Organic Beyond Food: Feminine Care Products
Organic Beyond Food: Feminine Care Products
Go Organic. Period.
It’s Earth Month, the time of year when we love to protect and care for our Mother Earth. Roughly a third of the population regularly deals with a little gift from Mother Nature, and what’s more natural than the joy of womanhood?
When this monthly visitor arrives, most women head to the store for the usual menstrual products never knowing that there are more natural options out there. You can actually go organic on your period! Organic cotton pads and tampons significantly reduce the pesticide and chemical exposure to your body compared to conventional hygiene products.
What’s Wrong with Conventional Products?
In our cosmetics blog, we already talked about how the skin is one of the largest organ systems of the human body. Anything that touches our skin is absorbed into the bloodstream, and this includes toxins present in menstrual hygiene products like pads and tampons.
Dr. Joseph Mercola points out in a 2013 Huffington Post article that the average American woman uses 16,800 tampons in her lifetime. Unfortunately, conventional menstrual pads and tampons can have a lot of the same toxins and chemicals that we so strongly oppose in our mattresses! Chemicals like phthalates, plasticizers, dioxins, and petrochemicals are lurking in innocuous hygiene products and can have a cumulative toxic effect on the body.
On top of the chemicals used to absorb and wick moisture (which don’t discriminate against the moisture you want to remove and the natural moisture that the female body actually requires), conventional tampons and pads achieve their ultra white color with chlorine bleach. Bleaching the fibers can create toxic byproducts that accumulate in the body’s fat stores and can cause endocrine and reproductive issues. Ladies do NOT want these chemicals in their sensitive areas!
Activist groups have been working hard to improve the feminine hygiene industry. Women’s Voices for the Earth organized a rally outside Proctor & Gamble headquarters, urging the company to “Detox the Box.” Transparency in labeling is a huge step toward improving the options available to women. There are also bigger steps you can make immediately.
A Better Way
There is a better way to menstruate, ladies. Check out the following safer options.
- Organyc organic cotton pads and tampons
- Dr. Mercola organic cotton tampons
Ready to get even more Earth-friendly on your period? Try a reusable option, like a silicone menstrual cup and/or organic cotton washable pads. There are numerous silicone cup options, like Diva Cup, Lunette, Mooncup, MeLuna, Organicup and more. Switching to a silicone cup is a cost-effective and low-waste solution for the most eco-friendly and natural menstrual experience. It takes a while to get used to them, but most women who try a cup say they love it and they’d never go back to tampons!
Reusable cloth pads (especially made from organic cotton or organic flannel) are another environmentally-conscious solution. You simply wash them in the laundry and reduce the waste of disposables each month. Check out Party In My Pants (try a free liner, and they also send chocolate!), GladRags, LunaPads, and many Etsy sellers.
Taking it one step further, you can try period panties! These specially designed underwear are made to wick moisture and absorb your flow, eliminating the need for additional products. You can use them as a backup on heavy days or as your only protection on light days. LunaPanties are available in organic cotton styles.
Finally, we love this idea of a monthly subscription to make things go a little easier. Take a gander at the ingenious GrrlBox subscription service, sending ladies a box of pampering and treats each month. “Like a PMS Fairy, but better.” They are working on introducing allergy-friendly and organic options as the company grows, so let them know you’re eager to see more organic choices!
Take a look at Thrive Market where you can buy a variety of healthier feminine products and maybe even save a little money! You can also check out your local Whole Foods or other natural or health foods store. If you’re not sure where to start, please visit our friends at Put A Cup In It (and their Facebook page is a great resource too)!
Changing the World
Rarely do we think about periods outside the realm of what is happening to us on a monthly basis. In other parts of the world, having a period means that girls stop attending school, women can’t go to work, and poverty and education gaps continue to grow. A safer, hygienic period can make a lifetime of difference to girls and women in underdeveloped countries.
Organizations like Days For Girls and Pads4Girls are trying to close these gaps and help girls and women stay on track to do great work in their countries. They provide menstrual products and underwear to girls and women in developing nations so that they can continue to attend work and school without any interruptions from their cycle.
One Simple Change
Making this one simple change in your life as a woman, and sharing this knowledge with women close to you, can make a big impact on the world. As always, reducing your body’s exposure to chemicals and toxins is important for a healthier life. And reducing your dependence on disposable items is an important way to combat landfill waste issues and other environmental concerns.
A good solution: Switch to organic menstrual products for your health and safety.
The best solution: Switch all the way to reusable menstrual products for a healthier planet and body.
The bonus solution: Switch to reusables and contribute to organizations that empower women in developing nations!
We can all make a difference. What changes will you pledge to make this Earth Month and beyond?