I get the distinct feeling that most people don't like talking about this. You read about greening pretty much everything else on a constant basis - your food choices, heating, transportation, entertainment, clothing, etc., but there is a fairly huge void when it comes to one of those basic human needs - sex.
Now, I generally don't like to pry into your personal lives, okay who am I kidding, it's one of my favorite past times, so let's just jump right on in.
Contraception - Unless you or your partner has been fixed or your eggs are past their pull date, this is most likely an area of concern for you. Most of the non-surgical options have a heavy environmental impact. Not that getting fixed doesn't have any environmental cost, but it's a fixed cost. Get it? Fixed cost? Moving on...
Birth control pills or, really, any estrogen or progestin interrupter-based contraception has environmental consequences outside of the manufacturing, packaging and transportation. These chemicals get excreted by the users and end up in places we don't want them. Scientists are finding increasing amounts of these hormones in our waterways, harming the fish populations and eventually finding their way back into our drinking water. Hormonal IUDs have the same potential consequence so copper IUDs may be a better bet if that's your chosen contraception.
Barrier methods such as condoms, diaphragms and the cervical cap vary in their impact. While a condom provides additional protection in the way of disease control, they are single use items and aren't exactly sustainable. Diaphragms and the cap are at least reusable so you are looking at the one-time manufacturing, packaging and distribution issue.
Disease Protection - I'm calling this out separate from the contraception because, while condoms are generally used for contraception as well as disease protection there are a number of other pieces of, um, equipment that get employed for this use as well, namely dental dams and the like. Again, you are looking at the impact of manufacturing, etc. but the benefits far outweigh the cost when you consider the potential for avoiding disease.
Of course, no method of birth control available today offers perfect protection against sexually transmitted infections except abstinence. So, what's a sexually active person to do? One thing is to get yourself into a stable relationship and get tested for STDs and use a reusable method of contraception that doesn't have the hormone issues going on with it. Of course, this may not necessarily be practical for everyone, but that's pretty much the lowest impact as I see it.
Fun and games - I'm not about to suggest that you switch over your favorite sex toys to a wood version, but do be mindful of the materials with which they are made. Far too many toys are made with plastics, poly vinyl chloride (PVC) and the like. I'm sure there are natural latex and rubber based items out there that will satisfy. If you have an allergy to latex then look into more natural items like fruits and vegetables where the impact is definitely lower.
For those wanting something with a little more oomph, you can find glass or metal toys. If you are truly concerned that your dildo is causing global warming, you can even spring for a solar powered vibrator. And don't forget the organic, natural-based lube. Just stay away from the used products - not that there are any consignment sex shops around.
Finally, instead of renting porn, opt for it on-demand through your cable or satellite or download it online. You'll save yourself from the car trip, the consumption of plastic and the leers of the guy working the counter.
For your consideration - Do you think about the environmental impact when making choices related to your sex life or are these concerns so far apart in your mind that you don't even consider it?
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