A Guide of Green Alternatives for those looking for a more eco-friendly approach to sexuality.
Recently, there has been a lot of talk surrounding eco-sustainability in various aspects of daily life, including recycling tips or opting for “long-term” materials over plastic. These topics have become extremely popular, and we can apply the same idea to the choices that affect our own sexual habits.
Let’s start with the most common factor in sexual practices: choosing the method of protection against STIs and unwanted pregnancies. While green alternatives do exist, there are actually just a few. For example, condoms (internal, external, and oral dams), like any disposable product, are not considered to be “friends” with the environment. However, with some extra steps, you can minimise their negative impact.
In order to make a more conscientious choice, we would recommend paying close attention to the product’s composition - bonus points if it’s vegan. In addition, strive for packaging that uses as little plastic as possible, and check if the product is Fair Trade Certified, which guarantees optimal working conditions during production.
One eco-friendly example is Luwi, an internal polyurethane condom that does not contain casein. Plus, the company is openly respectful towards all those who play a part in the production process.
Whichever option you choose, remember that condoms must be properly disposed of in the generic waste along with their wrappers, only after they have been carefully removed and tied into a knot, in order to ensure that seminal fluid does not leak out. They should never be disposed of down the toilet, in nature, or with plastic waste!
Organic lubricant lines are definitely out there, and they guarantee a product that is both body-safe and safe for the planet. One example is Sliquid’s Organics, which offers a wide choice of lubricants (plus a stimulating gel and a cleaning product for toys), with a base formula infused with botanical, organic, vegan, and skin-friendly extracts, in addition to attentive packaging created with recyclable materials.
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Meanwhile, those who love harnesses, chokers, handcuffs, or whips that are not made from animals should check out vegan products, such as the Maze line of Bijoux Indiscrets in polyurethane.
It is true, however, that polyurethane is known to be a controversial material for several reasons, particularly when considering its disposal. While it does have a long lifecycle, most of its material is not biodegradable since it is made from oil. Once it is no longer used, it accumulates in landfills.
Making eco-friendly choices starts with basic reasoning: opt for long-lasting materials free of chemicals and pollutants. Yes, silicone lasts a lot longer than ordinary plastic, but there are also other alternatives made from completely natural and resilient materials.
Two durable and 100% recyclable materials, steel and aluminum, are among the greenest choices of all. These are usually the preferred choice for their distinct texture and the feeling of “fullness” you can achieve with them, especially when it comes to anal plugs. Their maintenance is very simple; you can even wash them in the dishwasher like any of your utensils!
You can also find these characteristics when it comes to stone or ceramics products, which usually have a distinctly refined aesthetic.
Persian Palm, a Tuscan company founded by two women with an idea, crafts ceramic toys quality-tested with specific treatments, which make them more resistant than other toys. Plus, they’re hand-painted with natural dyes made from food, and come in many patterns to satisfy all tastes!
If you prefer the minimal elegance found in stone, a Norwegian brand has just the product for you: Laid. Granite anal plugs or dildos use weight to their advantage to put pressure on pleasure points. Similar to the other materials mentioned above, stone is an excellent friend for those who love temperature play, since it can easily be heated and cooled (all you need is water!)
Wood is another excellent, eco-friendly and natural alternative. Due to its processing method, it offers different experiences than what you would normally get with heavier materials. Now, if you’re thinking, “What about splinters?”, you don’t have to worry. The certified products are made especially to avoid breakage and can be used safely. Take bamboo cutlery, for example--it isn’t scary to put that in your mouth, is it?
Last, but certainly not least given its popularity, is glass. This is another material that can seem frightening in terms of breakage, but the same idea applies. Clearly, as with any object, they are not indestructible. But if used with care and attention, their durability does not disappoint.
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However, the meticulous manufacturing processes, long production times, and numerous resistance tests that go into these products mean that they are not suitable for pockets of all sizes. Plus, when they are made without molds, they can be real pieces of art.
The best way to ensure an (everlasting) green product is to combine the search for the best materials with attention to the brand’s reputation and its production. Additionally, even if you are buying a long-lasting product that you hope to enjoy for a long time, it’s always useful to know how to do so, if the occasion arises.
Here’s the solution: It must be disposed of in landfills, along with toys made of any other material with vibrating parts.