For decades people have been using the term, “on the rag” to describe when someone is having their menstrual cycle. The ironic thing about this somewhat degrading, slightly humorous term is that no one is really “on the rag” anymore. What they are on are non-biodegradable, synthetic products filled with pesticides, bleach, and fertilizer chemicals. When the actual contents are put into perspective, that slightly degrading term starts to look more appealing and the humorous aspects of its origins are not so funny anymore.
In just one year 2.5 million tampons , 1.4 million pads and 700,000 pantyliners were disposed of in the United States. The majority of this menstrual product debris ends up in our oceans, or on the beaches where it harms wildlife and sits for thousands of years. Currently, there are 73 million women of menstruating age living in the United States today, according to the National Research Center for Women and Families. Of this 73 million, 43 million rely on tampons. On average each year there are 20 billion pads and tampons that end up in toilets and landfills, many of which eventually make their way into the ocean and pollute the coastlines.
The environmental impact of these products consumed by the millions is huge, but the health effects can be deadly. The most absorbent tissues in the human body are the vaginal walls of the female vagina. So, any toxic chemicals that come in contact with this delicate tissue goes straight into the blood stream. We’re talking pesticides, bleach and other synthetics toxins.
The good news is that there are alternatives out there. Some can be hard to find, so ecolutionist would like to make your search for the perfect eco-friendly alternatives a little easier for you:
These tampons are made with 100% certified organic cotton. You have the choice of purchasing them with or without an applicator, giving you the option to cut back on even more landfill waste, and the box is made from 100% recycled materials. Compared to the conventional alternatives, this is a much better option for the planet and your body.NatraCare
Like Seventh Generation, NatraCare is also made with 100% organic cotton and comes in applicator and non-applicator options. These tampons are great for women with sensitive skin or for someone who is looking for easy application. NatraCare goes one step further in eliminating toxins and does not include chemicals such as rayon, or any additives used as binding agents. Also, their petal-shaped applicator makes them easy to insert!Maxim tampons
These tampons are 100% organic and “fluff-pulp” free, meaning they do not use any bleach fluffed pulp, plastics, or synthetics for filler. The best part about this product that sets them apart from the others is that it is 100% compostable and their box is biodegradable!
Ever wonder what Cleopatra used for her feminine hygiene needs? Yep, you guessed it, a sea sponge! Since the sea sponge is from nature it is 100% natural and organic. Though they may not look it, they are easy to use and completely hygienic. They can be trimmed to mold to your shape and can even be used during intercourse! Not only that, but sea sponges go one-step beyond organic tampons and are eco-friendly due to their re-usability and natural contents.
The DivaCup is a reusable cup, made from silicone not plastic, that is inserted in place of a tampon. The cups come in two sizes, “Model 1” and “Model 2”, which vary depending on age and child rearing experience. They are fairly easy to use and require only mild soap and water between uses. They, too, do not contain any harmful chemicals and are safe to use on a regular basis.The Mooncup
The Mooncup is “the original menstrual cup” and is designed specifically for women as an eco-friendly and convenient alternative. It is also made from silicone, containing no synthetic, dyes or chemicals and is completely safe and easy to use.
Natracare carries 100% certified organic pads and liners that are free from chemicals and bleach, made from pure materials found in plant cellulose. They are 95% biodegradable and fully compostable, ranging in different sizes, including basic and winged.Flushaway
Flushaway is the first and only feminine hygiene line that is safe to flush down the toilet after use. After 71 days the product completely bio degrades, naturally.
If you’re ready to part with organic pads and try something reusable, GladRags is the product to try. Not only can they be used an infinite number of times, but they are made from 100% organic fibers and come in a variety of fun, playful colors. Like their organic cotton cousins, they also come in basic as well as winged.Sckoon
Sckoon is very similar to the other washable cotton pads on the market, however what sets this brand apart is that it is the most economical. You will still find a wide range of super-cute patterns and designs, but you won’t break your wallet investing in them.Lunapads Washable Cotton Pads
Also made with natural materials, these cloth pads have two layers of highly absorbent fleece which leaves the Pad base relatively clean and dry. On their website they claim that a single pad will get you through an entire day of your cycle. These are the most stylish of the cloth pads, coming in a variety of fashion-forward, trendy styles and designs.Source: Huffington Post