How swapping to a sustainable sanitary product will save you money and help the environment

Looking for quick wins to help make the world a better place? Find out how swapping to a sustainable sanitary product will save you money and help the environment.

Many of us have essentials (like sanitary products) that we routinely put in our shopping baskets, without having to think about what we would do without them.

But you just need to think back  to earlier this year when the nation saw a rise in panic buying to get a taste for what it could be like. With shelves empty, it left many of us in the lurch, forcing us to seek alternatives for these much-needed items.  

New research by packaging retailer RAJA, has revealed the benefits of reusable alternatives for everyday items that experienced shortages during lockdown. With these simple swaps, we can not only make more environmentally conscious choices, but also save money at the same time. Win-win, right?

Here are three items you can easily swap today.

1) Facemasks 

Masks have become a feature of our daily life since wearing a face-covering became mandatory in shops and crowded places. As a result, the demand for face masks and face coverings have been high.

Unfortunately, for safety reasons, disposable masks can only be used once before they have to be thrown away. Reusable cloth face coverings, on the other hand, will last a whole lot longer, whilst also being kinder to the environment. In fact, reusable face coverings can last up to approximately 50 days, versus one. 

If you have to wear masks regularly, investing in a reusable mask can also save you money by not having to fork out for the single-use masks time and time again. Plus, they come with  additional perks,  such as that you can buy or make them out of comfortable material, you can personalise them, and select a design or style that works best for you. 

2) Nappies

Nappies are a necessity for all parents with young children, so it’s no surprise that the shelves were stripped of disposable nappies when lockdown hit. Sadly, the typical disposable nappy only lasts around 2-4 hours and some babies may need changing as many as 10-12 times a day. Alternatively, reusable cloth nappies can last up to three years if taken care of properly, and halve the average household waste.

Switching to a set of reusable cloth nappies can work out cheaper further down the line, saving you around £200-£500 over the 2.5 years your baby is likely to be in nappies.

Not only that, they are more environmentally friendly, as disposable nappies can take up to 500 years to decompose. Once you’ve invested in cloth items, they can be washed and used as many times as you need them to, instead of going directly to a landfill. 

3) Tampons 

With cramps, hormones and cravings, periods are bad enough as it is – let alone having to fight for sanitary products. Unfortunately, sanitary items like tampons and pads were other personal items that suffered shortages during the initial lockdown stages.

However, the average disposable tampon only lasts up to a maximum of eight hours and is made out of 90% plastic. This means that they are not biodegradable and not kind to the environment. 

Thankfully, there have been some serious advancements in the sustainable sanitaryware department. From silicone menstrual cups to reusable sanitary pads and period underwear, there are options that mean you don’t have to change as frequently and can last for years to come.

In fact, depending on the type, some of these can last up to 10 years, which would equate to approximately one product for every 2,400 disposables! Opposed to the monthly purchase of disposable products, you could be saving a lot of money on period products in the future.

Photo by Josefin