The dialogue around living sustainably can sometimes feel a tad uncompromising, like you're either "all in" or you may as well not bother. But that approach to sustainability isn't… well… sustainable.
Here at Fri Period, we are absolutely against green-shaming. We believe that even small changes and habit tweaks can make a big impact.
Take, for example, your period. Periods are a monthly reality for 1.8 billion of us around the globe, so it's unsurprising and inevitable that this impacts the environment.
But the actual statistics are truly shocking. In the U.S. alone, an estimated 12 billion sanitary pads and 7 billion tampons end up on landfill each year. And these products can take up to 800 years to decompose. If these numbers shock you too, here are some easy steps you can take to lessen the environmental impact of your period.
1. Switch to reusable period products
Call us biased (admittedly, we are), but this is the easiest switch you can make to immediately improve the green street cred of your period. Period underwear work by trapping your menstrual fluid and discharge within the inner layers throughout the day, and one pair can absorb the same as several tampons or pads. Simply wear, wash, and repeat - they couldn't be easier to use. We love the planet, but it's also got to be convenient, right?
2. Transition slowly
We get that old habits die hard (that's why we can't shake that daily double-shot café mochacinno). If you're a devotee of single-use products, it can be quite a shift to convert to using reusable products exclusively. Instead, start by swapping single-use period products for reusable ones for just some of your period, for example, at night. Baby steps, after all, are still steps.
3. Choose wisely, even single-use
When opting for single-use products, you can try to select brands that minimize their packaging, are organic and biodegradable, and recycle as much as possible.
This information is easy to find on product packaging or when browsing online. Being an informed and conscientious consumer can take a bit more effort, but the payoff is well worth it.
4. Don't rush to flush
Never flush pads, tampons, tampon applicators or any packaging down the toilet. This can cause serious blockages in pipes and sewerage systems, and the micro plastics found in tampons and pads can harm marine life.
5. Cycle tracking
If you don't track your cycle, we highly recommend you look into it. Understanding the phases of your cycle and the role your hormonal fluctuations play in how you feel throughout the month is a radical act of self-love. But also, tracking your cycle means you're better able to accurately anticipate your period's arrival and so can minimize unnecessary use of pads or tampons. (Pro tip: we wear period underwear throughout our menstrual cycle to safeguard against unwelcome period or discharge surprises!).
In conclusion, dealing with a period can be hard enough as it is, and we all lead busy lives, so we completely understand that convenience is a big factor in sticking to sustainable habits. These small tweaks are easy to implement but, when combined, can make a major difference.
Fri Period is on a mission to make periods better. They offer a range of period underwear made in the USA (right here in Houston!) without using PFAS or other chemical nasties. Crafted out of supremely comfortable US-grown organic cotton, they do the work of 2-3 tampons or pads and are a breeze to use.