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Redefine [removed] Reuse [removed] Rejoice You’ve switched out your light bulbs, traded in for an energy efficient washing machine, and opted for blankets before dialing up the thermostat. Why stop at your surroundings? What about your own body? It is unfortunate that the taboo nature of discussing menstruation has made it impossible to confront its environmental impact with the force that has been brought down upon plastic bags or water bottles. The silence of the subject matter has become so ingrained in today’s society that the crinkling of sanitary pads and clunk of plastic applicators into the trash bin pass silently into unspoken statistics. 6.5 billion tampons. 13.5 billion sanitary pads. Used in one country [the United States]. In one year. In a world in which the average woman will use nearly 25,000 tampons in a lifetime, it is undoubtedly time to break the silence. By using menstrual products such as menstrual cups or reusable cloth pads, you can speak out against unnecessary waste, hazardous chemicals, and harmful processing practices. Menstrual cups have even been used since the 1940s! Only in more recent years has it posed a comeback over now-traditional disposable menstrual products. Over 170,000 plastic applicators were found littering coastal lands in 1998, according to the Center for Marine Conservation. This staggering number is a result of the approximate 73 million women in the United States that are of menstruating age (11-52) coupled with 24,360 tampons used per woman per menstrual lifetime. A movement in the 1990s resulted in the elimination of chlorine bleaching in favor of replacement referred to as “elementally chlorine free” bleaching. This substitute, though, stands as a lesser of two evils, still capable of producing toxic substances and water-polluting chemicals in simply lesser amounts. Even the cotton that goes into producing some of the disposable menstrual products leaves a lasting impact on the environment. Cotton is disproportionately sprayed with 24 percent of the worlds’ insecticides though it is planted on just 2.4 percent of arable land. The pesticides and insecticides used on these crops threaten the health of neighboring fauna and flora alike, and the humans that live downstream. Reusable sanitary pads and reusable menstrual cups offer non-toxic, environmentally friendly alternatives for the 73 million women who rely on menstrual products. For the environment and your peace of mind, redefine your period, redefine yourself. © Rhea Care, Inc. 2012References:http://www.wholefoodsmagazine.com/hbc/features/get-facts-feminine-hygieneThe Library of Congress - Tampon Safety and Research Act of 1999 -- Bill Text 112th Congress (2011-2012) H.R.2332.IH http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c112:H.R.2332.IH:http://www.greenpieces.net/content/index.asp?s=466&t=Tampons-and-the-Environmenthttp://www.ecomall.com/greenshopping/dc.htmThe Library of Congress - Tampon Safety and Research Act of 1999 http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1594/is_2_12/ai_72610498/?tag=content;col1http://www.organicconsumers.org/clothes/background.cfm