10 Clean Menstrual Products that Prove Your Period is Good for the Earth
Here’s a list of ten period products that are so eco-friendly, they’ll make up for the fact that all you do on your period is lie in your bed and watch Netflix
The Diva Cup is the Oprah of all reusable menstrual products. It’s been around forever, has a very loyal fan base, and is a true household name. This silicone cup sits inside the vagina below the opening of the cervix, where it forms a suction seal against the vaginal wall, trapping menstrual blood before it can ruin your underwear. Depending on your flow, the Diva cup can last up to twelve hours. It’s also 100% reusable, making it easy on your wallet and the environment.
If a tampon comes out of the wrapper, it should be clean, right? Not if you look into the process of how tampons are made. To get that pearly-white color and clean smell that we associate with freshness, many manufacturers add harsh chemicals and fragrances that can cause endocrine system disruption and abnormal cell growth among other side effects. 100% organic cotton tampons are a sure-fire way to avoid these hazards and can now be bought online and in natural groceries thanks to increasing popularity.
The idea of not throwing out a blood-stained pad might seem really gross at first, but when you look at how much it can save both your wallet and the environment, that feeling might fade. It is estimated that the average American woman throws out 250 to 300 pounds of used menstrual products throughout her reproductive life — that’s about the weight of an entire panda bear. Washable, cloth pads made of organic cotton or other natural materials need only be bought once — and they come in cute patterns, too.
Sea Sponge Tampons
Really? Really. Super-absorbent sea sponges can be harvested from the ocean, cleaned, and shaped into tampons. The 100% natural sponge can soak up several hours of blood without needing to be changed, and the flexible nature of the sponge can fit perfectly to the shape of the bodies that feel uncomfortable with regular tampons or menstrual cups. As long as they are cleaned diligently after each use, there’s no need to worry about infection.
We’re calling three strikes on conventional pads: one, they look like diapers; two, they feel like diapers; and three, they are creating toxic waste in our bodies and our landfills. Just like conventional tampons, pads are loaded with chemicals known to cause harmful effects in humans and take a long time to break down once we toss them out. Instead, go for modern, 100% organic pads with minimalist designs that are invisible even through the thinnest of yoga pants, like those offered by Cora.
Regardless of what is inside of a tampon, what surrounds it is still a big environmental issue. The production of plastic tampon applicators requires burning a lot of fossil fuel, leading to increased levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and ultimately climate change acceleration. Plastic applicators and their cardboard counterparts can also take many years to degrade in landfills, furthering their carbon footprint. By using applicator-free tampons, you can cut down on this waste by nearly 30%.
Menstrual discs are made from a silicone ring attached to a flexible, ultra-thin plastic cup. The thin plastic can accommodate different bodies where Diva cups cannot, but makes the soft disc only semi-reusable. Makers of menstrual discs recommend using one per cycle. Still, this significantly cuts down on tampon and pad waste.
Period-Proof Period Undies
At last, period underwear that is actually meant to be stained. Made popular by the THINX brand, these 100% reusable, washable underwear are capable of absorbing up to two tampons worth of blood—meaning you’ll never have another leak or another awkward reach into your bag for a tampon. Bonus points: they’re actually cute.
Moon Cups and More
All bodies are not created equal, and the same goes for menstrual cups. For those who have not had success with the Diva cup, there are many other menstrual cup options to accommodate different flows, vaginal widths, and skin sensitivities. They go by many names: Moon Cups, Lunette, Lily, but all ultimately work towards the same mission of cutting down menstrual product waste at an effective cost to you.
The Free Bleed
Maybe you’ve just had it with menstrual products and are ready to throw in the towel (or the tampon) all together. And you know what, we say go for it. If this woman can free bleed all the way through her first marathon, you can make it for a few hours.