Inspired by a menstruation talk in FemSex + empowering spoken word from Jamilia Woods (see “A Period Piece”), I have browsed the internet world to discover new and environmental-friendly ways of having my period. Some of the more alternative practices are a bit more costly — but then again, I have always been an advocate of Mother Nature, even if it means a couple fewer dollars in my pocket.
The amount of waste that we generate on a daily basis is disgusting. Every time you rip that colorful plastic wrapping off your plastic-y, chlorine-dyed sanitary pad, then reach for a bundle of toilet paper to roll it in, you are contributing to that heaping mound of garbage. Or even worse, when you rip through bright red and purple wrappers to the candy-colored tampon applicator — that all eventually ends up in the trash.
Take a stand, and make a greener choice.
Biodegradable Tampons + Pads
- Natracare — Natracare Ultra pads are made from only certified organic 100% cotton and totally chlorine-free. They are over 95% biodegradable and compostable. The pads are individually wrapped in biodegradable purse packs. They’re a bit more expensive than your average chlorine-bleached pads though. That’s the downside.
- Seventh Generation — Seventh Generation pads are made from natural material derived from wheat and have no added fragrances or chlorine. It still has the same individual packaging though.
Reusable Tampons + Pads
- SeaSponge Tampons — even better than biodegradable tampons, these tampons are natural and reusable!
- GladRags — GladRags are the non-disposible (but a bit more high maintenance) version of biodegradable pads. They’re made out of fabric and need to be washed after each use. Usually people by it in packs. You can also make similar cloth pad fillers out of worn towels or t-shirts.
- SoftCups — Disposable menstrual cups. The rim is made of hard plastic and may be a bit more uncomfortable, but can be used for up to 12 hours at a time. Menstrual cups are said to need to be inserted the furthest in, and the insertion mechanism is a bit harder.
- DivaCups — these are possibly the most popular brand of reusable menstrual cups. They form a seal with the sides of your vagina and are not affected by sexual intercourse. They are also able to be used for 12 hours at a time.
For more instructions on how to insert a menstrual cup or a DivaCup, see the video below!