The Kind Life is a community around Alicia Silverstone and The Kind Diet where friends, doctors, experts in green living, and members share vegan tips.

Kind 101

kind classics: pads and tampons, oh my!

This blog is for the ladies! Men, no need to read further. Unless, of course, I have now grabbed your attention and you are curious. I found this article on EMagazine.com and what it had to say was quite disturbing! “According to waste consultant Franklin Associates, 6.5 billion tampons and 13.5 billion sanitary pads, plus their packaging, ended up in landfills or sewer systems in 1998. And according to the Center for Marine Conservation, over 170,000 tampon applicators were collected along U.S. coastal areas between 1998 and 1999.”

There is a lot controversy about feminine protection. Chlorine (nasty chemical) is used to make pads and tampons ultra white. This creates water waste and there are some studies out there that say chlorine bleaching can cause dioxin (bad news) to leach into the body at very low levels. According to the EPA, there is no safe level of dioxin exposure. It is a carcinogen. Frequent exposure to it (using pads/tampons once a month for instance) can lead to problems like hormone interruption and immunity issues. There are other bad things in pads and tampons, like alcohol, dyes, some have rayon…but, you get the point…they are no good. I don’t want that stuff near me. Plus, the FDA does not require feminine products to put ingredients on their packaging so we have no idea what we are getting! But with Natracare, Maxim, and Seventh Generation we know exactly what’s in store.

Eco disposable pad options:

Natracare

– Contains certified organic cotton, ecologically certified cellulose pulp, corn starch, non-toxic glue

– Bonus! the pad’s wrapper is comprised of compostable cellulose and compostable starch film

Maxim

– 100% natural chlorine free cotton (their tampons are certified organic)

Seventh Generation

– Ingredients include: chlorine-free processed wood pulp, polyolefins, adhesives, silicone-coated paper

I use the slightly more pain-in-the-butt, but oh so better for the environment GladRags washable pads or Lunapads. They are these little fabric pads that you snap onto your underwear,I used GladRags for so many years now but now I use Lunapads. Right now I’m a fan of their overnight organic cotton pad & insert. Yes, it feels slightly like wearing a diaper, but let’s face it… Wearing regular pads do too. What I do is use my cloth pads, and then let them soak in the sink (I know gross, but it’s awesome :), and then throw them in the wash. It’s super easy. I try to use (Lunapad maxi for day & overnight for nighttime) the most, but if I’m in a hurry or leaving the house for the day I’ll go with Natracare disposable pads with wings.

I once was not be a tampon girl,  but now I’ve converted. For necessity really, when at events or work where I’m wearing an outfit that pads don’t jive with. I’ve been using Maxim (organic cotton), I like their applicator best. I’m not a huge fan of Natracare’s organic cotton tampons because application wasn’t a smooth experience for me.

If you prefer tampons to pads, there are some alternative options out there such as the Diva Cup and The Keeper, which are reusable cups made from silicone or rubber that you wash out and can reuse for up to ten years. Supposedly popular among European ladies. I haven’t tried them, but if you have, I’d like to hear your thoughts. I love the idea of these, but I have yet to use them. I think that if you like tampons, you might be into these. Let me know! I’ve just graduated to tampons so this might come next.

Bottom line – “regular” pads and tampons and such clog landfills, use chemicals and “virgin” paper in their production, and are bad for your body.

Be safe and use natural products that we know are organic. Support companies that are taking appropriate measures to be kind to the environment and our bodies.  And if anyone has any more research on dioxins or asbestos in feminine products please leave your comments. I’d like to know.

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  • Andrea Yoga

    yeah I buy Naturacare ….thanks for the information!