Make your sex life sustainable

Jesica Vogt

The last Green Scene column of the year — my personal favorite, what you’ve been wondering all these years at college and the most fun type of “greening” — how to green your sex life!
Right about now, if you’re like most of my friends, you’re all worried I’m going to start talking about all those weird “alternative” menstruation products like the Keeper or scary sea sponges.
Well, relax, none of that here. This column is for both sexes of people, all orientations, and everyone else, too. So keep reading.
Basics first: green birth control. First off, birth control — otherwise known as population control — of any type is fantastic for our planet.
Fewer babies, fewer people, less resources used, more nature preserved, you know this. But, methods of birth control can be more or less sustainable.
The latex condom is the most popular and simple type of birth control, but unfortunately, latex condoms are not reusable. So they wind up in the landfill, where as a virtue of their function, they are guaranteed not to decompose.
There are biodegradable lambskin condoms, but these unfortunately only protect against pregnancy and not STDs, so that is no good. Ultimately, when it comes to condoms, green doesn’t exactly work.
But don’t let that kill the mood. There are other options for birth control. The Pill clearly saves on condom waste, but it doesn’t protect against STDs, and some studies have shown that the hormones from birth control can leach into the water table — not so green.
“Barrier methods,” such as the diaphragm or cervical cap, though often made of nonrenewable materials, are reusable, and protect against pregnancy — they end up being pretty sustainable. Plus, they worked for our parents … most of the time.
Okay, so we’ve got some green and some not-so-green birth control methods. Now let’s take it up a notch — green lubricants. Buying principles with lube are similar to the ones we looked at a few weeks ago in buying shower products. Look at the label for organic ingredients that won’t harm the environment or your body.
If massage oil is more your style, organic massage oil from Earth Botanicals and Living Nature massage oil are both green options. Both Firefly Organics and Yes produce organic lube, free of chemicals, hormones, and petroleum, so they are safe for use with or without condoms. These products are also safe for use with latex, silicone or rubber toys.
Speaking of toys … what are the greenest sex toys? Most conventional, cheaper sex toys are made out of the same plastic that leaches chemicals into our water bottles.
They also tend to break easily and end up in the landfill. However, there are toys made of glass, metal or silicone, all substances that are not only better for the environment, but also for your body.
Of course, silicone never decomposes, which guarantees that it will last forever — whether in your bedside drawer, or in the landfill. The rule with buying sex toys should be, as with all you buy, quality so it lasts as long as you do and doesn’t need to be replaced.
There is also the issue of power in toys: if it’s a power tool, where is the “power” coming from? Rechargeable batteries are often a good choice. And there is even a solar powered vibrator on the market: Solar Sensations, complete with a fold out solar charger!
So, with this green knowledge in hand, enjoy many late nights. And feel oh, oh, OH so good while doing the earth some good too!