By Abby Moss
There are lots of little ways we can try to help the planet – whether that’s recycling, eating less meat or (as I did this year and I’m quite pleased about it) getting a fizzy water maker instead of buying bottled water. But what about our sex lives – how can we make these more eco-friendly, whether we’re single, in a relationship or dating?
We’ve got some tips and advice on how to make your sex life kinder for the planet…
Wait… my sex life is damaging the environment?
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but yeah possibly. The UN estimates that every year more than 10 billion latex condoms are manufactured and the vast majority of these end up in landfill. Most latex used in condoms is synthetic, meaning it’s manufactured using chemicals such as polyurethane (itself derived from petrol, which contributes even more to its carbon footprint) and which takes years to biodegrade. As they break down, they also release these chemicals which can then end up in soils and water sources, seriously contaminating the environment.
Sex toys are also often wasteful and polluting – made from petrol-derived plastics and often battery-powered. Lithium batteries (the most common type in small appliances like sex toys) can cause landfill fires which result in plumes of chemical-laden smoke that can travel for miles. The corrosive chemicals in the batteries also leak out as they age and damage soil and water, killing plants and marine life.
But I don’t have to give up sex toys right?!
Nope! Luckily, there are loads of great companies out there who are starting to change the scene by creating great, safe and stylish toys that are better for the environment. One of these is The Natural Love Company, who use all sustainable materials – their range of glass dildos is especially classy –, zero plastic packaging, carbon-negative delivery AND for every product you buy they’ll plant a tree. Another brand I’m really into is Love Not War, who make a super sustainable (and really stylish) wand vibrator, the Koi. It’s palm-sized but very powerful, and it has a rose gold base that can be switched with interchangeable heads – basically making it a whole collection of sex toys in one.
A number of mainstream brands are now making moves towards becoming greener too. Absolute orgasmic fave Womanizer now have an eco toy in their range too, the Womanizer Premium Eco, which is a completely biodegradable version of their most well known toy.
What about condoms and lube?
Obviously skipping on condoms is not a good idea. And lube is an important part of safe and pleasurable sex too. Although synthetic latex isn’t biodegradable, natural latex is entirely composed of rubber, which is a natural compound made of sap from rubber trees. This natural rubber breaks down much more easily and doesn’t release nasties into the environment when it does. Hanx make natural and vegan condoms and they offer a subscription service so you’ll never find yourself having to make a midnight dash to the off-licence again. If you have a latex allergy, Glyde have a range of more environmentally friendly non-latex condoms, as well as a range of dental dams and femidoms.
And as for lube, there are loads of great options for eco-friendly and cruelty-free products. There’s this one with especially nice packaging from East London brand Neighbourhood Botanical, or there’s this one that looks like high-end hand wash (you could easily just keep it out on the dresser without upsetting your mum).
What else can I do to have a greener sex life?
Use Feeld to reduce your dating commute
Have you been travelling long distances for dates? We feel you, a great human connection can definitely be worth a bit of a journey – but meeting people more local to you is greener and, let’s face it, more practical. Feeld Cores are areas where there are a lot of Feeld users, such as London, New York and Berlin.
But if you’re not in (or close to) one of these cities, you can also check into a virtual location: Staying At Home, Remote Trios, or, for those looking to cut out the small-talk, Fantasy Bunker.
Attend more eco-friendly sex parties and events
And what about sex parties and events? A lot of safe spaces for sex-positive people are making moves towards a greener future.
Daniel Saynt is founder of the New Society For Wellness (NSFW) a sex and cannabis-friendly private members club in Manhattan, NYC. As well as choosing eco-friendly condoms and lubes at their events, in 2022 Daniel will be focusing on more nature-oriented events as a way to reconnect with his Tiano roots and encourage members to connect with the natural world. ‘We are hosting a festival in May which will be eco-conscious and help our members reconnect to the earth and to find more spiritual sex practices,’ says Daniel. ‘My hope is to help introduce more people to culturally native ways of approaching love, gender and relationships. Our relationship to the earth is a big part of this.’
Recycle your old toys
And no, before you ask, this doesn’t mean taking your old sex toys down to your local charity shop (definitely don’t do this). There are various services that will recycle the useable parts of your sex toys (the plastics, the electrical components and rechargeable batteries). This super handy blog explains how it works and includes a list of companies and services that will recycle your old toys.
How to make your sex life more eco friendly in four easy steps:
1 - Switch to more sustainable toys, lubes and condoms
2 - Use Feeld to find dates closer to you
3 - Choose to attend more eco-conscious events and parties
4 - Use services that recycle old toys