by Leah Dwyer
OrganiCup is pairing with colleges to provide free organic menstrual cups to students. From the date of publishing until Dec. 20*, Purchase students and alumni can claim a free OrganiCup to be picked up in the spring through this link: https://organicup.typeform.com/to/LQnBslUa.
A menstrual cup is a reusable feminine hygiene product. It is a small silicone or rubber cup that is inserted into the vagina to catch the menstrual flow. The cup gets cleaned between uses with soap and warm water, and can be used for years.
Sophie Bell, a junior biology major and the school’s student sustainability coordinator, took charge of getting OrganiCup’s campus cup initiative implemented at Purchase. Bell said, “I was very lucky to work with the sustainability committee, who were all extremely supportive of my push for this initiative.”
According to OrganiCup, a medium-sized university uses as much as 2.9 million disposable period products per year. One OrganiCup is equivalent to 528 tampons, thus providing 99.9 percent less waste.
Their website states, “We’re on a journey to change the way periods affect our lives, our bodies and our environment.”
Bell’s idea of partnering with the company started with Els Van-den-bosch, a member of Purchase’s sustainability committee, who brought it to Bell’s attention a few months ago. Tom Kelly, the senior energy manager, encouraged the implementation with the reasoning that the limitation of waste would help the school’s facilities management team. Bell brought the idea to Angie Kim, the sustainability coordinator, and was encouraged to get it put in place.
Bell then reached out to OrganiCup and got the link set up.
“Getting this idea approved was pretty easy- it is completely free, so I had no need for a budget request,” said Bell. “All I had to do was a lot of outreach and planning!”
In the piedmont.org article, Should You Or Should You Not Try A Menstrual Cup, a Piedmont obstetrician and gynecologist, Obosa Osawe, M.D. discusses the benefits of menstrual cups; they are often cheaper than pads or tampons, they reduce irritation and vaginal dryness some experience from pads and tampons, create less mess and odor, fewer leaks and they have a longer wear time. The cons however are, discomfort when inserted improperly and they are hard to clean in public.
“Menstrual cups are just as safe as tampons and pads,” says Dr. Osawe. “While it takes some time to get used to using a menstrual cup, most women are very happy with the result once they adjust to using it.”
“I want to emphasize that there’s no need to feel guilty if you don’t.” She said, “If you aren’t comfortable using a cup, it doesn’t mean you don’t care about sustainability; there are plenty of other ways that you can show your love for our planet.”
OrganiCup believes, “It’s important to break the silence by raising awareness and supporting the efforts to destigmatize periods and challenge that cultural taboo.”
Bell’s motivations aligned with OrganiCup’s mission. She said, “Change can’t come without communication, and there’s no reason not to talk about your period!”
*If you miss the Dec. 20 deadline, you can grab an OrganiCup on their website for 30% off with the Purchase specific code SUPU30.