No shame here. We are going to talk about it all. How do I keep my period zero waste say when I'm out all day? What about emergencies? Reusing requires clean up, well isn't gross? No, I found a non-gross way to do it all.
So when it comes to a zero waste period, you have three options, reusable pads, period panties, and a menstrual cup. I'll go into detail for each.
1. Organic Cotton Reusable Pads
This is my preferred choice. They absorb a lot and stay put. Making sure you don't stain your self. Worst nightmare since 7th grade.
I recommend this company:
I would suggest you get multiple sizes depending on how heavy/light your period is and how long it usually lasts.
How to clean: Soak in cold water or wash in cold then hang dry. Reuse if necessary then wash with your laundry as normal with cold water.
It only takes a few minutes! When you don't feel like it, just remember the facts at the end of this page!
What do I do when I'm gone all day? Well, I bring with me an extra bag (I have this silicone or whatever bag I got years ago on the airplane) that I keep in my handbag. When it's time to change a pad, I simply fold it and secure it with the pins and place it in the bag then wash when I get home. I keep clean pads with me in the bag and wear a period panty underneath my pads, which brings me to your second option...
2. Period Panties
These worked great for me at the beginning, but later started not lasting very long before they start leaking. I had them for over two years now. However, I still use them on light days and underneath my reusable pads. They're also great on the days you think you might get your period. My favorite would be the thong on light days. As a yoga teacher, I wear a lot of yoga pants so I like to wear these as they don't leave lines on my butt. TMI? Maybe. But I told you, this is going to be a shameless post.
How to Clean: Same as the pads, wash in cold water and hang dry. Then you can wash with your normal laundry.
3. Menstrual Cup
Now I haven't tried menstrual cups yet, but I like this eco-friendly company. I've seen SO many positive reviews on menstrual cups and women saying that they even forget that they're in there. Easy to clean (just wash with water and castle soup) and lasts for yeaaarrs, saving you lots of money. I mean LOTS.
Why should you even consider having a zero waste period, besides saving a lot of money? Well, here are some quick facts for you
In the UK, every woman uses an average of over 11,000 disposable menstrual products in her reproductive lifetime.
I don't think periods are that different from one female to another. So even if you're not from the UK, you probably waste the same amount.
Non-organic sanitary products are made from cotton that was sprayed with chemical pesticides, which destroy biodiversity and cause potentially lethal pesticide poisoning in cotton workers.
Producing non-organic pads and tampons is not only wasteful but harmful to the planet and to the workers who make these products!
Conventional disposable menstrual products are bleached white, and this process creates the chemical dioxin, which is linked to immune system suppression, reproductive issues, and cancer. Tampons can leave microscopic fibers in vaginal tissue, causing tiny cuts and creating a breeding ground for the bacteria that causes Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), which can be fatal. The absorbency of tampons also causes less serious but very unpleasant problems, upsetting the natural pH balance of the vagina and drying it out, which leads to discomfort, itching, rashes, and infections.
This is a real-life example of how karma works. You do something harmful to the planet and other beings and in return, you're also harmed. Your vagina and reproductive system, in general, is vital to our health (whether you plan on having kids or not). Remember, your hormones have an effect on your entire body.