The average woman uses 11,000 disposable menstrual pads and/or tampons in her lifetime. Most pads and tampon applicators are made, at least in part, of plastic. The plastic covering each tampon and pad is individually wrapped in are also a source of waste. The cotton portions used are often not organic, meaning they are made using toxic chemicals.
Luckily, there are lots of wonderful earth-friendly ways to menstruate these days! Here are a few of our favorites:
These are reusable silicone cups that are designed to catch and collect menstrual flow in lieu of tampons. Menstrual cups take a bit of practice to get used to, but they are definitely worth the extra effort!
We both use the Diva Cup, but the Pixie Cup is another great brand. They donate one menstrual cup for every one purchased. There are menstrual cup washes and biodegradable wipes available, but you can also soak your cup in white vinegar between uses to completely disinfect it. It takes a bit of getting used to, but we both swear by it after you adjust. It lasts much longer than tampons, especially if you have a heavy flow.
Reusable Cloth Menstrual Pads
Our favorite brand of reusable organic cotton menstrual pads are made by Hesta Organics. These pads can be washed and reused countless times. If, after a while, a slight smell accumulates, just soak them in white vinegar and wash them again. Luna Pads also makes colorful reusable pads in different sizes.
You can also try these period-proof underwear made by Thinx. Although we haven’t tried them ourselves, the manufacturer claims each pair can hold up to two tampons worth. For an alternative to the classic period panties, pair your cloth pads or menstrual cup with these organic cotton period panties made by Hesta or these ones made by Luna Pads.
Single-Use Tampons and Pads
When choosing a disposable tampon or pad, look for something made of organic cotton with recycled, biodegradable packaging and applicators like these tampons and pads made by Oi. If possible, make sure to compost the tampon and packaging when you’re done.
Disclaimer: We receive no financial compensation for any of the products recommended or shared anywhere in this blog.