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- >Zero Waste Periods | For Beginners
Zero Waste Periods | For Beginners
“Sometimes it seems so complicated to make the switch to reusable menstrual products. There are so many choices and I don’t know where to start!” - Sonia
Fear not! We’ve all been at the start of the zero-waste period journey, wondering how it all works. The good news is it doesn’t take long to learn that using and maintaining a zero-waste period routine is actually really easy and accessible for everyone. If you’re ready to start greening your period, you’re in the right place. We’ll keep it nice and simple to get you started!
What are the different types of reusable menstrual products? | Overview
Whether it’s reusable pads, menstrual cups or period panties, there’s a solution on the market that’s right for you. Here are some brief descriptions of these three types of products to help you figure out what you’ll like best.
Washable menstrual pads
A washable (also called reusable or cloth) menstrual pad or liner is used primarily to absorb menstrual fluid but can also be used for daily discharge or even bladder leakage. Pads are also available for male incontinence. In some circles, reusable pads may be referred to as “mama cloth” as a nod to cloth diapers, but of course you don’t have to be a mother to use reusable pads!
Cloth pads usually attach directly to the gusset of the underwear and come in a variety of shapes and materials.
A menstrual cup is worn internally to collect menstrual fluid. It is inserted into the vagina and placed around the cervix. Typically funnel-shaped with rounded edges and a small stem on the bottom, cups are normally made of medical-grade silicone and come in different sizes.
Credits : Instagram, The DIva Cup
Reusable period underwear
Menstrual underwear or period panties are worn just like normal underwear and designed to absorb menstrual flow, discharge or bladder leakages. The absorbent portion of the underwear is typically sewn directly into the garment, although for some styles it is a separate piece. Period panties come in a variety of materials and sizes.
Credits : Instagram, La girafe bleue
Why choose reusable menstrual products?
Because no matter which type of reusable menstrual product you choose, the advantages are many!
Good for the planet:
“It is estimated that people who menstruate throw out over 10,000 menstrual products in a lifetime. A single disposable pad takes up to 500 years to decompose. My great-grandkids are going to be here long before my last disposable pads disappear!” – Karine
To reduce the environmental impact of the products we use, we’ve got to put the brakes on single-use items. Everything we buy has a price, and it’s more than what’s on the tag. Beyond the dollar sign is the environmental and human cost of every consumer good. Reusable products reduce these costs, and often encourage local economies and ecologically sound manufacturing.
And especially … good for YOU:
“The list of toxic chemicals that can be present in disposable tampons and pads is pretty worrisome … especially when it’s hard to know exactly what’s in each product.” - Marie
Tampons and disposable pads are made with synthetic materials and can contain a wide array of chemicals, ranging from fragrances to pesticides!
“It’s really not what I want touching my vulva or in my vagina. No thanks!” -Kim
Some reusable products, like Öko-Pads, have specific benefits for our bodies. Made with textiles that are organic, natural and undyed, they help prevent infections and allergic reactions.
Easy to use:
“I need something easy. I don’t have time for complicated solutions.” - Audrey
The upkeep on these products is easier than you’d think. Sure, we have to make a few changes, but it doesn’t add up to more time than that monthly trip to the pharmacy. There are different methods to choose from depending what types of reusable products you select. Pick the one that works best for you and make it part of your routine!
“I’m not rich, and it seems like reusable menstrual products cost a lot!” -Catherine
Just like any reusable product swap, there is an initial investment to be made, but you’ll see the savings in the long term. Menstrual cups, reusable pads and period panties can last years. Öko-Pads have a minimum lifespan of 6 years and are covered by a satisfaction guarantee for this period! So yes, they’re definitely economical, and with the growing list of Quebec municipalities offering subsidies, the savings are even greater! Check if your city has a subsidy here (document in French only).Check if your city has a subsidy here (document in French only).
A small step towards big change
Avoid getting discouraged by making changes slowly, one step at a time. Believe in yourself! There is lots of information available online and many manufacturers will be thrilled to answer your questions.
Are you ready to take the leap?
YES! Let's try!