3 Reusable Products (Almost) Everyone Should Get Today

By Jane Mountain | June 30, 2012

Reusable Sanitary Pads

Do you like trees? Would you like to see a few old growth forests survive the decade? And how do you feel about landfill? Smelly, depressing mountains of the discarded spoils of capitalism, right?

There are three things you can order today that will save trees, reduce that pile of smelly old landfill, and make you the coolest kid on your block.

Reusable Coffee Filters

Coffee has a massive impact on the environment, but if giving it up is a horrifying thought (I know it is for me), the very least you can do is stop throwing away paper filters every day.

It takes about 12 extra seconds a day to rinse a reusable coffee filter.

During those 12 seconds you get to feel better about yourself, save trees, and avoid all sorts of chemicals and bleaches that are in many paper filters.

The biggest bonus of all?

Reusable filters make a significantly better-tasting cup of coffee. (tweet this)

Buying Tips For Reusable Coffee Filters
Get organic cotton or hemp. Regular cotton is grown using a horrifying brew of chemicals and is uber-destructive to the environment. Go organic.
Get the right size. Check your coffee-making contraption or your paper filter box before you order.

Where To Buy Reusable Coffee Filters
Coffee Sock Co on Etsy
Mr Naturals


Confession time. I don’t own any handkerchiefs. Now the good news. I just ordered some!

You should do the same. Why? Because:

  1. It takes around 11 million trees to create the 480,000 tons of tissues sold in the US every year.
  2. Hankies are totally hip
  3. Hankies make the ladies swoon.
  4. More than 200 billion tissues are thrown away each year in the US. (tweet this)

Handkerchief Buying Tips
Get organic cotton. At least half the pesticides used on conventional cotton crops are “possible,” “likely,” “probable,” or “known” human carcinogens. Go organic.
Be stylish. Yes, you can get plain hankies. They are perfectly serviceable. But don’t shy away from the stylish designs out there. It’ll make blowing your nose so much more fun, and other people will be totally jealous.

Where To Buy Organic Cotton Handkerchiefs
I’m pretty excited about the Hanky Book three pack I just ordered.
These Hankettes are also adorable.

Bonus Related Item
I love People Towels. They’re cool little hand towels that you carry around to avoid using paper towels. Someone may buy me one as a gift if someone wants. Hint hint.

Reusable Sanitary Pads

Squeamish dudes, here’s your cue to go do something else (like share this post). It’s time for the grown-ups to talk.

Modern men with special ladies in your life, here’s a seriously intimate and loving gift idea.

OK, now we’ve separated the boys from the men, let’s talk reusable pads.

I know, there’s a certain ick factor when you first think about reusable pads. I had the same reaction. Ick.

And then I realized that a lot of that icky feeling has been brought to me by companies like Proctor & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson. There’s a lot of money in making women think we need their antiseptic-looking diapery pseudo-sterile products.

Now I feel a little stupid for being duped into thinking my body’s natural and healthy activity was somehow gross.

Especially since the really icky part is that sanitary pads generate around 7 pounds of landfill per woman per year.

There are vast mountains of used sanitary pads piled up in landfills around the world. Ick. (tweet this)

So I ordered some adorable organic cotton pads from Party In My Pants.

I’ve only had them for a little while, but so far, so good. They absorb, they dry quickly, and they wash out completely with no special treatment. Also, there’s no scratchy diaper feeling and no toxic bleached fibres scraping around down there. In fact, I’d say the ick factor is actually reduced compared to disposable pads.

Oh yeah, and there are no trees cut down, no plastics involved, and nothing to throw out each month. So I don’t have to feel guilty about getting my period.

Buying Tips For Reusable Pads
Get organic cotton!! In case you still didn’t get the message. No one wants cancer-causing chemicals that close to their special parts.
Make a test run. Buy a few in different sizes and types and test them out. Then you can stock up on the ones that suit your body and flow.
Color is king. Go for colors and patterns that will make you happy when you pull down your pants. Choose dark colors if you want to hide any stains.

Where To Buy Reusable Pads
Party In My Pants
Luna Pads
Glad Rags

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Hi, I’m Jane, founder and chief blogger on My Five Acres. I’ve lived in six countries and have camped, biked, trekked, kayaked, and explored in 50! At My Five Acres, our mission is to inspire you to live your most adventurous life and help you to travel more and more mindfully.


  1. Comment by Rebecca

    Rebecca Reply August 12, 2013 at 10:15 pm

    To make the reusable pads less icky, use the Diva Cup with them, or use reusable pantyliners instead. http://divacup.com/ The Diva Cup has made that time of the month so much easier and cleaner to deal with!

  2. Comment by RachaelMoon

    RachaelMoon Reply August 10, 2013 at 7:13 am

    I always use hankies, people seem to think they are unsanitary, but they are so handy! I make and sell organic cloth pads in the UK http://www.moontimes.co.uk and I love Moon Sponges too :) we also use cloth nappies and cloth wipes ;)

    • Comment by Jane

      Jane August 10, 2013 at 7:38 am

      Cool, I love the cottage industry that is growing up around this type of product!

  3. Comment by Summer

    Summer Reply August 9, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    Any reasons diapers weren’t discussed? Diapers are certainly reusable.

    • Comment by Jane

      Jane August 10, 2013 at 7:37 am

      Only because I don’t have kids, so can’t write with any authority on the subject. Of course I support using cloth diapers and have several friends with babies who are doing well using them.

  4. Comment by Nicole

    Nicole Reply August 7, 2012 at 5:54 am

    Handkerchiefs! I love them! My grandmother sent me a stash of some she found in a drawer, still in the package (she keeps everthing!), and I love them.
    Reusable pads…started this last year when I realised that the other things were causing all sorts of issues, I had become allergic to them! I found a wonderful creator of these on etsy. While I like the P.I.M.P. pads, the etsy ones are more absorbant. And you know, since I started using them, I haven’t felt icky about my period, at all. AND my daughter wants to use them when her monthly friend begins…WIN!
    Will try to get the whole fam on board for the coffee filters…we have one and I am sad to say it hasn’t been used in forever. It’s the little things that count and add up to big help!

    • Comment by JaneM

      JaneM August 7, 2012 at 8:51 am

      I totally know what you mean about not feeling icky about my period. I find myself looking at my pad and thinking, isn’t that so cute? When’s the last time anyone thought that about a disposable pad?

      If you get a second, please share the Etsy link. I’d love to check out their stock.


  5. Comment by Kathryn

    Kathryn Reply August 7, 2012 at 12:17 am

    Also, moon cups – they are plastic, but you only buy one once and use them forever! http://www.mooncup.co.uk/

    • Comment by JaneM

      JaneM August 7, 2012 at 8:52 am

      I didn’t mention moon cups because I haven’t yet tried them. But I’ve only heard good things from friends who use them.

  6. Comment by mari-aymone djeribi

    mari-aymone djeribi Reply August 1, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Great opinionated blog, delighted to find you, totally agree about reusable stuff, love my handkerchiefs, and have been washing my pads (organic cotton fleeced square that I fold) for years now, I soak them in a basin of salt cold water until the end, do a short cold wash and then a longer 40 degree celsius wash with a full load, I use wash balls along with a tennis ball that gets a dozen drops of tea tree oil. No complaints. Look forward to reading more.

    • Comment by JaneM

      JaneM August 2, 2012 at 9:12 am

      Thanks for the tips on washing pads. I’m still a newbie at this so it’s great to learn some new tricks!

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