Menstrual cups offer more sustainable option to UNH women
Published: Friday, April 30, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02
For women on campus who are looking for a way to make their lives more environmentally friendly, menstrual cups may be the way to go.
One well-known menstrual cup is The DivaCup. It is a revolutionary menstrual cup that has existed since the 1930s, but many people know about it. It is a silicone cup that is meant to replace the need for tampons and pads. Instead of being discarded after use, it can be washed and reinserted. The company recommends that the cups, which cost $25, are replaced yearly.
Here at UNH, many female students have taken the initiative and made the switch.
According to Carinne Chambers, inventor of The DivaCup, women can choose to be environmentally responsible each month by using the The DivaCup instead of disposable tampons and pads.
"This is no small matter," Chambers said. "In the U.S. alone, billions of tampons and pads are dumped into landfills and the environment each year."
Sophomore Alina Harris said she couldn't agree more. After watching her cousin open one as a Christmas present two years ago, she bought one for herself soon after. Her reasons for using it are practically endless.
"I believe it is the most sustainable way to handle your period," Harris said. "Tampons are expensive and are a pain to run to the store for. Also, they are typically non-organic and bleached, which creeps me out. I don't want to have chemicals in the area that I later may have a baby."
Harris said that it is more secure and comfortable, as well.
"I find it to be very comfortable once it is inside of you, and there is never discomfort from a dry tampon," Harris said. "I usually forget that it is even there. I find myself at the end of my cycle thinking, ‘Oh, it's done already?'"
UNH student Elizabeth Voltairine de Cleyre loves her Moon Cup, which is another brand of reusable cups.
"I got my Moon Cup right before I went to India, and it was such a blessing since I was living with locals in towns where you throw your trash on the street--there's no such thing as a dump there," Voltairine de Cleyre said. "I couldn't imagine living with locals and tossing out a used tampon on their doorstep. I was so grateful that I had bought a cup just before."
Different forms of menstrual cups can be ordered for female students through Health Services. According to Peter Welch, a sexual education and meditation teacher and counselor at Health Services, when students come in, it's usually their first time ever hearing about an alternative to tampons.
"I think they are so important for women because not only does it make women more comfortable with what their bodies feel like and look like, these cups are sustainable," Welch said.
The DivaCup and other menstrual cups can be bought online and are also available at the Health Food Store in Portsmouth, N.H.