I like to do what I can to help the earth, and as such I am really big on recycling. Really. Sometimes I'll be someplace when I finish off a bottle of water/juice/whatever, but there isn't a recycling bin around. I admit that occasionally I'll throw something recyclable in the trash in that situation (and then feel guilty afterwards) but usually I'll take it home to recycle.
Yes, I'll go ahead and admit it right here: in this post I want to convince what few readers I have to do their part to avoid sending stuff to landfills. However, I'm going to suggest something a little unusual, and I hope I don't gross out any of my readers. If I do, you have my apologies in advance.
What I purpose is for women to use cloth sanitary pads. Yes, I know at first glance it sounds icky. And yes, you do have to wash them yourself. But please keep reading, and I'll share with you some very good reasons for using them.
1) They can last several years.
2) You won't have to keep running to the store to buy more sanitary pads whenever you start running low.
3) Yes, they're somewhat pricey up front, but in the long run they're quite inexpensive. The Pad Sampler Kit over at GladRags is about $70, but I've had mine for perhaps three years and they're still in great condition. I expect them to continue saving me money for a while yet.
4) Cleaning them isn't as icky as you might think. I just throw mine in with the towels when I do laundry, and I haven't had any problems yet.
You might want to shop around to figure out what to get -- there are at least a few options out there, but it's been a while since I did the research, so you're probably better off figuring things out for yourself. All I can tell you is that I settled on GladRags, which is a brand local to where I live.
And this post isn't just for women, by the way. I know that men don't have any use for sanitary pads, but surely you know some women who do. Perhaps you can share the info with your wife, sisters, daughters, and/or other women in your life.