Venetia Falconer, presenter and creator of Talking Tastebuds, shares her tips on how to have a plastic-free period.
Wait, you’re saying my period is damaging for the planet? No. I’m sorry. I can’t listen to this right now. I’m switching articles to read about The Best Vegan Restaurants. I mean, come on! I religiously bring my reusable coffee cup on my morning commute, I spent my summer in Cornwall instead of Bali cos #FlightEmissions and I’ve shunned cucumbers in their condom packaging since 2016.
Babe, I get it. The last thing you want to think about when you’re surfing the crimson wave is plastic pollution. Just pass me that hot water bottle and all the chocolate. I put off making sustainable changes to my time of the month for the longest time, but then, as it turns out, I would never look back from my plastic-free period routine, with or without the earth saving benefits. Not only am I creating less damage to the planet (period products count for 200,000 tonnes of waste per year), but I’m not putting harmful chemicals anywhere near my nether regions. And did I mention that one in every 100 pieces of plastic currently in our oceans is either a tampon applicator, sanitary pad or wipe? LET’S PULL UP OUR PANTS AND PRESS ON!
Sounds gross. Actually pretty game-changing. They come in a variety of styles (from Bridget Jones to tiny thongs) and absorbances, so you could choose to wear by themselves – depending on your flow. You treat them like normal pants, putting them in the wash at the end of the day. They are just as absorbent than a normal pad and don’t leave a nasty odour. I like to wear them if I’m out and about but expecting my period to come, at nighttime, or towards the end of my period where it might come back… but then again, it might not. Brands worth checking out: THINX, Lunapads and ModiBodi.
Organic Cotton Tampons
If you’re someone who thinks about the food they put in their mouth, you might want to consider the fact that standard tampons contain chlorine bleach and chemical additives, from crops sprayed with herbicides, pesticides and fungicides (wow). Do the same for your vagina! There’s an awesome UK brand called Ohne who deliver straight to your front door in environmentally friendly packaging.
If you’re not one for applicator free tampons, a reusable alternative is a great way to go. Check out Dame – the world’s first reusable applicator that saves up to 12,000 plastic applicators entering our oceans.
My personal favourite: the mooncup. Sounds witchy and weird, but to me, makes the most sense. They usually come in a couple of sizes based on your age/if you’ve had kids, so make sure you get the right one for your body. It takes some getting used to and I did have a near “Am I going to have to go to A&E?” moment (please listen when they tell you that it sits lower down your vagina). But once you get the hang of it, it’s the best. A menstrual cup can last you for years, so it’s the closest we can get to being zero waste during our period. It will give you a better understanding of how much blood you actually shed each month (a lot less than we think btw). What’s more, you’ll need to change it much less frequently than you would a tampon or pad and it’s super comfortable. You might even forget it’s there…
So there you have it. My definitive guide to having a plastic free period. Now can we discuss our favourite chocolate bars? Anyone?