Hey friends, here again to complain about P L A S T I C.
I’m deep into some research on the plastic - hormone connection so I can be better informed for my clients on this topic. The evidence is compelling, long standing, and clear : Plastics contribute to our changing hormonal landscape for the worse.
There are loads of ways we can reduce our plastic consumption, everything from ditching the plastic water bottles and leftover containers to purchasing fewer items that come in plastic containers.
One huge way we can lower our environmental imprint and help adjust our hormones back to healthy levels is to swap out plastic period products for more sustainable and healthful options. Though studies have shown that the concern around dioxin in bleached tampons and pads might be minimally risky to most, the petrolum-based chemicals and plastics in the absorbant materials, fragrances, and other dyes and packaging has not been properly studied in regards to period products, but have been shown to be in dangerously high quantity in our everyday environment. Most period products are petroleum-based plastics through and through. The packaging they come in, the applicators, the sticky bits, the material they’re made from, the chemicals they’re soaked in...it all comes from petrol plastics and made by some of the worst corporate environmental companies around.
An added bonus to switching to reusable period items -- many of these brands are run by progressive women and often have components of their business practices that focus on wider environmental impacts, ending period stigma, and creating more access to sanitary items for those who need it most. This feels like a win-win-win. Oh wait...there’s more! Reusable period products are more cost effective. Reusable period products help you get in touch with your own anatomy. Reusable period products reduce common infections and don’t come with the scary reality of toxic shock syndrome. So WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!?
Here are a few great options :
Washable pads from loads of great companies like Luna Pads, Glad Rags, and about a million small vendors on Etsy and maybe at your local natural market.
Sea Sponge - Okay, this is usually the hardest sell, but I love mine for backpacking. You can trim this little guy down to the size that’s the most comfortable for you and there’s zero added anything to be concerned about.
Soft menstrual cups from Lunette (you can buy it from Zero Waste Shop and have it shipped plastic free, too!), a natural rubber one from Fair Squared, the XO cup from Glad Rags, the Keeper Cup, the Bella Cup, the Ruby Cup (they donate a cup for everyone you buy), the Zero Cup (their insta page is DOPE), the UltuCup, and a million others.
Not ready for a full conversion, Natracare uses organic cotton and low/no plastic in their products and packaging.
Without going on a total tirade, I also want to point out the issues around using baby wipes around your period both for your health (loads of toxins you’re just schmering directly into your vagina) and the environment, but I’ll let some of these articles do the work for me. If you want some ideas on how to make your own sustainable and healthy wet wipes, here are a few cool options.
A full how-to for making and using reusable wipes
“Wet bags” for portability and all natural spray for wetting the wipes from Bum Genius
More info on the chemicals in baby wipes along with a super easy how to for DIY natural and reusable wipes
Hope this helps you have a safer, healthier, happier period free of plastic. I give $5 off every hour of consulting services if you bring period products to our appointments for me to donate. Reusable items are tricky for those who need it most (I usually donate items to a women’s shelter in SF) so anything is welcome, but if you can swing it, organic items with minimal packaging would be awesome!