Try one of these five options and watch your life (and carbon footprint) transform.
It can be tough in modern times to do right by the planet, especially when we are accustomed to certain products or routines that happen to result in tons of trash. For women, one of these ‘routines’ occurs monthly and, allegedly—though our bodies beg to differ—every 28 days. Periods are not only a pretty big nuisance for most women but with tampons and pads being the main options it’s tough to imagine how women can reduce their waste during this time of the month.
Other women around the world realized this was a problem, too, and decided to do something about it. What you’ll find below is a short list of all the best products that are currently available for women looking to reduce their carbon footprint and, what you don’t find on the list, you might find during your research once this list inspires the environmentalist in you. Look below to find out what you can use instead of the traditional period products of today.
1. All Natural, 100% Cotton Pads and Tampons
Do you think that your current commercial brand of tampons and pads are already made up of mostly cotton? Think again. Most leading brands use a blend of viscose rayon, cotton, and synthetic ingredients to produce their products, which require pesticides, dioxins, herbicide residue, synthetic chemicals and artificial fragrances and dyes to go into the products. If you think that maybe this isn’t good for your body, you’re right. These chemicals increase your chances of getting Toxic Shock Syndrome, which can lead to organ failure, cardiac arrest, paralysis and even death within a few hours.
That’s why brands like Veeda are producing 100% natural cotton to protect women and the environment. Using all-natural cotton is good for both, plus the cotton liners are wrapped in a biodegradable wrapper that breaks down within one year. Since most consumers prefer a plastic applicator, they provide a BPA-free plastic that isn’t great for the environment, but they off-set this by also offering tampons with no applicator.
2. Menstrual Cups
Menstrual cups have actually become more popular in recent years, in part because of the shift towards protecting the environment and also perhaps because the brand names are so pretty (Lunette, Diva Cup, Iris Cup, etc.). The cups are made of medical-grade silicone and can be used for years, reducing tons of waste that would normally have accrued by using cotton products. You can wear it for up to 12 hours at a time and the clean up is surprisingly easy.
3. Period Panties
If you’re a woman, you’ve likely seen ads for period panties in the peripheral of your Facebook feeds or on websites that are targeting consumers like you. Though these ads may be annoying, the hype around period panties are real. This idea originated as a way to help girls and women in developing countries have access to feminine hygiene products because they can’t afford traditional products, but THINX transformed the original ideas into the world’s first pair of “period proof” panties. The underwear can substitute or supplement feminine hygiene products and, like menstrual cups, can last for years.
4. Reusable Cotton Pads
Cute and eco-friendly, reusable cotton pads are a great way to reduce waste if you’re like using pads and want something that’s comfortable. Glad Rags sells these reusable pads in a pack of 3 and they’re free of irritating synthetics, chemical gels, and seriously reduce the amount of money you’re currently spending on pads. Glad Rags offers several different sizes and even helps you decide which size(s) will work best for you if you visit their website.
5. Sea Sponge
This one is for the hardcore prospective environmentalists, as sea sponges are not as easy to use as the other products but is perhaps the most natural. The sea sponges are the real deal, and are sustainably harvested and a naturally renewable resource that is free of dyes, chemicals, bleach, chlorine, fragrance or synthetic materials. They also last about 3-6 months, so they can be reused for several cycles before buying more.
Even if you’re not looking to simultaneously save the planet while beating your period each month, these products are great for women looking to care for their bodies even better by getting rid of all the toxic chemicals that enter our bodies each month via pads and tampons. Consider one of these options above, and if you like the results or already use one of these products, comment below!
Credit: Global Citizen