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Finding A "Green" Pad Is A Bloody Tough Job

Illustration for article titled Finding A Green Pad Is A Bloody Tough Job

Environmental news blog Grist has a review of eco-minded feminine products. According to the story, the average woman will menstruate for about 40 years (ugh) and use about 16,800 sanitary pads or tampons, which is 250 to 300 pounds of waste. In the U.S., 12 billion pads and 7 billion tampons are disposed of annually. So what's a girl who cares about the environment but doesn't want blood-soaked jeans to do? Grist has some pad options (the tampon review is due next week) and things are pretty bleak:The good news? Seventh Generation chlorine-free "ultra thin" pads come in recyclable packaging and, according to Grist's Sarah van Schagen, have "tremendous" absorption power. But the Seventh Generation maxi pads? "Feel like a pillow in your drawers." The Natracare Curved regular pads don't come individually wrapped, which might be better for the planet, but wouldn't you have to carry the box or some kind of zip-lock bag in your purse? As for the Natracare Ultra Pads, they're "too short." Then there's GladRags organic cotton maxi pad and liner, which — bloody hell — you have to soak and rinse after using. But the funniest review is for the Lunapads organic cotton maxi pad and liner (pictured):

One reviewer dubbed her Lunapad the "Pussy Cushion" and noted that she developed a "camel foot" while wearing leggings and needed to adjust her chair and car mirrors due to the pad's added height.

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See? Saving the planet can make you feel taller! The Red Vadge Of Courage [Grist]

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DISCUSSION

See, I'm like a freakish anomaly about the periods, so I'm positive this would just be an expensive exercise in frustration. First of all, I practically hemorrhage every month, so the cloth pad is OUT. I would use it for things I would use a minipad for, if I used a minipad. Like fertile days in which it seems that a whole cake's worth of egg yolk soaks into my pants.

But the Diva cup...for all of you who have periods that last 5 days and can get away with simply a tampon, perhaps the "don't have to empty for 12 hours" thing works for you. I can predict that I would be either leaking, or else become covered in blood during the removal phase, especially on those two heavy days. Currently on my heavy days I use an OB ULTRA PLUS, which is the highest absorbency available in my area (no other tampons have an ULTRA PLUS). I have to pair it with a SUPER pad, and even with changing the pad every two hours or less, it is a bloodbath. Especially fun are the gushy moments where no absorbing is actually happening, as everything slides past the tampon. The Diva cup might prevent the sliding past thing, but would definitely would fill up much more frequently than 12 hours.

I might consider using one for the lighter days when I can finally go to just a tampon, but by then I've already used a ton of other products, so it's not really helping the environment.

I'm all for the sitting on straw in the Red Hut, eating chocolate and catching up on my novels. Anyone with me?