Photo borrowed from CNN. Read their article about Thinx
A few months ago, I posted a question on Facebook and asked friends what they were doing to change their habits and help the Earth. People listed a few things I had been doing – reducing single-use and paper products, buying more second-hand items, eating less meat – but a good friend messaged me privately and mentioned she had switched to Thinx. (As an aside – why aren’t we more open about periods? They are natural and help create life, but I suppose that’s a topic for another time…) I will be honest that I was apprehensive. Periods can get messy and no one wants to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable. However I decided to buy one pair and give it a go. The verdict? They are now my go-to product for that time of the month.
The cost of Thinx can make one pause. $35+ for one pair of underwear? The price was one of the reasons that I waited before buying and trying. For a lot of people, it’s not feasible to part with an initial cash outlay of over $100 (you need a few pairs) when tampons are under $10 a box. Thinx offers starter sets, but those are still pricey for someone on a strict budget.* Here’s what I did – Once I decided that I liked my Thinx, I bought one pair each month and phased them into my routine until I had a reserve of three. As a four person family, I usually do a load of laundry at least every other day and can therefore just add the Thinx into the machine. Once my cycle is done, I wash all of the pairs one more time and add some borax for an extra cleanse.
I was concerned they would be uncomfortable or bulky but they feel like regular underwear. My only hindrance has been swimming so that’s likely where a menstrual cup would be more convenient. (Hannah talks more about all things zero-waste period here and I’ve also posted a menstrual cup tutorial by @wildberriesandfables on our Instagram page @greenlifenh). There was also a concern that Thinx was filled with toxic chemicals that would be dangerous to the body. However they discuss that issue here.
I recognize that it can be nerve-wracking to try something new in this realm but I really encourage you to go for it. If you do a slow stock-up like I did, or just spend $35 on a cup, you will eventually save money. (The average woman spends over $1000 on their lifetime on disposable feminine products). Plus, you will prevent a ton of trash from going into the Earth. Feel free to comment with questions or send us one privately at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to help!
*We can also talk about how zero-waste living can often be prohibitive or difficult for lower-income families. Making it more accessible is one of our goals on GreenLifeNH. If you can afford some of these changes, it’s your responsibility to do your part in place of others who cannot.