5 Ways To Make Your Period More Eco-Friendly

Did you know that people who menstruate will use between 5,000 and 15,000 sanitary pads or tampons over the course of a lifetime? If you’d like to know more about how to make your period more eco-friendly, keep reading.

Make your period more eco-friendly

Make your period more eco-friendly


Why Are Periods Not Good For The Environment?

It sounds bizarre that to say that menstruation is not good for the environment yet it’s true. It is not menstruation that is the problem but the products we use and how they’re treated that is cause for concern.

Sanitary products are the fifth most common item to be found on beaches around Europe. These contain plastic not just in the products themselves (a single pad can contain as much plastic as four carrier bags) but also in the applicators and packaging which take centuries to break down. In turn, our period products last longer than we do.

So, What Can We Do About This?

Well, we can change what period products we use.

Some of these include using:

  • Organic cotton tampons & pads
  • Reusable period pants
  • Reusable pads
  • Menstrual cups
  • Sea sponges

Which One Is Best?

In my opinion, the menstrual cup is best and that’s why we stock it. I’ll explain why.

Cotton tampons/pads use organic cotton which is mostly grown between India and Indonesia. This means it gets shipped a long way, you’ll constantly need more, it takes a lot of water to grow cotton and the tampons still produce waste.

Reusable period pants & reusable pads require changing every five or so hours and you’ll need to wash them quickly or they’ll really start to smell. Hand washing might be fine but most people will use the machine. This uses water and you’ll need at least two to three pairs of pants per day. Plus, they remind me of old fashioned wedge pants. They make this rustling noise which I’m sure other people can’t hear but I’m convinced they can.

Sea sponges inserted into the top of the vagina and it soaks up the blood. It needs washing out but then you can use it again. They are literally sponges that have been removed from the sea. Regardless of how they’re grown, it is still using the earth’s resources & potentially removing something from the sea that could sustain over life forms.

This is why we think the menstrual cup is best.  I’ve been using mine for four years now and the only maintenance it needs is boiling water and a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda.

menstrual cupLet’s Talk About The Menstrual Cup

Menstrual cups do come with a bit more learning than the other products. For starters, there’s a number of ways you can fold the cup for best insertion and of course, you might have to pair it with a pad until you get the hang of it but cups do not dry out the vagina like tampons, they’re reusable for years (one should last a decade) and they don’t create any waste.

I think using a cup has decreased by flow by about half. It has definitely decreased and I’ve been using one for four years now. Of course, that might just be my age!

Are They Safe To Use?

Toxic Shock Syndrome is a condition that can affect any gender or age but is more prevalent in those menstruating. On average in the UK, approximately 2-3 people die per year from TSS. 

TSS as a result of tampon use is rare. It’s even rarer when using menstrual cups. To date, there has only been one report of TSS associated with the use of a menstrual cup. In this case, the user created a small scrape on the inside of their vaginal canal during one of their initial cup insertions. People with very long fingernails might want to consider cutting them or rounding them as you will be inserting them into the vagina.

Menstrual cups are made from flexible medical-grade silicone or rubber. They look exactly like a small thimble and they’re inserted into the vagina to collect the blood. You can leave for up to 12 hours before emptying and they can hold up to three times more blood than a regular tampon.

How To Change The Cup

In order to change the cup, you’ll need to insert your fingers into the vagina and feel for the cup. Gently squeeze the sides until you hear a release of air and then pull it out.

I wash mine out in the sink, rinse it with hot tap water making sure I get into all the crevices and then reinsert it. I sterilise it at the beginning and end of every cycle in a saucepan and add in a shake of bicarbonate of soda. This makes sure that it looks nice and clean.

Period More Eco-Friendly

Make Your Period More Eco-Friendly

Any Cons Of The Menstrual Cup?

Once you’ve got the hang of it, insertion and removal should take just a few seconds but until you’ve got the hang, it might be frustrating. It took me two cycles to get the hang of it and I insert and remove it now using water as a lubricant.

I’ve changed it in a waterfall in Indonesia, in toilets across motorways (take in a bottle of water to wash it out) and even behind a tree!

Want To Buy One?

You’ll need to work out if you’re a size one or a size two from the chart but then you can buy a menstrual cup by clicking this link.

We are so proud to be able to sell you the Kind organic menstrual cup.


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Make your period more eco-friendly by using a menstrual cup

We sell a huge range of eco-friendly, waste-free products from pot brushes to menstrual cups. We strive to find products that you’ll love and will find just as good as their plastic equivalents.

When we buy products to test, they undergo rigorous testing from us and our own kids to make sure they’re good enough for us to sell. We’re a British family and all of our shop products are mailed from right here in England.

We are easy to contact, either through the contact tab or directly by email at contact@gentlenaturalearth.com. You can contact us directly and I’ll aim to get back to you within just a few hours.

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