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What is Green Periods and sustainable menstruation?

Green Periods is an initiative on sustainable menstruation. Sustainable menstruation means periods are managed in a safe, economical, accessible, and ecological way over the long run. Green Periods' mission is to encourage sustainable menstruation that is good for people, planet, and the wallet.

Why green periods?

According to the Green Periods Calculator data estimates, reusable menstrual products are 30 times cheaper and generate 5,000 times less waste than disposables.

Advantages of reusable menstrual products

  • Long lasting (5-10 years) and comfortable.
  • Way cheaper in the long-run than disposables.
  • Good for the planet.
  • Good for you (reduced health risks).

Product comparison

We have compiled a table for you to compare some of the most common menstrual products and their properties. It's a lot of information and we have tried to simplify it as best we can.

Menstrual ProductMaterialsMedian Lifetime Cost (USD)Median Lifetime Waste (lbs)Average Lifespan (yrs)InsertionWear time (hrs)Health riskSuggested care
Reusable menstrual cupMedical grade silicone or latex3000.710Yes12Medium[1]Empty and wash with soap every 12 hrs
Reusable discMedical grade silicone4800.9710Yes12Medium [1]Empty and wash with soap every 12 hrs
Reusable padFabrics4802.115No6Medium [5]Hand or machine wash
Reusable tamponFabrics703.525Yes6High [2]Hand or machine wash
Reusable underwearFabrics19206.735No6Medium [3]Hand or machine wash
Reusable panty linerFabrics4441.035No6Medium [5]Hand or machine wash
Reusable sea spongeNatual sea sponges1813.332.180.5Yes6High [2]Rinse once a day
Disposable organic cotton padOrganic cotton4420406.430No6Medium [4]Toss after use, landfill waste
Disposable padBleached rayon, cotton, plastic, others3360229.940No6Medium [4]Toss after use, landfill waste
Disposable panty linerBleached rayon, cotton, plastic, others4320263.030No6Medium [4]Toss after use, landfill waste
Disposable tamponBleached rayon, cotton, plastic, others3840238.660Yes6High [2]Toss after use, landfill waste
Disposable discPlastic, other48017.950Yes12Medium [1]Toss after use, landfill waste

References: [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

Become a part of the Green Periods movement

  1. Learn about different menstrual products to make an informed choice about what works best for you.
  2. Break the stigma. Have conversations about sustainable menstruation with your family and friends.
  3. Advocate for free and accessible reusable menstrual products at your educational institution, workplace, club or organization.
  4. Keep in the loop and sign up for our mailing list.

Not a menstruator? No problem, you can still be a part of the Green Periods movement and become a green influence for the menstruators in your life!

Assumptions for calculator

  1. The results are an individual’s unique menstrual footprint and are approximate based on calculations from user inputted data.
  2. The waste results only account for the weight of used menstrual products. They do not account for product packaging or accessories.
  3. The average menstrual lifecycle is 40 years, according to the Office on Women’s Health.
  4. Any menstrual products chosen are the same ones used throughout the entire menstrual lifecycle.