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October 02 2020

We Just Pulled Off a Zero Waste Period, Here's How

We need to talk about periods. Healthy, zero waste periods. Menstrual supplies have won our hearts for being real life savers in times of total distress. So much that we tend to forget that they are solely made out of plastic – think applicators, packaging, pads. Here’s how we keep it under control with 3 simple items.
Moreover, conventional tampons and pads are pretty toxic, laced with artificial colours, bleaching agents, polyester, adhesives, polyethylene (PET), polypropylene and propylene glycol (PEG). These toxic additives have been linked to hormone disruption, cancer, birth defects and infertility. Time to switch things up.
When it comes to menstruation, women will go a long way to make them comfortable and easy. A lot of our peers have admitted that they don’t want to try sustainable alternatives because they have the reputation of being not only unpractical but unhygienic.
zero waste period


1. A menstrual cup

Menstrual cups are all the hype and they’re not as difficult or disgusting as you think. First of all, we need to stop considering our own blood as dirty. Menstruation is a actually pretty cool, even if it feels sweaty and bloated. It allows us to end a cycle, to start anew every month.
Now let’s talk about the 2.5 million tampons that are used by women each day. They clog up sewers (because most people still throw them in the toilet *gasp*) and they are a real environmental threat because they take a very long time to degrade, ending up in our oceans. They are coated with harmful chemicals that disrupt your hormones and pollute your yoni. Plus, they cost a lot of money each month. Our alternative: the menstrual cup
You must boil your cup for 5 minutes at the beginning of your period so you’re sure no germs are on it. We have discovered that cups are not a guarantee against Toxic Shock Syndrome, a very rare condition where bacteria gets stuck between the tampon/cup and your vagina walls. Make sure you empty and wash your cup every 4-5 hours.

2. Cotton pads

Did you know that one pack of conventional menstrual pads contain 4 carrier bag of plastic? I usually use Natracare plastic free pads which are a good intermediate option – along with organic tampons. Still, waste is waste and sometimes these “biodegradable” items aren’t what they seem. I was surprised to note that cotton pads are a dream to sleep with and live with. They have a small clip so they don't fall off. They don’t leak, because the fabric is thick and they are lined with a special absorbent material (that does not touch your body parts). In the morning I washed them with cold water to get most of the blood out and then put them in the washer.
I loved that you don’t get this sweaty feeling that often happens with conventional pads. It was all super soft and I felt no blood at all. I had three pads which was enough for my (short) zero waste period. You might need a few more if you have a heavier flow.


3. Period Underwear

Period underwear is a new trend that changed women's periods forever. If you haven't heard of it, it's like underwear that retain fluids. It doesn't even have a thick crotch area that prevents you from crossing your legs ! Different sizes can retain different amounts of flow but we guess that it's not super adapted to heavy flow.
We tried and succeeded with the She Thinx brand. They are made sustainably is Sri Lanka and offer OEKO TEX approved undies. Although these panties are reusable, they are still highly pollutant since they are made with elastane and nylon. We're still looking for a brand that uses more breathable and sustainable options. 


4. Pain management

To follow a 100% thoughtful and natural approach, we like to find organic ways of soothing period pains. Our first choice would be CBD, our favourite pain relieving herb (yes, it's Cannabis Sativa). We now propose Eirah oils in our shop, a full spectrum oil made from the most qualitative oils. The concentration matters to soothe pain and we do recommend going up to the 7% CBD to really feel a difference. The lower concentrations are best for soothing the nervous system.  
We also have a few recommendations in the Traditional Chinese Medicine approach. Rule number one is NEVER get cold before your period. Wear sweaters and socks at all times and stay away from cold wind and water which contract the uterus. Drink Raspberry leaf, ginger and turmeric tea to ease inflammation and warm up the body. Take warm baths to heat up your system, I think you get the point ! This helps the immune system stay high during this energy consuming time for your body. 


Ask any questions you like about our zero waste period in the comments, we’ll be glad to talk to you guys.

Tagged: Health, Lifestyle

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