Low Waste Menstrual Options

Cup

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Reusable Pads

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Period Proof Panties

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Initially an expensive investment, switching to reusable feminine hygiene products will save money on monthly on your toiletries expenses.

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Consider the Pros and Cons

Additional Information

          Reusable menstrual pads, cups and panties. What works best?  It honestly depends on what you are looking for.  There are some pros and cons that you should consider when testing out what you want to try first. 


The Cup (Replaces Tampons)


           The most popular reusable product is the original Diva Cup.  I have had one for about 4 years and it took me some time to make a confident switch to avoid tampons altogether. In reality, there is only one time that I use tampons instead of the cup and that’s when I exercise.  I find the cup works great and I have no issues at all...except when I exercise.  Working out often requires that you jump up, down, do burpees, run, and pretty much move your body until you don’t want to move another inch.  I find that I feel the cup when I work out.  This is the only time I feel it. Many people have said that there are so many different types of cups available on the market that sit differently.  I will probably try another brand in the future, but the main reason I haven’t purchased a different yet is that I don’t want to invest in another one until I have other sustainable investments For that reason alone, I don’t use the cup exclusively.


Reusable Menstrual Pads   


           This is an area that many women avoid, and with understandable reasons.  After you use a reusable pad, you have to put it in a reusable wet bag and then carry it around with you all day until you get home.  Then, you throw it in the wash with the rest of your laundry and wash it like normal.  You might choose to spray a stain remover on it, or throw it straight in with your wash, the outcome is that they come out clean and ready to use again on your next cycle.  The wings clast together at the middle, creating a snug fit along your everyday panties.  I can see why some women wouldn’t want to use it. It takes some getting used to.  For me, I have been using reusable diapers for my baby since she was 3 months old.  It was easy justifying the reusable pads since I already have a routine in place for baby diapers.  I don’t keep them together, of course. I have a small wet bag that I use for my pads.  Plus, they don’t really get dirty anyways because when you pair it up with a cup (see above), the liner acts as a backup and stays relatively dry for most of the day.


Menstrual Panties


           I was expecting to love these. I have been told by many friends that they love their Thinx brand panties and that I should have a set for myself.  So I bought three to test it out.  It’s true that they don’t leak and they absorb a lot of fluid.  I was surprised with how effective they are.  What I didn’t like was that panties aren’t meant to be changed through the day.  So, you are essentially putting a dirty pair of underwear back on after every washroom break. I honestly hated the cold wet feeling on my crotch whenever I went to the bathroom.  As a result, I only try to use them at night, or when I only need it as a second line of defense.  They work great, but I never use them unless I use a cup with it as well.

Find a store that sells these products

Jump to the Low Waste Shops Ontario page for a sustainable shop near you.

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Don't forget your wet bag to keep sanitary supplies through the day.

If you are a mother who is already using reusable diapers, this might come more naturally for you. It follows the same idea. Have clean ones in a dry bag and have a wet bag for your dirty ones. At the end of the day, throw dirty items in the designated laundry and then pack for the next day.