How to Protect the Planet with These Tampon Alternatives

Waking Times

Plastic and non-recyclable products have had a huge impact on the environment. Plastic is very inexpensive to manufacture, and production is high. Millions of different products contain plastic, including tampons and sanitary pads. Much of this waste ends up in our oceans and natural habitats, eventually finding its way into the food chain.

Conservative estimates say that 80% of marine pollution is plastic-based. This kills millions of marine creatures and sea birds every year. Whilst we are not going to eradicate plastic from the environment, we can make a difference by switching to reusable menstrual products that don’t contain plastic.

Here are the best options for environmentally conscious women.

Menstrual Cups

Menstrual cups have been around for many years now and are a cost-effective product for any woman looking for eco-friendly tampon alternatives.

Like a tampon, a menstrual cup is worn internally. It is inserted into the vagina, where it collects and holds menstrual fluid. Unlike a tampon, a menstrual cup can be worn for up to 12 hours without any adverse effects.

Menstrual cups are made from medical-grade silicone or latex rubber. They can be washed and reused for up to two years, or as long as they are free of holes or tears. By switching to a menstrual cup, you can save money.

The only downside to using a menstrual cup is that it can take a while to find a cup that fits your anatomy. They are also a bit messy to insert and remove, at least until you get the hang of using one.

READ: Monsanto’s Chemicals Make Their Way Into 85% of Personal Hygiene Cotton Products

Period Panties

Period underwear is an effective and eco-friendly replacement for traditional tampons and sanitary pads. There are lots of attractive period panties to choose from. They look just like regular panties, but they are super absorbent. You can choose from different styles to suit your personal taste in underwear.

Different brands use their own ‘secret’ technology when manufacturing period underwear, but in general, period panties have a top layer that wicks moisture away from the skin, an odor control layer, an absorbent layer, and a leak-proof layer.

Women can wear period underwear all day long. At the end of the day, launder your period panties as normal. They work well for light and heavy flow days and can be worn as a backup with other menstrual products.

Re-usable Sanitary Pads

Reusable sanitary pads work in a similar way to regular pads, except they contain no plastic and other harmful materials and can be washed after use. Women typically use as many reusable pads per day as they would regular sanitary pads.

Washable sanitary pads don’t stick to your underwear. Instead, they stay in place with snap fasteners, which connect around the gusset of your underwear. Women usually find that wearing a second pair of panties helps to keep the pad in place.

When a pad begins to feel wet and saturated, it’s time to change it for a clean one. Launder used pads as you would any other item of underwear.

Washable sanitary pads are available in a range of sizes, from teen to heavy and post-partum.

Sea Sponge Tampons

Organic sea sponges are very eco-friendly. They are used internally to absorb menstrual flow. Just as you would with a menstrual cup, remove your sea sponge, rinse, and reuse as often as you need to. Sea sponges last around one year, but they can be thrown in a compost bin at the end of their natural life, which makes them great for the environment.

The downside of using sea sponges is that some gynecologists don’t recommend them and a University of Iowa study in 1980 found traces of debris in sea sponges. They can also be difficult to remove, as they feel remarkably similar to your internal anatomy when wet.

Pro tip: thread some dental floss through the center of your sponge before use, as this makes it easier to remove.

Organic Tampons and Pads

Organic tampons and pads are made from organic materials such as GM-free cotton and corn starch. They are kinder to the environment, but probably not as eco-friendly as reusable menstrual products since they are still disposable.

Switching to reusable menstrual products is a no-brainer if you want to save money and do your bit for the environment. What are you waiting for?

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