|Submission Date||Feb. 28, 2021|
University of Pittsburgh
IN-47: Innovation A
|0.50 / 0.50||
Sustainability Program Coordinator
Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:
In Fall 2019, Pitt Planned Parenthood and the Student Office of Sustainability purchased 400 reusable menstrual cups and 46 menstrual pads, with additional inserts. On February 21, 2020, the Student Office of Sustainability and Pitt’s Planned Parenthood Generations Club hosted the Zero Waste Period event, providing reusable products to 127 attendees.
In addition to this event, over a dozen people were able to collect products in the Student Office of Sustainability during office hours.
Each menstrual cup will divert an average of 3,000 tampons or pads over a 10 year time frame, vastly reducing the amount of landfill waste created by single-use menstrual products. In addition to diverting waste, the project tackles menstrual equity and access to basic needs, like hygiene products, on campus and around the world. Our partner, DotCup, donates one reusable cup for each one purchased. This means that 400 cups will be donated as a result of this project, with 250 of those cups going directly to the Pitt Pantry and the rest going internationally to where the need exists.
For their work on this initiative, Pitt Planned Parenthood and the SOOS received a 2020 Pitt Sustainability Award: https://www.sustainable.pitt.edu/pitt-sustainability-awards/
The Zero Waste Period project was a part of an overall effort driven by the Pitt Public Health student group "Period," Pitt Planned Parenthood, Student Government Board, and the Student Office of Sustainability to provide menstrual products free of charge to any student in need. Because 1 in 5 people report not having easy access to period products, the theme of this campaign was “Menstrual products are not a luxury. Period.”
This project expanded the conversations surrounding menstrual and individual rights on our campus. As single use dispensers providing free period products are installed across campus (there are 10 locations on currently), we improve both our physical infrastructure and our campus culture to support our students and meet their basic needs, particularly regarding hygiene.
Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Diversity & Affordability
A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the innovation is available :
Additional documentation to support the submission:
Pitt University Times 2019 Story on Zero Waste Period: https://www.utimes.pitt.edu/news/student-project-leads
The information presented here is self-reported. While AASHE staff review portions of all STARS reports and institutions are welcome to seek additional forms of review, the data in STARS reports are not verified by AASHE. If you believe any of this information is erroneous or inconsistent with credit criteria, please review the process for inquiring about the information reported by an institution and complete the Data Inquiry Form.