greening_kotexFeminine protection, up until the 80’s, was a taboo subject. Rarely talked about on TV, and certainly no commercials or very cryptic and generic commercials, but now the ads are mainstream and everyone’s talking openly about it.  Probably not a bad thing since I got my information from school, in the form of a videostrip presentation given with the blinds pulled, to a room of girls only.  Afterward we were each handed our very first feminine napkin – a huge, bulky pad that required a napkin belt.  Gosh, we’ve come a long way since then!

Now you can choose from tampons, pads (with and without wings), and menstrual cups in every size, shape, and fragrance. But, are all these choices necessary and more importantly are they good for us?  I’ve had problems with irritation for years.  It wasn’t until I looked for a greener option that I found out that irritation was likely caused by the use of Chlorine during the manufacturing process.  Yikes!  I don’t need whiter white tampons or pads, but I do need healthy skin.

I searched for a new solution and realized immediately that the washable, reusable organic fabric pads weren’t for me. I’d end up washing them alone in the washer, which because of the amount of water used, would negate their environmental friendliness.  I also thought about the menstrual cup, but the reviews are so mixed whether or not they’re comfortable and with a price tag of over $30 it would be expensive to try it, only to find out I don’t like it.

What I settled on was chlorine-free protection from Seventh Generation. According to their website, their pads “are made of a combination of absorbent materials, polyolefins, adhesives, and a silicone-coated paper. The top layer is a non-woven polyolefin cover sheet. The absorbent materials consist of chlorine free wood pulp, and Lysorb, an absorbent gel. Lysorb, also known as SNAP (super absorbent natural polymer), is a polysaccharide derived from wheat.”  They come is several sizes including panty liners.

Seventh Generation Tampons are made from certified organic cotton, certified organic by Quality Assurance International, Inc, whitened without chlorine, and rayon free. Organic cotton is safer to grow and harvest, safer for the environment, and better for me.

I’ve used both and I’m happy to say my skin irritation seems to be a thing of the past and the slightly higher cost is ofset by healthier skin – I’m ok with that.


Greening My Life is a series based on improving my life by investigating and sampling green products and switching out the traditional chemically-laden products I’ve used for the last 48 years of my life.  I hope you enjoy my journey of discovery with some hits and misses along the way.