The easiest way to begin a foray into eco-friendly period products is with organic pads and tampons. While browsing through my neighborhood Duane Reade, I located some products made by a company called ORGAN(Y)C, which (as its name implies) produces organic, biodegradable, cotton menstrual goods.
When most people hear the words “menstrual” and “cup” used together, they cringe with disgust. I’d heard about the Diva Cup, but I wanted to explore my options before diving headfirst into their terrifying world. I learned that in addition to the Diva Cup, there’s the Moon Cup, the Lunette, and the Keeper. After consulting customer reviews, I chose to go with the Moon Cup, Size B, which is for women who haven’t given birth vaginally (and presumably have smaller vaginas than those who have). Priced at around $30, I thought it was a bit expensive compared to a $7 box of tampons. But, considering these cups last for a whopping 10 years, it seemed worth it. I bought my Moon Cup from Amazon and tried it out.
I ordered the Heavy Flow Kit from GladRags.com for $100. It came with a handy, on-the-go carry bag, a mesh laundry bag, and six pads total for night and day. I was a bit wary; their bright, colored patterns reminded me of underwear I used to wear when I was 10 — plus I was apprehensive about thes pads' ability to soak up my heavy flow.
“Sponges are plant-like creatures that grow in colonies on the ocean floor,” says this product's package. Yikes, I thought. What have I gotten myself into? I read further and discovered that women have been using sea-sponge tampons for thousands of years. Even Cleopatra supposedly used them — I figured if she could do it, so could I. Apparently many women (not just eco-minded ones) are sea-sponge converts. These "tampons" are not only biodegradable and sustainably harvested; they’re also super comfortable to wear. I purchased mine from Jade & Pearl for $15.
Sometimes, you have those days when you think your period’s over — and bam, it's not. You get a big, bright, red stain in your underwear. This has happened to me too many times to count. Enter Lunapanties: “smart, stylish underwear that has your back.” Crafted with organic cotton and an absorbent liner, these were the answer to my period-leak prayers. I went with Lunapanties’s Selene Lacy Thong, retailing for $31.99.
Pads Made At Home
DIY pads are the final frontier of eco-periods. That’s right: These are do-it-yourself, as in "sew-your-own." I’d read about homemade pads on some hippie-ish blogs where craft-inclined women praise them as the most environmentally friendly menstruation method of all time. As someone who’d never really sewn before, this was the most daunting part of this project. Most of the blogs I read mentioned sewing machines and patterns — but I decided to do things my way. After all, it’s not do-it-yourself without...yourself.