Most women are not aware how harmful drugstore period care products, like tampons and pads, can be to your body and the environment. According to National Geographic, trashed plastic tampons end up in landfills and eventually break down into microplastics that can pollute our water supply. Each traditional pad takes roughly 800 years to break down. If living a greener life applies to you, choosing eco-conscious feminine care products is a simple change you can make to produce less waste. 

In addition to harming the planet, there are an alarming lack of consumer protection laws regarding these items. However, many menstruation products, including pads, panty liners and tampons contain phthalates, which are harmful chemicals not meant enter the body. Exposure to these chemicals can cause reproductive harm and the toxins can linger in your system for years. Another worrisome possibility is toxic shock syndrome, a bacterial infection caused by tampons that are left in too long, which can be life-threatening. 

Another enticing reason to make the switch to natural, non-disposable products is the prospect that it can save you money in the long run. Menstrual cups are priced under $20 and reusable fabric pads and period underwear can last years, saving you hundreds. If you’re worried about the hygiene aspect, don’t fret. Most brands employ antimicrobial technology and you can easily sanitize the cups with soapy, hot water and throw the pads and underwear is the laundry after use. Not only are they cheaper, they don’t skimp on performance. When it comes to absorbency, these products mean business. They are rigorously lab tested to ensure they are completely chemical-free and offer complete leak protection.

Keep reading for the top-rated, minimal waste products that will keep you covered during that time of the month.

Image: courtesy of Aisle

Aisle Maxi Pad $19,

Built to outperform traditional disposable pads and can handle your heaviest flow without harming the planet. Made with breathable cotton, each pad holds eight tampons worth and is machine washable so you can reuse.

Image: courtesy of Dame

Dame Reusable Tampon Applicator $23,

As an alternative to plastic tampons, this award-winning hygienic applicator is medical grade, antimicrobial, and lasts for over 3,000 uses. The applicator fits all cotton tampons from lite to super plus.

Image: courtesy of Rael

Rael Organic Cotton Tampons $7,

If you're not ready to ditch plastic tampons, these are safer than the average drugstore options. Scientifically formulated with 100% certified organic cotton, free of chlorine bleaching, and housed in a BPA-free plastic applicator, these tampons guarantee comfort and performance. Thanks to a Leak Locker technology, you can be confident in eight hours of leak-free wear. 

Image: courtesy of The Honey Pot

The Honey Pot Organic Cotton Cover Post-Partum Pads $9,

These maternity pads with wings are designed to soothe and support the post-partum journey. A blend of hypoallergenic herbal ingredients, including mint, lavender, and aloe, provides a relieving experience for new moms. Both Black and woman owned, this brand is known for their plant-derived feminine care. 

Image: courtesy of Saalt

Saalt Sustainable Menstrual Cup $29,

Designed to produce zero waste, the odor-free, medical grade silicone cup is comfortable and opens easily when inserted. Wear the cup without worry up to twelve hours as it holds up to four tampons worth. 

Image: courtesy of Viv

Viv Bamboo Liners $7 for box of 16,

Viv liners are made of natural, biodegradable bamboo fiber for eco-frierndly softness and ultimate absorption. Each liner is naturally antibacterial, allergen-free, breathable, super soft, and highly absorbent.

Image: courtesy of Period

Period The Heavy Period. Underwear $12,

Designed for heavy days, these nontoxic, high-waisted bottoms are made from buttery organic cotton with a four-layer padded towel absorbency (bulk-free), so you’ll never leak. The top layer is moisture-wicking and quickly absorbs liquid so you’ll always feel dry.