There are so many green and natural alternatives to conventional tampons and pads nowadays, it amazes me to see the amount of women still using these old fashioned period supplies. If you are eco-conscious and worry about the alarming state of our planet (just read the latest reports which made the news these past two weeks!), there is a very simple way to react: go green! In fact, every woman and young girl on this planet should be menstruating green at this point. For the future of our planet and to save money as well! Not to bore you with math, but a woman has approximately 400 periods in her lifetime. Yet conventional tampons and pads are made from a combination of plastic, rayon, bleach, and other chemicals, which pile up in landfills and sewers after women unthinkingly and irresponsibly throw them away. That means that every woman is responsible for roughly 12´000 disposables in her lifetime. Please think about that. And now let me talk to you about green alternatives.
What you’ll need:
- Organic tampons and pads: unlike conventional ones, organic tampons and pads are biodegradable and don’t contain chemicals. Now that’s a big pro! On the con side, yes, they are more expensive than conventional ones, and yes they are still disposable, but at least you’re taking a baby step toward helping the planet.
- Cloth pads: unlike conventional pads, they are made of cloth. They are more absorbent and more comfortable than normal pads (zero skin irritation), and they create absolutely no waste. However, on the con side, you do have to wash them after each use by letting them soak in cold water, then wash and dry. Also, it is a solution when you’re home, but not very practical when you’re out and about as carrying a dirty pad in your purse is definitely not appealing.
- Menstrual cup: also known as Diva Cup, Moon Cup, Lunette, Keeper, etc. and usually made of flexible silicone or latex rubber, the cup is shaped like a bell with a stem. Instead of absorbing your flow, it collects it and contains it. Every 4 to 12 hours the cup is removed, emptied, rinsed, and reinserted. The big advantages of the cup is that it creates zero waste and it is very budget friendly as you can use it and reuse it for as long as 10 years. It is also invisible like a tampon, meaning you can wear it at the pool or beach and also swim with it. It is safe and leak free as it holds up to one ounce of liquid (2x of a super absorbent tampon or pad.) The one and only con of the cup is that it does take some getting used to. Used correctly however, you should not feel it.
- Sea sponge tampon: is a natural sponge that is used exactly like a tampon, except that you rinse it and reuse it instead of throwing it away. It’s another very eco- and wallet-friendly alternative that’s been around since Cleopatra. The sea sponge is also much more comfortable than a tampon. The only con is that you need a sink to rinse it, which is not always the case in a public bathroom.
- Padded period panties: are washable reusable undies that absorb your flow. They’re like normal panties except they replace pads and tampons. They usually come in different categories: light, medium and heavy, depending on your flow, and in different shapes and colours to fit your style. There is a wide variety of them from Modibodi, PantyProp, Lunapads, Thinx, Anigan, just to name a few. Pros: comfort, leak-free, zero waste, and budget friendly in the long run. Cons: absolutely none!
There is absolutely no excuse for you to still be using conventional tampons and pads at this point. So do yourself a favour and inform yourself and read more about it if you need to, but go out there and switch to one or several of these environmentally friendly menstrual alternatives. And please talk about it to your daughters, mothers, and girlfriends and help them make the change as well! Not only will you be saving money by making this switch, but you will also make a big difference in the tremendous actual global waste problem.