(StatePoint) The average menstruating woman uses 11,000 feminine hygiene products over her period lifetime. End-on-end, that amounts to eight times the height of the Golden Gate Bridge! For this reason, experts say the products you choose can make a significant impact on your health and the environment.
An Innovative Market
It may sound like ancient history, but it wasn’t really that long ago when girls and women were still largely fashioning their own feminine hygiene products out of household items like rags and newspapers.
Virtually all women have stories to tell about their periods. Some funny, some poignant, but all memorable, and anyone who has spoken to her grandmother about the matter knows that many women of a certain age used “sanitary belts” to deal with their monthly visitor.
Bottom line: feminine hygiene has thankfully evolved, a lot. In fact, it’s still in flux, as new organic products are presenting alternatives to conventional options and are better for you and the earth.
Health and the Environment
It isn’t just those on the frontlines of environmental activism who are concerned with how their choices impact the environment and their health. Each year billions of plastic-laden menstrual pads and tampons are disposed of, polluting fragile ecosystems and overwhelming landfills. What’s more, many women possess concerns about the impact of harsh chemicals, bleach and dye on and in their bodies.
For these reasons, many are turning to brands such as Organic Initiative (Oi -- pronounced Oy), which offers a range of tampons and pads, as well as the Oi Cup. Created by women, the brand has also introduced a product line for young girls called Oi Girl, that’s designed for smaller, maturing bodies and comes with information to empower and educate girls, so they can feel in control of this next life step. Oi believes organic certification is critical to ensure maximum benefit is achieved and that tampons, pads and liners should be made from 100 percent pure certified organic cotton. Independently certified by BioGro Organic and the Global Organic Textile Standard to be 100 percent certified organic cotton with no chemicals or dyes. Plus, virtually the whole line is biodegradable.
Additionally, it’s important to look for products that don’t just use one layer of cotton or use so-called natural herbs and essences. Healthcare experts say such additions aren’t necessary. To learn more, visit oi4me.com or follow the conversation at #changeyourworldthismonth.
How About the Cost?
While “organic” may be synonymous with “expensive” to many people, the reality is when it comes to feminine hygiene products, certain eco-friendly brands focused on health are also accessible and affordable. In the case of Oi, the products are available at Walmart, Amazon and a growing number of retailers nationwide.
“Tampons and pads aren’t a luxury item, so our pricing is affordable,” says Helen Robinson, CEO of Oi. “Our initiative is to make healthy and affordable products accessible for all women, and offer them the opportunity to substantially reduce their environmental footprint.”
Take stock of your monthly menstrual routine. Is it time for an update? Simple swaps can help the planet and yourself.
Photo Credit: (c) Organic Initiative