Let’s talk periods! If you’ve been thinking about trying some reusable period products this is the blog for you!
First off, why use reusable period products? Girls and menstruators will have their period for 6 and a half years of their lives. And over their lifetime they’ll use 11,000 disposable period products, spending €132 on period products every year… that’s a lot of money that I’m sure we’d all rather spend on other things!
On top of that disposable products create quite the environmental problem. Just under 28,000 tampons and applicators are found on the worlds beaches every day, and the average user throws away 125-150kg of tampons, pads and applicators over their lifetime. Head on over to the brilliant Environmenstrual campaign by the UK organisation Women’s Environmental Network if you want to learn more about periods and the environment.
So, what can you use if you choose to not use disposable period products?
First up we have reusable pads. Reusable pads are pads made out of fabric, they come in different colours, fabrics, thickness, size and shape. Reusable pads can be used just as you use disposable pads, changing them just as often. To wash them you rinse out the blood with cold water in the sink (always cold water, if you use hot water the blood will stain!) and then pop them in the washing machine at a low heat setting with your other clothes. Reusable pads usually cost about €5 to €15 each. When you change your pad when you’re out and about or at school you can use a zippered wet bag to keep your used pad in until you get home. Reusable pads usually last for about 5 years.
Another fab option which I personally love is period underwear! Basically, they are pants which have inbuilt technology which means that they soak up your period blood with no leaks or stains. They usually cost about €30 euro and last 2 to 5 years. And you wash them just like you do with reusable pads. Some brands that carry teen lines are Thinx and Wuka!
And one more option: period cups. Cups are made out of soft silicone and inserted inside the vagina. Period cups cost between €20 and €30, and last for 5 to 10 years, which is a HUGE money saver. To wash them you boil them in a saucepan on the hob for 5 minutes before and after each period. You can keep your cup inside you for up to 12 hours (!). Empty them into the loo and rinse with hot water before popping it back in. Then store away until your next period. If you’re curious check out this Q&A about using a cup, this TeenVogue article on everything you should know about cups or this video by the brilliant Precious Stars on the best cup for teens.
These are three reusable products to help out our environment that little bit extra. But remember find something that works for you. I love reusables and personally use a cup and period pants but if you don’t fancy it, use disposables instead and find other ways to reduce your waste on the planet 🙂
Charlotte launched the MÍOSTA project in 2018, bringing menstrual education workshops to universities and community spaces around Ireland. The MÍOSTA project aims to unpack the shame and stigma that still surrounds our periods, to facilitate education on reusable and alternative menstrual products and to create empowering conversations about periods. If you are interested in learning more get in touch with Charlotte about bringing a MÍOSTA workshop to your school or community space. Or tell your teacher about the project and see if they are interested in training on how to teach about periods in a positive and empowering way. Let’s spread the word!
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is provided for informational purposes only, please always consult your doctor, healthcare professional or parent/guardian before trying any of these products.
Cover Image by Monki.com