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—A guide to choosing eco-friendly feminine hygiene products for your menstruation cycle

You go through the same routine, month in and month out, of using disposable pads, tampons, panty liners, and the like. But did you know that you may be harming your health every time you use one of these products? Find out how to protect yourself and produce less waste each menstruation cycle!

1. Avoid Chlorine Bleach

Perhaps the most concerning characteristic of traditional tampons is that they are made with cotton and/or wood pulp that’s whitened using chlorine bleach.

avoid menstrual products

This chemical creates dioxins, which are known carcinogens, and so there is much concern that traditional tampons could be contributing to higher than normal levels of cervical cancer in women as the cotton comes in contact with the most absorbent tissue in your body.

2. Stay Away From Agricultural Toxins

Not only that, but conventionally-grown cotton is sprayed with billions of dollars worth of agricultural chemicals, many of which have been linked to human health problems.

agricultural toxins

You don’t want to have those nasties near your pretties, do you?

3. Go Chlorine-Free

Keep your sensitive parts free from chlorine bleach during menstruation cycle by choosing feminine hygiene products like organic tampons made either with unbleached ingredients, or with chlorine-free whitening methods.

organic tampons

Though your products may not be the white-as-snow you’re used to, know that they’re more natural, and therefore safer for your body and the environment.

4. Choose USDA Certified Organic

To protect against agricultural chemicals, choose organic tampons and pads that are made with USDA-Certified Organic materials.

Organic tampons

Some options include Natracare, Organic Essentials, and Seventh Generation.

5. Stop Your Monthly Trash Production

But your health isn’t the only thing you’ll want to consider when looking for better feminine menstrual products for your menstruation cycle. You’ll also want to consider the garbage factor!

panty liners

Americans throw away 1.4 million pads, 700,000 pantyliners, and 2.5 million tampons every single day! That’s a lot of cotton, wood pulp, and plastic.

6. Use Cloth Menstrual Pads

You can do your party by choosing reusable cloth menstrual pads—use ‘em, wash’em, and start again the next month!

cloth menstrual pads

You can get them in a variety of fun patterns and colors, and since they’ll last you five years or more, you’re bound to save more than $250 over the life of your reusable pads. Try SckoonWeMoon, Lunapads, or GladRags.

7. Try A Reusable Menstrual Cup

Though this is probably not something you’ve ever considered, the reusable menstrual cup is gaining popularity as both a healthier, greener way to catch your menstrual flow. These cups are made of either natural rubber or medical grade silicone, so they’re completely safe to use.

resuable menstrual cups

Simply rinse and reuse for your entire menstrual cycle, wash with soapy water, and store until next month. They last 7-10 years and can save you upwards of $800 over their lifetimes! There are several now available: mpowercup, yuuki, lunnette, Diva Cup, The Keeper, MeLuna, LadyCup, Green Donna, Fleur Cup, Femmecup.

8. Experiment With Natural Sea Sponges

If you really want to be adventurous with your menstruation cycle, try out a natural sea sponge. Harvested from the ocean, these sponges will absorb your flow and can be reused so they cut down on waste (though they won’t last as long as a reusable menstrual cup).

menstrual products

They are also very comfortable. The only hitch is that there is no way to assure that your sponges have been harvested sustainably, so if you’re concerned about ocean health, this may not be the best choice for your menstruation cycle. Choose a Jade & Pearl or Sea Pearls.