The average woman will menstruate for about four decades on average, using an estimated 16,800 sanitary pads or tampons, creating way too much waste for Mother Natureâ??s liking in the process. But modern, organic alternatives to feminine hygiene products gives new meaning to â??being on the rag.â??

Organic alternatives for female hygiene are kinder to your body

In 1989, the shocking effects of Dioxin (the chlorine bleach used in tampons and pads) were published in scientific reports showing that even low levels of dioxins may be linked to cancer, endometriosis, low sperm counts, immune system suppression, skin allergies, cystitis, and in extreme cases Toxic Shock Syndrome. A cause for concern as any one woman may use as many as 11,000 tampons or pads in her lifetime.

Organic alternatives allow you to restrict contact with toxic chemicals and synthetics found in common brands generally available to women. Gynaecological recommendations advise women with sensitivities to chlorine bleached materials and products containing synthetics, latex and super absorbents made from petrochemicals to go the organic route where feminine hygiene is concerned. If itâ??s gentle enough on nature, itâ??ll be just as kind to you too.  

Add to that the disposal of billions of plastic laden pads each year, most of which end up in landfill sites where they remain unaltered for hundreds of years negatively impacting our planet, then the choice becomes an easier one to make when considering Mother Earth.  

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Go with the flow – adopt alternative, eco-minded outerwear!

Convenience, comfort and cost are the factors to consider when making the change to washable cotton pads and biodegradable disposals.  Largely considered comfortable and reliable, the key is to find the absorbency and style that meets your needs from whatâ??s available on the market.

Flushaway

The Flushaway range of sanitary towels and panty liners is a convenient step in the right direction. Because you can flush these away, they do away with the need for waste bins and contribute to a cleaner environment.

Offering the same characteristics and functionality as other national brands, this biodegradable product deteriorates within weeks when deposited in landfills, compost or sewage systems, making it highly environmentally friendly and hygienic.

Natracare

Developed in response to the 1989 Dioxin reports by Susie Hewson, Natracare offers women 100% cotton tampons and pads and panty liners made from natural and sustainable materials.

A large selection ranges from tampons with and without applicators, sanitary towels with regular to super plus absorbencies each of which are available for your regular, winged,  curved, slender, super and night time comfort.  Expect to pay around R38.99 for a pack of 14 Natracare Organic Cotton Curved Regular Towels and R49.99 for 14 Natracare Organic Cotton Ultra Towels with Wings.

The Mooncup

A healthy and sustainable alternative to tampons, this reusable menstrual cup is around five centimetres long and made from soft silicone rubber. Itâ??s worn internally like a tampon but collects 30ml of menstrual fluid as opposed to absorbing it; this is roughly one third of the average total produced each period which means you wonâ??t need to empty our cup as frequently as youâ??d have to replace towels or tampons.  

Unlike tampons the Mooncup is not disposable and can last up to ten years, so you only need to buy one! The cup is entirely safe and healthy to use (FDA approved), cuts down dramatically on waste and supports our ecology and costs less than one year’s worth of disposable menstrual products.

Where can I get organic alternatives & supplies from?

Visit Urban Sprout for a directory of organic personal care and beauty suppliers in South Africa. Because the Flushaway product has only recently become available in South Africa, it will initially only be retailed at Pharmacies. Contact Roddy Higgins at roddy@envirostar.co.za / 082 322 5166. Visit www.flushaway.co.za for more information.  

Stockists of Natracare products, Faithful to Nature is one of South Africaâ??s finest organic stores catering to the discerning consumer on the lookout for alternatives to commercial cosmetics and food. Visit www.faithfultonature.co.za, www.natracare.com or contact robyn@faithful-to-nature.co.za.

For more on the Mooncup including purchase points and costs, contact Bronwyn Sherman on lunarhythm@gmail.com and visit www.lunarhythm.co.za for more information.

Congratulations to Allison Peters,who wins 5 cartons of Flushaway product â?? the modern, organic alternative to feminine hygiene