How to have an eco-friendly period


4 min read

How To Have An Eco-Friendly Period

Tips And Tricks For Making Your Period Less Red And More Green

It’s completely understandable if the environment is the last thing on your mind when you’re dealing with cramps, fatigue, mood swings and leaks. 

But periods aren’t just a burden on your mind and body, they’re also a burden on the planet. Thankfully, being more eco-friendly when you’re menstruating isn’t as hard as you’d think, and we’re here to shed some light on all the eco-friendly solutions available.  

On average, each person who menstruates uses between 11,000‐16,000 tampons and pads in their lifetime, which (along with their packaging) contribute to the 200,000 tonnes of period waste generated in the UK each year. All this waste ends up in landfills, or polluting seas, rivers and beaches. In fact, period products are the fifth most common item found on Europe’s beaches, more widespread than disposable coffee cups, cutlery or straws.

Periods aren’t great for the environment, but people who menstruate rely on sanitary products month in, month out. So, how can we ensure a human necessity doesn’t destroy the planet? 

Go organic and plastic-free

If you’re accustomed to disposable menstrual products, the first step toward an eco-friendly period is to switch to biodegradable, plastic-free options. 97% of tampons on the market today are made of rayon, a non-biodegradable plastic, or non-organic cotton, which is grown with pesticides that damage soil composition and contaminate water

A simple swap to organic period care like Daye is the easiest way to reduce pollution! Daye tampons are made from 100% certified organic, unbleached cotton. We even lab-test every fibre of cotton we use to ensure there is no trace of pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals and GMO.

Daye organic tampons, eco-friendly menstrual products

Don’t flush

Did you know around half of the women in the UK flush their tampons? Tampons are made to absorb moisture, so they don’t break down in water like toilet paper does. 700,000 panty liners, 2.5 million tampons and 1.4 million sanitary towels are flushed down the toilet every day in the UK.

Due to the amount of time that tampons take to break down, they also contribute to the 370,000 sewage blockages throughout the UK every year, to the point where they’re reshaping the banks of the Thames and polluting the water. 

Used tampons aren’t recyclable once soiled with menstrual blood, so how should you dispose of them? By law, all businesses in the UK are legally required to provide sanitary waste bins in their bathrooms, but these either end up in landfill or are incinerated (which releases greenhouse gases). 

Luckily, since Daye tampons are made of 100% organic cotton, they’re biodegradable in standard landfill conditions, and they’re also compostable. If you feel like home-composting your used tampons, go for it! If not, at the very least you can rest easy knowing that Daye tampons biodegrade within 12 weeks in standard landfill conditions. 

Be mindful of packaging

Although disposable sanitary products get a lot of stick, packaging also plays a huge role in how much waste reaches landfill.

The amount of period waste we generate isn’t just made out of tampons and pads, but also the boxes and wrappers they come in. If you can, opt for period care that uses sustainable packaging. We know that’s not always possible, after all, when your period comes early and you’re frantically looking for the closest shop that sells tampons, biodegradable packaging probably isn’t on the top of your list! 

We want to leave an impact, not a trace, so we spent a lot of time conducting material innovation and analysing the life-cycle of our sustainable packaging, which includes bio-based sugarcane applicators, water-soluble paper wrappers, an organic cotton pouch.

Eco-friendly period care options

Look into reusable options

A great way to turn your period green is to cut back on waste and switch to reusable options. Pads and panty liners have a higher carbon footprint than tampons because of the plastic adhesive that allows them to stick to your underwear, so if you’re accustomed to using pads a greener alternative is reusable pads or period-proof underwear. 

For those whose flow is too heavy for pads to handle, menstrual cups might be a good option. They last up to 10 years and hold 12 hours worth of period blood, which means you don’t have to go through as many super tampons. 

If you’d rather stick to your trusty tampon but still want to cut back on waste, you swap your applicator tampons for applicator-free ones, and use a reusable applicator instead. 

Use nothing at all! 

Free bleeding is admittedly a contentious solution, but it doesn’t require any sanitary products (whether disposable or reusable).

If you have a very light flow and don’t mind staining your underwear, there’s really no reason why you can’t omit period products entirely—as long as you don’t mind the extra load of laundry.

Do all of the above 

Handling your period in a more eco-friendly way doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Small changes here and there make a difference in the long run, so you can mix and match period care. The key to having a more sustainable period is to be mindful of what products you’re using.

How you manage your period is entirely your decision. We believe in health on your terms, so there is no shame in prioritising your body and sticking to your preferred routine. Not every period care option is doable for everybody—some might not be able to afford organic tampons, some might not feel comfortable inserting menstrual cups, and some might not like the idea of wearing underwear soaked in menses. These are all valid reasons, and it’s not helpful to glorify one product over another, or criticising people for what period care solution they choose. 

How you manage your period is entirely your decision.

At Daye we believe that the onus of sustainability shouldn’t fall on entirely on the consumer, but rather brands and manufacturers. That’s why we continuously invest in research and development to increase our sustainability standards, and offer products that are good for your body and the environment. 

Everyone should do what is best for their body and lifestyle, but if you can’t make your period more eco-friendly, our advice would be to up your sustainability quota by switching it up in another area of your life. 


  • Organic, biodegradable and plastic-free disposable menstrual products like Daye tampons are an easy, eco-friendly alternative to mainstream period care. 
  • If you want to cut back on waste, reusable sanitary products (like menstrual cups and period-proof underwear) are the best solution. 
  • Remember not to flush tampons! 
  • Do what feels best for your body and lifestyle. If this means sticking to your tried-and-tested period care routine, there’s no shame in that. Try adopting more sustainable options in other areas of your life. 

Illustrations by Erin Rommel. Erin is the founder of @second.marriage, a Brooklyn-based brand, illustration, and design studio.

Written by Liv Cassano. Liv is the Editor of Vitals, follow her at @liv_css.

Updated on 21/10/20

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