up to 15,000(!) tampons and pads - that's a heck of a lot. These period products can take 500+ years to break down and can often end up in our rivers and oceans, polluting our waterways and environment (ref here). Plastic applicators and sanitary towels are some of the worst offenders.
Eco period products - our review
1. Menstrual cup – it’s a revelation and 100% the most eco option.
Positives– You only need one and you can keep it in for a long time. They drastically reduce waste and they’re also backed up by research which has shown them to be comparatively fantastic for the environment. (Ref: here).
Negatives- The main downside? Well, you sometimes need to pre-plan where you wash it out, as it's not ideal to do in the shared sink at work. Also, most menstrual cups are made from silicone which is relatively energy intensive to produce and is not widely recycled.
2. Organic plastic-free tampons - an essential switch from traditional tampons - everyone should always have a box of these in their bathroom cabinet.
Positives- 100% organic cotton tampons have no toxins or nasties in them so you know exactly what you’re putting in your vagina. They also break down quicker and are better for the environment than traditional tampons.
Negatives- They can be slightly more expensive and not always available in your corner shop but we are big fans of buying them online.
Where can I get some?-DAME have great 100% organic, no-plastic tampons in biodegradable wrappers. We can’t fault them. Their branding is cracking too and all Carbon Jacked members get 20% off their products. #BleedRedThinkGreen
3. Period pants- they're growing in popularity and, due to their comfiness, variety of style and easily-washable functionality, are the first choice for many.
Positives- They can be worn all day, feature amazing odour & moisture wicking technology and prevents the need for tampons or sticking anything else up there. These are good for people who prefer not to see their own blood and want a comfy alternative to tampons and pads. There's loads of different styles out there too.
Negatives– Although you will save money over time you do need a fair few pairs of these and they start from around £15 each. It’s also worth checking out how biodegradable the pants you buy are.
Where can I get some?-Flux Undies and ModiBodi are decent and our friends at DAME are about to come out with some too.
4. Re-usable pads - a better alternative to regular sanitary towels that are often 90% plastic.
Positives -They’re soft & comfy, washable and reduce the amount of traditional pads & tampons that end up in landfill and oceans.
Negatives - They feel a bit different to your traditional pad so can take some time to get used to and are a fair bit more expensive than your usual sanitary towel.
Where can I get some? - We’re big fans of and have worked with Bloody Brilliant Pads - they're completely plastic-free, home-compostable and the BB Pads team go the extra mile when it comes to sustainability.
Sky sports sustainability series - Talking Period Products
Carbon Jacked's very own Jess Rogers (@Jess_RogersMQ) has been doing an awesome Sustainability Series with Sky Sports. In this episode she sat down with pro netballers Sasha & Kadeen Corbin to look at the different eco period products on the market, so check out the video below to see what they thought and what they learnt.
Discount with DAME - Carbon Jacked membership perk
To help make your periods greener we’ve teamed up with the rockstars at DAME to give all Carbon Jacked members 20% off DAME eco period products. All you need to do to access the discount is become a Carbon Jacked member here to combat climate change and rewild the world for just £2.50 a month. Memberships plant trees, support epic climate projects and help you reduce your carbon footprint. Come join us and start doing your bit today.
Overall, making the switch to an eco period product reduces waste, can save you money over time and helps protect the planet. With so many great options around there's no excuse – so get to it.
Before you go, we’re keen to know - what’s your favourite and which of these would you never try?
And just remember, the next time you bleed red, think green.