Our Period Principles for getting Outdoors Sustainably
Periods are part of life – and part of #LeaveNoTrace! Earlier this year, we shared our #PeriodPrinciples on social media for Her Outdoors Week, to highlight the new products and tips we can utilise for getting outdoors during our periods.
This month is National Reuse Month, so what better time to share some of the research we did into the products we can use when on our periods that are more sustainable for the environment, and focus on more reusable products.
1. Menstrual Cups
“Moon cups” or menstrual cups last for several years. There are now over 40 international brands to choose from, so you can find the one to suit your body. Menstrual cups can be worn for up to 12 hours (check with each brand), depending on your own flow. This can be really helpful for long events, or even just sleeping! Always make sure the brand you choose uses medical grade silicone.
Remember that if you have used disposable products so far, a menstrual cup is going to at first feel very different at first. Give yourself some time to figure it out and see if it works for you. Menstrual cups can last for years! So much possible disposable waste no longer being created!
2. Reusable Tampon Applicators
Did you know there are reusable tampon applicators? This product is designed so that you keep the hard plastic applicator, and then can buy just the cotton inserts. This cuts down on so much hard plastic waste, and is cheaper to buy just the refills!
3. Period Underwear & Reusable Liners
Have you heard of period underwear? These are lined to absorb the menstrual flow, and then you rinse in cold water before washing. According to some of our trainers, these are an absolute game changer for no leaks when camping!
Another option is reusable underwear liners, for added security when on heavy days, or for at the end when you just want to have some light protection
4. Hot Water Bottles & Reusable Heat Pads
Hot water bottles have been a staple for many people during their periods. Getting a mini hot water bottle can make this home comfort suddenly a travelling companion!
Reusable heat pads also exist, and they can offer so much relief when on the trail and cramping! Usually marketed for back or neck pain, these are a great way to #PlanAheadAndPrepare if you’re expecting your period to hit while off on an adventure.
5. Disposing of period waste when outdoors
If you’re using a menstrual cup, you can dispose of the waste in a cat hole – just like how we would get rid of other body waste! Make sure your cat hole is dug deep enough (20cm), so that the smell doesn’t attract animals. Once emptied, clean the cup with water from a bottle over the hole, before reusing, and then filling in the hole!
No matter what products your using, when outdoors on your period, or final tip is to bring a locking, fully sealable lunchbox. This can become your portable sanitary bin, so no waste ends up in our outdoor spaces.
TOP TIP: throw in a teabag to help neutralise odours!
It’s only through talking about taboo subjects that we can all learn and share these kinds of tips, and prevent more single-use and disposable products ending up in nature.