Ditch Pads and Tampons For These More Eco-Friendly Alternatives
Breaking up is hard to do... but these alternatives make it easy to cut ties with tampons and pads!
Ditch Pads and Tampons With All These Better Alternatives
For a very long time, the story has been this: you get your period and your options are pads or tampons. That's it! Go to any store and you'll find an aisle filled with pink and purple boxes of what essentially boils down to only two different options. Slowly, but surely, however, more options are popping up in the feminine hygiene space and that is certainly a good thing. And the planet will agree!
Maybe you've thought about how pads and tampons are bad for the environment after disposal — and they are, in the United States alone, approximately 12 billion pads and 7 billion tampons are discarded each year — but they're also incredibly wasteful to create! In fact, producing tampons and pads actually creates more waste because of the processing of raw materials (which includes low density polyethylene that requires energy-intensive processing). Basically, pads and tampons are wasteful to dispose of and take years to break down, but most customers probably don't even stop to consider the waste that goes into making these products. Yikes. Shouldn't we be taking better care of Mother Earth? She's the only one we've got, after all.
The great news is that there are more environmentally-conscious and sustainable period care options than ever before. At first, these products might appear to have a higher cost or a larger learning curve, but if you take a chance on them, you can cut your costs in the long term and leave a much smaller environmental footprint. Win, win, right?
Keep reading to check out some of our favorite alternatives to pads and tampons. And if you're in a save-the-environment mood, here are some more of our favorite environmentally-friendly products!
Before you continue, we'd like to let you know that this list may contain affiliate links, meaning we may collect a commission if you decide to click through and make a purchase.
1. Kind Cup
About the Product: One of the most popular and eco-friendly tampon alternatives is the menstrual cup. We love the Kind Cup because its patented ergonomic design provides you with lasting, leak-free comfort! It's so comfortable and comes in different sizes to fit your needs. You can wear it up to 12 hours before emptying.
Kind Cup takes great care to select high-quality, sustainable materials that are sourced and manufactured within two hours of their company location in California. No questionable fillers or toxic, unlisted ingredients. Plus, each purchase helps support their Kind Impact and overall commitment to increasing menstrual cup access to those in traditionally underserved communities.
2. Rael Reusable Period Underwear
About the Product: Wait, you're saying these are special period panties? They look just like normal underwear! But somehow, these leakproof, totally comfortable undies absorb the equivalent of 3 tampons and stays in place without digging into your skin.
The best part of all might be the fact that Rael makes its underwear out of breathable, absorbent cotton that instantly eliminates moisture and odors, while being free of PFAS or chemicals that can cause fertility issues or cancer.
3. Rael Reusable Menstrual Cup and Case Set
About the Product: When's the last time you purchased a box of tampons that lasted for 10 years? You read that right! When properly taken care of, this reusable cup can provide leak-free protection for up to 10 years! It even comes with a discreet protective case to store it in between uses.
There's definitely a learning curve when you make the shift from pads and tampons (definitely not as easy as slipping on the period panties mentioned above) and you'll need to get used to emptying/cleaning the cup while using and properly sanitizing it between washes. But if you ask us, 10 years of use is worth taking the time to learn your way around a menstrual cup! These cups are available in sizes "mini, 1 and 2" and are all made without BPA, latex, and phthalates that can irritate skin or harm your reproductive system.
4. LastPad: Reusable Menstruation Pad
About the Product: LastObject founder Isabel Aagaard has created a reusable alternative to the single-use sanitary pad that can be washed and reused 300 times. The pads have an inner layer made of a highly absorbent polyester and bamboo blend — bamboo has antibacterial properties and can absorb 40% more than even the best cotton.
The reusable pads come in 3 sizes, from panty liners to overnight pads. To clean, just toss LastPad in the washing machine with your other laundry or simply handwash it!
5. June The Period Starter Kit
About the Product: June recognizes that making the shift from traditional period care products is a big step! That's what we love about this Period Starter Kit: It's here to make that shift as easy as possible. All the must-haves you need to revolutionize your monthly flow: one June cup, compact sanitizer, cup wash, ten cup wipes and one period underwear (because the best way to lessen pad and tampon use is probably through a mixture of alternatives... and some pads and tampons when you need them still).
This starter kit gives you the option of a mini, small, or large cup, black or beige undies, and a variety of sizes in the undies, which is nice.
6. Cora Disc
About the Product: Check out this sustainable alternative to pads and tampons. Cora designed this disc with comfortable insertion and easy removal in mind. And to be environmentally conscious of course, the premium carrying clutch is actually made of vegan leather! We love that.
Unlike other menstrual cups, this disc is:
- Designed to fit most bodies comfortably without any guesswork (yes, it comes in just one size!)
- Approved for sex! (the flat fit design and placement allows you to enjoy intimacy without the mess)
- A natural seal at the base of your cervix that creates a more comfortable fit. Suction isn't required for correct placement of disc.
7. Intimina Ziggy Cup
About the Product: Similar to the Cora Disc, one of the Ziggy Cup's biggest selling points is that "it's the one you can have sex with!" Like most other cups, Ziggy’s flat-fit design provides up to 8 hours of comfort, freedom, and self-confidence.
For convenience sake, Ziggy comes with a hygienic silicone case that easily fits in your backpack or handbag. Just wash your cup after use and store it in its discrete carry-case.
8. Pure Rosy Sustainable Period Underwear
About the Product: These hyper-absorbent, comfortable, and fashionable period underwear from the women-owned brand, Pure Rosy, are the perfect undies to wear on your light period days or when spotting. Pure Rosy's soft and luxurious underwear is made from 4 layers of ultra-thin absorbent fabric. These don't feel like traditional period underwear, but they hold up to 2 light tampons worth!
- Moisture Wicking
Let's Keep the Conversation Going
What are your thoughts on sustainable pad and tampon alternatives?