Is green sex the next sustainability step? As we fight for a more sustainable future, here's how you can bring eco-friendly practices into your sex life.
Conventional condoms, sex toys, lingerie and other products are typically made from petroleum-based plastics which are awful for the environment. Not only do many of these products release harmful microplastics, but their production can lead to oil spills, greenhouse gas emissions and water waste.
Plus, plastic sex products might not last as long as more sustainable materials such as glass, wood and steel. And when plastic products wear down, they contribute to waste in our landfills. Next time you’re in the market for some new products, keep an eco-friendly mindset and opt for items which allow for more green sex.
If you use condoms during sex, you can cut down on your environmental impact by choosing non-latex condoms. Synthetic latex condoms are often made using chemical processing and additives, meaning they cannot be recycled, and end up in the landfill after their single use. Next time you need to restock on condoms, look into companies offering sustainable vegan condoms. There are many options ranging from fair-trade, chemical-free latex to latex-free condoms.
Conventional sex toys are typically made of non-biodegradable plastics. Good news is, more and more companies are coming out with sustainable options. There are hypoallergenic butt plugs made from sustainable materials, biodegradable Kegel balls (UK only), wooden dildos, and glass dildos, all made to last. These materials provide the pleasure and comfort you’re looking for, without taking a toll on the climate.
For more green sex, use sustainable and natural lube. Avoid petroleum-based lubricants, and instead opt for lubes made with natural ingredients. There are many different types, including water-based and hemp-based lubes, made with organic ingredients safe for the environment and your body. We recommend Sustain’s organic lubricant which has no petroleum, silicon, parabens or glycerin. Other options include BabeLube Natural and TOCA‘s natural lubricants.
You can also DIY your lube, and simply use some coconut oil or aloe vera. Both work great, typically come in sustainable packaging (or no packaging at all if you go with an aloe vera plant) and you probably already have at least one in your home. Just make sure to use 100% pure aloe vera with no additives, if you go the store-bought route. Otherwise, you can easily make aloe vera gel at home.
While it’s easier to find strap-ons and anal beads made with the environment in mind, vibrators are a bit more difficult. Typically, vibrators are made using silicone or plastic and are not biodegradable. Gaia is an innovative brand which produced the first recyclable and biodegradable vibrator. It is phthalate-free and plant-based. You can buy the eco vibrator here on Amazon**.
5. Natural Massage Oil
Use natural massage oil which is good for your skin and the planet. Two great options include coconut oil and aloe vera, both of which also work as lubricant. Using these makes sex less complicated, as you can double your massage oil as lube. If you don’t have either of these around the house, you can also use avocado oil, almond oil or even olive oil. Add a few drops of an essential oil such as lavender or jasmine for a nice aroma.
6. Skip the Shower Sex and Tech Sex
Another easy way to have green sex is to avoid certain activities. Shower sex is a great example. Not only is shower sex rarely as fun as people hope, but it wastes a lot of water. Especially if you live in an area with drought, it’s best to skip out on shower sex altogether.
Technology-based sex is a more recent innovation that can be avoided as well. There are apps available now in order to control sex toys via your smartphone, film sexy videos for your partner, and more. While these apps can be fun, we recommend avoiding them so as not to put yourself at risk of security breaches. Sticking with old fashioned glass, wood and steel toys helps you reduce your screen time and energy use, and keeps you safe from hackers.
7. Sustainable Lingerie
Avoid petroleum-based lingerie made from nylon, acrylic, polyester and spandex. Instead, look for organic, sustainable materials made by socially-minded companies focused on ethical production. We recommend brands such as Azura Bay and Cosabella.
8. Shop at Local, Alternative Sex-Shops
For further sustainable sex toys, lingerie, vibrators, lubricants, massage oils, condoms and more, check out specialized eco-friendly sex shops. These alternative sex shops are becoming more popular across the US. If you live in a city, it’s likely you have an eco-friendly sex shop nearby.
If you don’t have a local sex shop, you can shop online. Try places such as As You Like It, a woman-owned, eco-conscious sex shop with two Oregon locations in Eugene and Ashland. Feelmore is a Black and queer-owned sex shop with locations in Oakland and Berkeley, California. Shop in person or check out their website for all sorts of eco-friendly sex supplies. .
9. Opt for Dark Sheets
One of the easiest tips for more green sex is to buy and use dark-colored sheets. Lighter-colored sheets can be easily stained in the course of having sex, so you have to replace sheets more frequently. If you don’t want to lay down an old towel all the time, consider opting for darker-colored sheets to prevent discoloration.
If you want the brightening-effect of a white bed, maybe use a white duvet-cover but go for a forest green or deep maroon fitted sheet. This way, messes won’t be so difficult to recover from, and you can cut down on your waste and consumption.
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