A posting at Feministing brought up the topic of reusable menstrual products.
One of my pleas for the environment is for women to reduce the amount of disposables they use. Even if menstrual cups or flannel pads aren't for you, choose products that use the least toxic, polluting, or non-biodegradable components as possible. Especially don't use plastic applicator tampons - cardboard or manual insert only. You don't need pads individually wrapped in plastic - to carry supplies with you, keep a few pads or tampons in a clean zippered bag that gets reused and can be washed.
Plastic is forever. Once a plastic product is made, it persists in the environment forever as trash. Plastic items accumulate in areas of the open ocean where currents create eddies, creating an ugly soup. Beaches on remote islands have pill bottles and tampon applicators wash up on them. Plastics don't "biodegrade" but they do leach chemicals into the water and soil. Some of these chemicals are suspected of being endocrine disruptors. See Science Blogs and Deep Sea News for more particulars.