Challenge: Zero-Waste Periods

Challenge: Zero-Waste Periods

As part of our move towards minimalism and a more gentle way of living, we are focusing on replacing and reusing where we can. This month the challenge for me was to replace menstrual or period products with better alternatives for the environment and for my own health.

Why do this?

Each year, globally, more than 12 billion pads and tampons are tossed into landfills and sewage systems, made with bleached rayon, cotton, and plastics. This is not only bad for the environment, but also not the best for our health (or wallet!), either.

The Process

I first switched to a Lena cup a few months ago and, while a little apprehensive at first (and it does take a little bit to learn how to use properly), I am happy to say this experience is even better than regular tampons.

I picked the Lena cup after much research, including reading comparison reviews like this one between Lunette and Diva as well.

Next, I did a trial run of Thinx underwear. I thought this may be a good secondary protection with the cup, but was still really scared to use it. After a few hours of using it with a cup I decided to give it a try alone. And, it worked!

It worked so well in fact I completely forgot I had my period! I immediately proceeded to place an order for 5 more (if you buy multiples you get a discount). I think these are ideal also for those annoying days right before your period where you are not sure you are going to get it or not, and those super light last day periods, and as a secondary protection during the heaver middle days.

Finally, I gave Hannahpads a go. These ones scared me the most to be honest but they are so soft and cute! I was mostly nervous about them moving around, but they have stayed put pretty well. The washing is not too bad, but then again I did cloth diapering with one of my kids so I kind of new what to expect.


And so, with that, I went from disposable pads and tampons to reusable period underwear, menstrual cup and organic cotton pads, as per the images below.

Honestly, I cannot believe I did not make the switch earlier, what was I waiting for?!


I am not looking back.

Call to action

Female readers, if you are using disposables still, please consider a change, even if small! Will you join me in this challenge or a similar one of your own towards this goal?

After all – “Little drops of water make the mighty ocean.”


What small actions are you taking in YOUR control to help the environment or your health? Heck even just for your wallet! These are expensive at first, but may prove economical after you realize how many of the disposables you go through in a year.

6 thoughts on “Challenge: Zero-Waste Periods”

    1. Hi! I am so sorry for some reason I never saw this comment until now otherwise I would have responded right away. On the plus side, I just finished my very first cycle with 100% reusables and I am completely in love and hooked! I am not sure cost effectiveness is as high or good as other people claim , but it also depends on the products you buy. Personally I did this mainly for environmental and health issues, but I can give you what I spent see what you think for your own needs if you want to give it a try. My period is 6 days , and only about 2-3 are heavy. This is what I got (and found that it was more than enough, even a little too much – which I expect to last at least 3 years for pads and underwear and longer for cup):

      – Lena cup – I got this on amazon and it comes with 2, small and large. Takes a bit of getting used to it, once you do SO MUCH BETTER than tampons. I use these 3-4 days max during my cycle. $39.95

      – Thinx underwear: I first ordered one to try ($10 dollars off first time client check if that is still available) then upon using 1 day I immediately ordered a set of 5, total of 6. I only got the ‘sport’ version (1 1/2 tampons) as it was super comfortable and enough for my needs. They are each $32 and this is what my total cost was: Total, $22 ($10 discount)+ $136 (set of 5 with 15% off) = $158 (cant remember tax or shipping sorry but I want to think it was not extra!). I use these on their own the day I think I may get my period and the last day. I use it as back up on my heaviest days.

      – Hannahapads – I went with the light flow set, which is originally $181.99 but got a coupon and inclusive of shipping it was $163.80.

      Total – $361.75

      Again, you don’t need ALL of these things (half the underwear and half the pads would have worked the same( and you can find cheaper alternatives but to me it is fully worth it. I was looking for a suitable eco-friendly alternative instead I found a superior experience all together.

      Hope that helps!


      1. ps. the light set of pads comes with liners – which I have used outside period days so keep that in mind too. If you want to try, I recommend the cups, 1 pair of underwear and try 1 medium and one overnight of the pads.


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