Going green is important for the health and safety of our own bodies, as well as the safety of our planet. Making green choices and reducing your environmental footprint can start with your feminine hygiene routine.
Feminine hygiene is not a one-size-fits-all topic, but there are a few ways to ensure you’re using healthy, safe methods to care for your body and the environment. As a woman, your body is a beautiful vessel of life and strength, so finding the right feminine care routine should be a top priority. Similarly, the world we live in is a beautiful wealth of resources – some renewable and some that require our attention to ensure their protection. If you’re looking for a few ways to protect yourself and be environmentally responsible, try going green with your feminine hygiene routine.
Making the switch to an eco-friendly lifestyle is challenging when you’re just getting started. There are so many steps to take, and taking them all at once can be overwhelming. However, with a little research and effort, you can make the best decisions for you when it comes to the hygiene products you use every day. If you can, select organic hygiene products when you’re at the store. Natural tampons, face cleansers and deodorant options are often found right alongside the bigger name brands at a reasonable cost. Many organic tampon options do not have applicators either, which can also help reduce waste and promote an organic, natural hygiene routine.
If you’d eventually like to eliminate paper products altogether, there are options for that as well, such as cloth diapers and feminine pads. You can start using non-paper products right away by reaching for a washcloth instead of make-up wipes or cotton balls, too. Organic products are definitely worth the adjustment and extra cost, given their vast list of health and environmental benefits.
Speaking of paperless products – In 2018, Americans alone purchased 5.8 billion tampons, according to National Geographic, and on average, a woman will use between 5 and 15 thousand pads and tampons throughout her life. The majority of plastic tampon applicators end up in landfills that will not break down for hundreds of years, and many paper-based feminine care products end up in the ocean when sewer systems fail. This not only impacts the land, but the water and marine life as well.
One easy way to reduce waste and protect the planet is to use alternative period products, such as silicone menstrual cups, reusable cloth pads, period underwear or disposable menstrual discs. These solutions prevent plastic and non-biodegradable products from polluting the land and water, as well as keep harmful chemicals out of your body. Many menstrual cups can last from 6 months to a year, if you follow the cleaning instructions, which can also save you some money in your monthly budget.
Feminine care doesn’t stop with your period, either. It encompasses skin, beauty and even all-purpose cleaning around the house – anything that empowers you to be healthy in your environment.
Choosing non-toxic cleaning and beauty alternatives is a great way to jump-start your green hygiene routine as well. There are a lot of brand name cleaning solutions, make-up supplies and hair care products on the market that are made with harsh chemicals that may get the job done, but aren’t very healthy for people or the earth.
Many of these eco-friendly solutions can be found right next to the bigger name brands on store shelves. You just have to know what to look for. Parabens, toluene and other harsh chemicals found in make-up and skin care products can really damage your skin, hair and can even result in more serious health conditions, such as hormonal imbalances and cancer. Instead, check the ingredients to make sure they’re eco-friendly and certified by a reliable third party organization.
Recycling may already be a priority in your house, but if it’s not, it’s never too late to get started! It’s easy to forget that recycling can take place anywhere in your house, not just the kitchen. And one of the primary spots for recycling opportunities is in your bathroom, where most of your feminine care takes place.
Keeping an extra recycling bin in the bathroom can help make sorting your paper and plastic products easy at the end of the week. You can also repurpose plastic containers and other packaging whenever possible. For instance, purchasing a large jug of hand soap and refilling your dispensers can help reduce your plastic use. Or, opt for recycled toilet paper or tissue products to support recycling from the moment you pull these items off the shelf. You can save glass bottles and jars to use for storing other products as well.
There are also plenty of companies whose products are packaged in recycled materials that you can choose from. Just look for the recycled symbol on the bottle or a statement that says, “Made with recycled materials.” Reusing and recycling becomes an easy part of your daily routine when you start making conscious choices to go green.
Another way to keep your hygiene routine eco-friendly is to shop around at your local farmer’s market or small businesses in your area. You can often find handcrafted health and beauty products that are made with all natural, non-toxic ingredients.
Between homemade soaps, essential oils, beauty products, paperless feminine care and other high-quality hygiene solutions, you’ll be amazed at what you can find from local makers. By shopping local, you can help save the earth from harmful chemicals and exhaust that are pumped back into the planet by big factories.
Investing in local products also feeds back into those local businesses and producers, which supports a sustainable economy that relies less on large manufacturers. Between the machines that produce high-quantity materials and the fuel it takes to ship them to retailers around the country and the world, there are plenty of toxins to reduce with a simple choice to shop locally. This ensures every item gets individual, human attention, which results in high-quality, safe products for consumers.
If you haven’t looked into energy-efficient appliances, now may be the right time. Many hair dryers, curling irons, electric razors, electric toothbrushes and other health and beauty tools use a considerable amount of energy that can be reduced with a few easy steps.
Some major manufacturers have developed tools that have eco settings or that simply use less power. Converting to these appliances can help you transition to a green hygiene routing while also saving you some money on your electricity bill.
Have you ever wondered how your diet impacts your period? What you consume has a large impact on the physical and mental symptoms of your menstrual cycle. If you want to clean up your feminine hygiene routine from the inside out, consider following a green meal plan during your period.
Cut back on processed foods, sweets, alcohol and caffeine, which can cause cramps, dehydration and other negative effects that no one wants to deal with during their period. Instead, make sure you have a balance of probiotics, lean protein, whole grains, complex carbohydrates – found in leafy greens and other produce – and plenty of water in your daily diet.
Going green with your feminine hygiene routine doesn’t have to mean changing up the products you use. It can also mean filling your body with organic fruits, vegetables and other foods that keep chemicals and pesticides out of your system.
Environmentally friendly options used to be difficult and expensive to manufacture, which made them difficult and expensive to purchase as a consumer. However, manufacturing processes and resources are now available to make going green much more doable than it used to be.
In the last few decades, organic farming and eco-friendly options became a top priority for consumers and manufacturers alike, paving the way for all the innovative alternatives that are now available on the market. There are stories, articles, scientific research studies, educators, organizations and specialists who willingly offer educational materials on living an environmentally conscious lifestyle. And the good news is, you don’t have to transition your whole routine all at once. Start with small decisions to be more environmentally conscious. By reducing waste and purchasing responsible products, you’ll already be taking a huge step toward a fully green lifestyle. No matter where you are in your journey, you can start your green lifestyle right in your own home, with a little awareness and a few small shifts in your feminine hygiene routine.
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