I was reading the latest Ralph Nader blog where he was discussing the “Serious Price of the Hyperconvenient Economy” that inspired me to research and write this post about natural alternatives for menstrual pads and tampons. As I go deeper into living a natural, chemical-free life, I have learned that so many of the products that I found to be convenient, are a drain to the environment. Menstrual Pads and tampons are no different.
Harmful Chemicals In Menstrual Products
Tampons/Menstrual have been to known to contain many harmful chemicals:
- Chlorine-bleached Rayon (of which dioxin is the by-product)
- GM cotton
Polyethylene, for example, a type of plastic, has been shown to “leach estrogenic chemicals dangers to fetuses and juveniles.” Artifical perfumes contain chemicals called phthalates that studies have shown can damage ones reproductive health and has been linked to breast cancer. I find it to be amazing that a product that is supposed to help women, seems to want to hurt them at the same time. My mind also wonders to why businesses would use harmful chemicals that and substances that are so terrible for the planet.
Environmental Concerns Of Menstrual Products
In addition to these toxic chemicals that have nothing to do with helping control your flow, many of these products contain plastics, which in many cases, cannot be recycled. The daily beast reported that women can use up to 300 pounds of menstrual products in their lifetime. This level of trash accumulation is terrible for the environment.
Organic Menstrual Products
Organic Menstrual Pads & TamponsThe power of convenience is certainly a difficult task to overcome with something like menstrual products. So if you wish to stick with these products ( as I have currently in addition to sea sponges) you can search for organic options. Try Organyc products. They are made from organic cotton without chlorine bleach. They are also 100% biodegradable, so it can be composted! They also have tampons. At the very least, you can try to search for products without applicators. Those took a while to get used to, but when I was living in Europe, I had to get used to it fast, because there was no such thing as applicators in Germany apparently. I hope more Americans catch on.
Cloth pads are another option that one can use. You can easily wash and reuse these at your convenience. They do have a waterproof liner that will prevent them from leaking. You can buy them here
I can say personally, I think more women should aware of what is going into our bodies, given that these large companies have no qualms about using harmful chemicals. Not only are traditional menstrual pads and tampons toxic and can cause conditions like toxic shock syndrome, they also contribute to the growing unsustainable levels of trash on this planet. If you are interested in a chem-free lifestyle or zero waste, I urge you to consider trying these options. Since I have used them, I have no cramps, and my cycles are more regular than they have ever been.