Spreading the Word About Reusables

This is Rebecca H.’s story of her second year presenting reusable menstrual options to women at her university. We love that she’s continuing to help others make informed choices about their bodies — you rock, Rebecca!

I just wanted to thank you again for sending me some GladRags coupons and information a while back for the program that I was putting on about green feminine products. I had my program tonight at seven, and it went over really well.

I started by telling the girls my thoughts when I first heard about reusable menstrual products and how disgusting I thought they sounded but that after looking into the products more, I realized they weren’t so nasty after all. On that note, I asked that the girls keep an open mind going into the program and said that they could judge the crap out of me at the end—after they had the information. That got a chuckle. I followed that by talking about the amount of waste generated by disposable products and then talked about the cost and savings of using green products.

I had samples from three different companies, so I told my residents about the different brands and how they differ slightly in their construction and absorption. I know a lot of my residents use tampons and are also extremely active in the outdoors, so I spent the next half of the program telling the girls about menstrual cups and how convenient they can be because you don’t have to worry if you packed enough tampons for your trip and there is no waste to pack out when camping. That’s one thing I love about menstrual cups; it takes the guess work out of how much “supplies” I need to bring on trips!

The group of girls that came was really open to the concept of reusable products and that made the program run very smoothly. They were very interactive, and I discovered that two of the girls already use cloth pads and love them. That was awesome to know because they were willing to share with the group their experience with cloth pads.

I bought snacks and some organic tampons from our local Co-Op and at the end of the program I had a raffle drawing with the tampons and cloth pad donations that I received. Most of the girls seemed genuinely excited to try cloth pads, and I urged them to at least try them before they make their decision on if cloth pads are a good alternative for them.

I will be returning to UW-Stevens Point and will be working in the residence halls this fall for one more semester before I transfer to begin in a nursing program. I sincerely hope to put this program on one more time before I leave UW-Stevens Point. This was my second year doing the program, and I honestly love doing it. I feel like when my residents actually have a chance to see and feel green alternatives, their perceptions about the products change.

I realize not everyone I spoke with tonight will switch to cloth, but last year after my program two girls did. It was such a rewarding feeling when they told me they switched because of the information I provided them. I hope this year’s program also opened some eyes and more women will make the switch.