For Girls Only

Posted on October 24, 2007 by Allie

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Take a second and think about how many feminine care products you use every month.  Multiply that by 12 months and then multiply that by 39 (the average number of years women maintain a menstrual cycle).  That’s a lot of waste, and there’s a lot more to consider as well.


According to Natracare:

Many women are unaware that rayon and rayon-cotton blends are widely used in the manufacture of tampons. Rayon is commonly chlorine-bleached, and is a highly absorbent fibre. Dioxin, a toxic carcinogen, is a by-product of all chlorine bleaching methods and is also found throughout the environment in varying levels as a by-product of pesticide spraying and pollution from incinerators. Dioxin has been found to collect in the fatty tissues of animals, including humans and should, therefore, be a real concern for women. Published scientific reports have shown that evidence is growing that even low levels of dioxins may be linked to cancer, endometriosis, low sperm counts and immune system suppression. Considering a woman may use as many as 11,000 tampons in her lifetime, she may be subjecting herself to additional dioxin exposure.

So what should you do?  It’s not like you can just will your period away (if only!).

The easiest switch to make is to use organic and natural tampons, pads and pantyliners, like Natracare or Seventh Generation products.  You can find natural substitutes for the products you use, and you won’t even notice the difference. If you are currently using tampons with an applicator, try to make the switch to applicator free tampons, to reduce waste.

If you’re willing to make a bigger change, buy reusable pads, like GladRags or Lunapads and panties.   Or make your own.

Another option is a menstrual cup like The Keeper, which is made of natural latex, or The Moon Cup or Diva Cup, which is made from medical grade silicone.  The advantage to a silicone cup is that it can be boiled to sanitize after use.  To read more about menstrual cups, check out the Q&A on Diva Cup site, or check out the questions, testimonials, and support on MenstrualCups.org.

Making a change to natural feminine care products is important for your personal health and the health of the environment.

No Comments +

  1. I blogged about this once. I think that I’m going to safely call myself green and stick to OB. I have tried the natural tampons, and they don’t absorb as well, meaning I have to change them more often. The other cups and the glad rags are too messy, and also cause extra water usage. (You have to wash them all the time!)

    In the end, (no pun intended) I just try to use less T.P. when going to the bathroom to off-set my tampon usage. Also, for my body at least, if I eat less and stick to the plant-based diet, my periods are super low flow, and I use less product. I’m thinking about changing to the pill that keeps you from having your period, but it took a lot of trial and error to find the one I’m on now, so I don’t think I’ll be changing.

    Wow, that’s a lot of personal information for a comment. I must be on the rag or something.

    October 24th, 2007 at 6:00 pm
    Comment by Noelle
  2. Ha! Thanks for sharing! OB’s are definitely the greenest of the traditional name brands.

    That’s really interesting about the plant based diet. Another benefit of making the switch.

    October 24th, 2007 at 11:46 pm
    Comment by Allie
  3. I recently stared using the DivaCup and highly recommend it. While water usage is required to wash the silicon cup, there isn’t any trash from the wrapper, or tampon itself. I found it very easy to use, economical and there is an excellent discussion group on ivillage to answer initial questions.

    October 30th, 2007 at 4:13 pm
    Comment by Melissa
  4. Hi Melissa! Thanks for commenting.

    I was just thinking that a lot of water goes into cotton production, so a little water to wash the Diva Cup probably isn’t a big deal. Plus, after you get used to using one, it’s super easy. It just takes awhile to adjust.

    October 30th, 2007 at 8:12 pm
    Comment by Allie
  5. [...] their brand. Every time I see it, I cringe. Sure, it sounds like a nice thing, but after doing my “For Girls Only” post last year, I can’t help but think that disposable dioxin laden feminine products [...]

    February 21st, 2008 at 2:24 pm
    Pingback by Allie’s Answers » Blog Archive » Tip of the Day - Donate to Goods 4 Girls
  6. [...] talked a little bit about eco-friendly choices for that time of the month back in [...]

    April 1st, 2008 at 1:20 pm
    Pingback by Allie’s Answers » Blog Archive » Dear Allie: What’s the Safest Tampon Choice?

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Tip of the Day

If It Doesn’t Smell, Don’t Wash It

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According to Real Simple, if every American made an effort to launder less — cutting out just one load of laundry a week per household — we’d save enough water to fill seven million swimming pools each year.

So if it looks clean, and it smells clean, call it clean and wear it again. Consider hanging worn clothes out on your clothesline to freshen them up between wearings.


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