Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Going Green with the Curse

This installments is for the girls. What I am about to cover may not be close to your heart, but certainly close to your body. Very close. That’s right, it’s time to cover ‘personal care’ products for women.

The Rag
Alright ladies, listen up. Do you ever wonder what exactly goes into the tampons or pads that you use? Do you ever think: Will this give me cancer down the road? And what’s with ‘toxic shock’ syndrome and tampons? Do you really want to play Russian Roulette every month?

What’s in the Thingamadoogle
You’re average run of the mill pad and tampon contains the following:
  • Super absorbent (read: toxic heavy process) rayon.
  • Cotton that is laden with pesticides.
  • Plastic (latex wings, polyethylene dry-weave layers and silky coating on tampons) and PVC (on the wrappers of pads).
  • Your typical tampon/pad company used to bleach the batting with chlorine gases which produced the very nasty dioxin – a cancer causing substance that likes to dwell in fatty tissue. These companies insist they don’t do that any more.

Impact on the Environment
Oh, just a few minor problems:

  • Cotton is the most heavily polluted crop on the planet thanks to pesticide use.
  • Plastic applicators and wrap take centuries to break down.
  • According to Adria Vasil in Ecoholic, in the USA, 12 billion pads and seven million tampons are sent to the landfill every year.

If you like your pad and tampon, Natracare and Organic Essentials use 100% certified organic non-chlorine-bleached cotton. They may be more expensive but baby, you’re worth it! (So’s the planet). They also use a biodegradable plant-based bioplastic in lieu of petroleum plastic to prevent leakage. Seventh Generation produces non-organic pads and liners. The absorbent gel they use, however, is derived from wheat. If you live in a city that recycles organic material, including pads and tampons, these products are a good way to go.

If you really want to go green (and save a bundle overtime), you can use reusable cloth pads, sponges and (Jane Miller, this is for you) the reusable cup. Consult your inner eco-geek to find out if this is for you. Jane Miller swears by the reusable cup, which lasts 10 years. Here are some products and sites if you’re curious:

Reusable cloth padsNew Moon Pads, Goddess Moon, Moonwit and Many Moons (No ‘Howl at the Moon’ I’m afraid).

Sponge – That’s right, the one from the sea. Keep in mind that the sea is a toxic nightmare nowadays and there are concerns about chemically contaminated sponges. UK-based Sea Pearls harvest sponges sustainably. Also try Sea Pearls via Lunapads.

The cup – It’s a cup! You put in inside yourself four times a day. Look for The Keeper and Diva Cup.

In the News
Climate-Change Scorecard Aims to Influence Consumers
A new not-for-profit group helps make companies accountable when it comes to their greenhouse gas emissions.

China top carbon dioxide emitter: Report
It’s official. China leads the way in warming the planet.

McGuinty launching green fund
Sounds good for Ontario, if McGuinty actually follow through.

Other News

Green Bloggers

Ecoshock Radio

Grist Magazine

Tree Hugger

Zerofootprint Blog

BBC – The Greenroom

New York Times – Environment


Anonymous said...

I have been using the pads from Luna pads. They are a Vancouver base company & their products are great. Their website is: They're awesome at answering any questions that you might have.

sp said...

The Diva cup rules! I bought mine at Grassroots many years ago and felt like an idiot for not having tried it sooner. In B.C. you can find it in any London Drugs so it's very easy to come by.

Thanks for posting this info.

Janer said...

I really like my Diva cup too. Used the Keeper for about ten years, from the mid 90's (also a cup but made of India Rubber, Diva is made of Silicone). Can't imagine how much money I've saved, as an extra bonus!