Photo by Isabel Atkinson
A new campaign to raise awareness about waste reduction was launched by the Associated Students Recycling program. Starting small, three members of AS Recycling joined together to embark on a mission that will inform the female student body about sustainable beauty and hygiene products.
“Traditionally, women are the largest consumers of society and there are so many products thrown at us that we feel we need,” said fourth-year global studies major Brooke Holland. “I don’t know if that’s the guilt of our own imperfection, or whatever the psychological reason behind consuming mass amounts of products to make ourselves feel beautiful and healthy is, [but] to feel beautiful and healthy are two things that are extremely important for our self-worth.”
Many women choose products they are familiar with or trust, and unconsciously disregard the enormous environmental issues they contribute to. As a result, the campaign spreads awareness of steps that can be taken to prevent this.
“Good, better, best is kind of what we’ve been discussing… the direction we want to go in. There are things you can do yourself and if you can’t do it yourself there are better businesses you can support who are creating these products,” said Holland. “To really expose alternatives is our number one, because women are the number one consumer and so if we can address these habits at this time we can make, hopefully an impact. We care about the environment. A lot of people on this campus do too. I think they just feel paralyzed because the scope of the problem is so large, they don’t know what steps they can take.”
One product in particular that the campaign endorses is called the DivaCup. This revolutionary, yet relatively old product has been circulating since the 1930s. The DivaCup can save not only money, but also the environment and half a semi-truck load of tampons and pads. The Food Drug Administration approved the alternative menstrual product that holds fluid for 12 hours and lasts about 10 years.
“It’s thirty bucks per cup and the savings are incredible- you’re saving $200 per year,” said third-year earth science major Sadie Gill. “You’re also saving thousands of pounds of garbage from going to landfills and you’re keeping tampon applicators off our beaches.”
Utilized as a starting point, the DivaCup is the first of many sustainable products that the group encourages. They plan to hold workshops to educate female students in regards to various ways they can save the environment by using earth friendly products. Recipes for do-it-yourself remedies will also be provided.
“We’re not here as a sales person trying to get everyone on board to buy a product. It’s more of this overarching theme of just trying to find more sustainable ways that women can take care of themselves,” said Holland.
At the initial stages, raising awareness is crucial and getting students on board is a vital step. Speaking to sororities and creating presentations is a tactic the campaign has utilized.
“High achieving young women have a huge perfection problem and it manifests in disgusting amounts of consumerism. We just want to talk about it,” said Gill.
Students desire to purchase what is most available and cheapest. However, many remain ignorant to the tremendous impact they have on the environment, while others choose to stay oblivious to the fact. Thus, an important question continues to linger.
“How do you convince people to do the right thing when the wrong thing is convenient and supported by more people?” said Gill.
The campaign has chosen to take on the challenge, and so their journey