Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science
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OBSERVING ENVIRONMENSTRUAL WEEK OF ACTION | Event Date: Saturday, 20th, October 2018



‘Environmenstrual Week of Action’ is one of the premier initiatives focused on all things period related - especially adopting environmental-friendly menstrual products and disposal practices. Promoted by Women’s Environmental Network (WEN), along with their sponsors Thames Water and Anglian Water, the campaign is a call to action through widespread awareness events and social media influence. In India, Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science (HITS), Chennai is the first Educational Institute to join the global campaign with the Department of Fashion, Design, and Arts contributing to the awareness activities held from 15th - 18th October 2018.

Getting involved with the ‘Environmenstrual Week of Action’ opened up an opportunity to discuss several aspects of menstrual awareness as well as environmental concern. The first year B.Sc and B.Des Fashion Design students of the institute were involved in the awareness activities under their “Environmental Studies” course covering causes of pollution due to lack of awareness. Apart from discussions on topics spanning the effect of taboos on health and environment to the availability of sustainable menstrual products, the students' creative strengths were put to use in employing visual awareness within the campus. Divided into groups, they were encouraged to construct large-scale 10 feet by 6 feet abstract designs of the vulva using recycled materials. The completed artworks were then hung in front of the campus's Jubilee Block to break the taboo and spread the campaign's message among the institute's 6000 students. A few take away action for others to contribute in saving the environment:
• Do not flush your sanitary pads and tampons down the toilet, wrap it in paper and bin it, even those labeled biodegradable can take months to break down, thus clogging the pipes and polluting the marine environments.
• Switch to sustainable alternatives such as washable pads, reusable period underwear, and menstrual cups, which are not only sustainable but economical too or use 100% Biodegradable products made out of organic material without any plastic content.