WGRC gives away $1,500 in reusable period products to promote sustainability


Riley Fletcher

First-year Kylie Torres attends the “Period Party” at the Women’s and Gender Resource Center on October 27th.

by Riley Fletcher, Staff Reporter

The Women’s and Gender Resource Center (WGRC) held a sustainable period party on Oct. 26. Their goal was to provide people who get periods with sustainable options for “handling their flow.”

Triniti Krauss is a member of the WGRC who helped plan the period party and strongly believes in the importance of sustainability.

“As part of our sustainable commitment, we did not order any products before this event because things like period underwear or menstrual cups, you have different sizes, different bodies and different preferences,” Krauss said. “Somebody who has a vagina and menstruates might not feel comfortable in a typical bikini-style underwear and there are other options out there, so if somebody wants those other options, we want to provide them.”

The event gave students the opportunity to sign up to receive various sustainable period products: menstrual cups, reusable pads and period underwear. Attendees could sign up to receive items ordered to size, style and comfortability. 

The student government association allocated $1,500 for the event, but Kraus says they are willing to ask SGA for more funds if the orders exceed the original budget. The WGRC also got a sponsorship from menstrual cup brand DivaCup to help lower the cost.

“Period products are really expensive, and reusable period products are even more expensive,” Kraus said. “So we wanted to provide low cost or no cost period product options to our campus community. Having a sustainable and reusable option means you’re going to be able to spend less on your tampons, your pads, or whatever your period option is now, which is really important because we’re college kids and we’re kind of poor. To be able to reduce some of those costs for our campus community is really important, especially with overcoming COVID times.”

The party also educated participants on the impact of traditional single-use period products.

“Period products contribute to a lot of waste,” Krauss said. “Things like tampons and pads, the FDA doesn’t regulate those, so you literally don’t know what you’re shoving up your vagina. That can cause a lot of problems. It can cause discomfort. It can cause irritation.”

A menstruating person is likely to use between 12,000-15,000 pads, tampons and panty liners in a lifetime. The Center for Marine Conservation claims that they collected over 170,000 tampon applicators along the U.S. coastal areas in one year.

Heidi Ekborg-Ott is a member of the WGRC who was also involved in the planning of the party.

“The idea came to us towards the very beginning of the semester when we were laying out all of our ideas for things we could do with the WGRC,” Ekborg-Ott said. “We were like, ‘What should we do that supports the LGBTQ+ community? What do we do that supports women?’ So this was one of the events that would specifically support women and people with periods in general.”

The sustainable period party also aimed to show people that periods do not have to be shameful.

“We, being us people who menstruate, are often shamed because we have blood come out of our vaginas. It’s like we’re supposed to keep it secret when I’m in so much pain,” Krauss said. “I have blood literally pouring out of my vagina, and I have to do all my schoolwork. I have to go to work, and I’m in tons of pain. Why should I have to keep that secret? So, part of this party is to break the stigma surrounding periods.”