6 Eco-Friendly Menstrual Products You Should Try
Whenever you're outdoors, you can't help but be stunned by how beautiful the world is. Trees that change foliage with the shift in the seasons, the serene majesty of green lakes, the deep blue peacefulness of the clouds—Mother Earth is just one absolutely lovely place to live in. And as its primary residents, we should do what we can to help keep it that way.
Just look around and you'll soon realize that there's a great deal you can do to fight pollution and keep our world healthy and clean. From avoiding plastic cups to replacing single-use plastic bags with ecologically-sound cloth pouches, there's always something one can do to help the environment—no matter how little it may seem in the beginning.
For women, in particular, one decision can significantly impact the fight against pollution and climate change—and it all has to do with our choices about the feminine hygiene products we use. So if you're just raring to contribute what you can to make this world a more breathable space for us to live in and enjoy, here are several top recos of eco-friendly menstrual products to consider:
Eco-friendly menstrual products worth checking out
1. Menstrual cups
Hmm…menstrual cups? If it's the first time you've heard about it, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Awareness about menstrual cups is still low, with only about 11% to 33% of women from high-income countries knowing about its existence. But really, it deserves much more attention.
Menstrual cups are simply small funnel-shaped cups made of silicone or latex rubber, which come in a wide array of cutesy colors. Silicone, its primary ingredient, is made from natural silica. This means the production of these cups doesn't involve the mining of crude oil, which is essential in processing plastics.
If traditional pads or tampons can absorb your flow, these cups can do much more by simultaneously catching and collecting your menstrual fluids. In addition, period cups are hypoallergenic and BPA-free, making them safe for your skin, especially your sensitive intimate area down under.
A bit nervous about how to use menstrual cups? The proper flower-power mindset will set the tone for the correct application. Just think of yourself as a mature and responsible adult trying to save the world one period flow at a time. So, let's get down to it:
With clean hands, fold the cup tightly and hold it with your dominant hand. Then, with your free hand, spread your labia and feel your vagina hole. Then, gently insert the cup in the direction of your tailbone while maintaining the fold. Once you feel the pop from the release of the fold in your cervix, slowly push it a bit farther until you no longer feel the tip's protrusion. But don't drive it so deep inside that you'll have a hard time removing it later on.
So how do you know if you've inserted the cup correctly? Well, girl, if you don't feel like you're wearing any cup, then this means you have passed the test with flying colors! Well done, Diva!
2. Period apparel
Period clothing is another one of our favorite eco-friendly menstrual products. And it's not just about practicing a more sustainable way of living. Have you ever imagined being free from having to use any menstrual product throwaway while Auntie Flo is visiting? Yes, a one-and-done thing is possible through such underwear.
Made of layers of absorbent material, especially in the crotch area, some of these innovative products can hold up to 4-6 hours' worth of regular flow. In addition, a moisture barrier keeps the wearer dry and comfortable the whole time they’re using the period underwear.
Period underwear can also be used together with other options to provide an additional level of support and comfort. For instance, they can be the perfect complement to other methods of sleeping better through the night. In addition, they can also offer an extra layer of protection for heavier days when there may not be an opportunity to change a pad, tampon, or cup for a substantial period of time, such as during long meetings at work, in marathons, and so on.
Another attractive thing about them, especially for busy women on-the-go, is that they’re so easy to use. Just wash, dry, and wear, then repeat the cycle.
3. Reusable pads
Aside from the apparent discomfort that we ladies feel during our period, the fixed monthly expenses incurred from purchasing our go-to pads and tampons can put an additional dampener on our mood.
One effective way to hit two birds (that's the hole in your pocket PLUS the anxiety over it) with one stone is by going for yet another eco-friendly menstrual product: reusable pads.
So what exactly are reusable pads? Well, these are washable cloth pads that can absorb menstrual blood for 4-5 hours, depending on your flow. Compared to conventional pads, these reusable pads are free of harmful bleaching chemicals and synthetic fragrances that irritate delicate skin. Made from cotton fleece fabric, these environmentally-friendly products are soft, absorbent, and washable, making them an excellent alternative to single-use disposable pads.
4. Reusable tampon applicators
Still not willing to ditch your tried-and-tested tampons? How about a compromise? You can keep using your usual sticks while also avoiding single-use applicators! Yes, there is now such a thing as reusable tampon applicators in the market. They’re comfortable to use, easy to sanitize, and work well for all tampon sizes. In addition, these goodies, though still made of plastic, can last up to 10 years, making them a better alternative for the environment compared to disposables.
5. Organic cotton pads and tampons
If your budget permits, go for organic cotton pads and tampons. Not only are they non-polluting, but they also do away with dangerous substances that are harmful to the body. These premium menstrual products are made without chemical dyes and artificial fragrances, which can be toxic to humans.
Furthermore, since these items are 100% fully biodegradable, you can properly dispose of them after each use without worrying about the environment. Yup, they are definitely pricier than the more popular commercial ones—but hey, how about skipping that Starbucks coffee for a couple of days and instead spending the money on these earth-loving products? If you'd rather use organic tampons, pair them with reusable applicators and get extra brownie points from Mother Earth.
6. Applicator-free tampons
Another eco-friendly menstrual product to consider when embracing the "green" ethos is applicator-free tampons. This sustainable product is manufactured with less plastic packaging and allows you to forego the use of a plastic applicator.
These tampons are considered more convenient to carry around, making them travel-friendly. At the same time, they are also discreet, being smaller and compact compared to applicator-needy tampons. Thinking of bringing up your sustainability game a notch higher? Then go with 100% organic cotton tampons that are free from toxins and other harmful chemicals.