“I need a pad right now,” is something you may have thought this month, beginning another cycle of contemplating what you will need in order to manage your period. I feel like I am often having to make a choice between my comfort, convenience, wellbeing, and things that I care about. Recently, the supply of tampons has been unstable, Bloomberg reports, due to an increase in demand. So what can you do?

A great option, as an alternative to other period products or as a supplement, is the menstrual cup. One of my friends, a college student, tells me, “I have so many positive things to say about this [..] not only is it super convenient, it’s comfortable if you use it correctly, and I feel good about using it because I feel like I’m playing a small part in helping to mitigate waste and environmental degradation.” Her cup is from Flex, a menstrual product brand that offers several different styles of menstrual cup. Flex also offers a student discount.

My own experience with a DivaCup reflects hers: there can be a learning curve to using a cup, and the maintenance can feel burdensome (washing with boiling water or soap between uses is often recommended by the manufacturer), but I have found that the challenges are far outweighed by the prospect of reducing waste. “It has changed my life and I rave about it to everyone I know,” my friend says enthusiastically.

Accessing period products and other forms of menstrual care can be extraordinarily difficult for many people worldwide. Organizations like Goonj, a non-profit based in New Delhi, India, work to promote conversations about menstrual care and provide people with period products made with donated materials in order to reduce waste. #HappyPeriod, a US-based non-profit also focused on menstrual equity, has launched initiatives to increase menstrual education and provide reusable and single use products to youth through workshops.

Your efforts to reduce waste do not have to end with you or your family. Environmental sustainability is dependent on equitable access to sustainable products. Supporting your community and others in increasing access to menstrual care is crucial to the wellbeing of both people and the environment. If possible, take a few minutes to research what people in your community have been doing to work towards menstrual equity. And consider buying a menstrual cup. I highly recommend it.





More reading


The First Black Menstrual Movement https://www.hashtaghappyperiod.org/

Amber Crenna-Armstrong graduated from Davis High School Spring 2020 amidst the pandemic lockdown. Below is a captured image of the author from a video where The Practice Space Executive Director Ann Marie Baines highlights Amber as a dynamic speaker from TPS community. In a recent speech, Amber mentioned their role in the 2019 Climate Strike in Davis and described their positive experience as a participant in the TPS Expressive Leader program at Davis High School in its first year, then as a mentor for 2021-2022. Amber was also a key member of the 2021-2022 Junior Board of Directors, a group of TPS program alumni that help refine existing programs and activities and advance equity.

Below is a short video of Amber’s recent speech at The Practice Space 5th Anniversary Celebration: