Ok so lets talk about it... Menstruation. Periods. That time of the month. Blood. 

It is the one fact of life that many of us can't change no matter how much we wish we could. From the first moment that first speck of blood appears we have signed on for at least a 20 to 40 year, once-a-month experience! 

And despite how much you might celebrate those first few specks we soon come to dread “that time of the month”. The cramps, the mess and unexpectedly the cost.  

With an average pack of tampons costing between $3.80-$6.50, it is a cost that quickly ramps up fast...and we're not even talking pads or panty liners yet. Or even how many packs that your Aunt Flo demands each month just to feel “safe” from any cringy moments (we all know never to wear white!) 

For a lot of us we don’t even think about it. We bear the cost as a necessity of life. Each month buying yet another pack, throwing out the plastic wrappings, and disposing of our waste as discretely as possible... as we were taught to do. 

But the cost of sanitary products are not just hitting us in our hip pocket - it's having a huge effect on the environment. 

In 40 years of a woman’s menstruating life, we can use up to 10,000+ tampons. The average woman will throw away 300 pounds (136 kgs) of period-related products.  

It is estimated that in North America alone up to 20 billion sanitary pads, tampons and applicators are dumped in landfill each year. Which adds significantly to the rising methane emissions (it is thought by some experts that methane emissions have more of an impact than certain types carbon emissions...and we all know how hung up everyone is about those!). 

Another eye opening fact comes from the Ocean Conservancy International Coastal Cleanup which reported collecting almost 18,000 used tampons and applicators from beaches throughout the world in just one day!! (This number was reported in 2004 and estimations are now significantly much higher!) 

With the costs rising - and our awareness of our impact on our environment growing - finding sustainable options for our periods is becoming more and more popular. 

But what product will work best for you? That’s the burning question right? 

After all, periods are not fun. They are messy, painful and sometimes gross. And the last thing we want is to be caught out with a new product that doesn’t do the job. 

Menstrual Cups  

Not new in the market of female sanitary items, but it is certainly gaining popularity. Giving you the same freedom of movement as disposable tampons. 

  • The menstrual cup can be worn overnight.  
  • Can be worn easily during swimming or sports. 
  • Often lasts longer that your pad or tampon. Up to 8 hours. 
  • Easy to use. Fold and insert like a tampon  
  • Hypoallergenic, suitable for all users even those of us with sensitive skin, dermatitis and latex allergies.   
  • Safe and easy to clean and disinfect, doesn’t cause vaginal pain or dryness. 
  • Eco-friendly, vegan and cruelty-free 
  • Reusable and long-lasting  
  • Different sizes to choose based on personal need 

Cloth Menstrual Pads 

A great way to cut down on your disposal waste, reusable cloth pads are designed for all women and all flow types. From heavy to light these sustainable pads are designed for both comfort and ease.  

  • Easy snap buttons that secure the pad in place. 
  • A soft bamboo charcoal layer designed to draw moisture away from the skin. 
  • A waterproof outer layer to help prevent leakage. 
  • Three sizes to pick from light, medium and heavy. 
  • Easy to clean - just rinse clean after use & pop into your regular wash. 

With 1.9 billion menstruating women in the world (6 million in Australia), sanitary products are a huge business - and the company’s that produce them are relying on your need to stay rich. With each of us spending close to $550 a year on our periods, finding cost effective, sustainable options is a lot easier than you might think. 

At just under $50 per menstrual cup, and less than $10 each for a reusable pad, saving money goes hand-in-hand with creating a more sustainable world. 

Here at Everyday Living Eco Store, we have tried to make it easy for you to start your sustainable journey. Check out our Earthly Woman Basics kit to help take the guess work out of starting out with a sustainable monthly cycle.