I absolutely recommend reusable menstrual pads, although I've never used them before because I use a menstrual cup by The Keeper (have used DivaCup in the past). Typical pads and tampons are full of chemicals and are not biodegradable (billions end up in landfills every year), and on average women spend around $100 a year on these supplies. Reusable alternatives on the other hand are made of safe materials like cotton (pads) or silicon & rubber (cups) and there's a one time fee of about $35 - reusable pads and cups can last up to 10 years, which would save women close to $600! Both products are easy to care for - just wash them regularly. Reusable options are just as effective as the throw-away kind, but most women are unfamiliar with them and thus nervous to try them, but trust me, it's a life changer.
As far as being out and about, you can carry an extra pad around to change or use a heavy flow option - you can bring along a sealable, washable bag to place them in until you get home. Menstrual cups are easy - most women can make it all day, but if you have a heavy flow then you can empty them out in any bathroom, then simply wipe them off or rinse them in the sink before re-inserting.
There are a few options for reusable menstrual pads, which can be bought in some natural stores or online. They are all about the same, just a difference in availability, price, and patterns.
- Lunapads are made by DivaCup, so they're probably the easiest to find, and they're made from organic cotton
- GladRags are also quite popular, and they're also organic
- There are tons of individuals selling reusable sanitary pads online, such as Moonpads on etsy and New Moon Pads.