We don’t consider ourselves environmental experts, warriors or champions but we care about our planet. With all of the hype at the moment around things like the Extinction Rebellion and David Attenborough’s ‘Our Planet’, we thought we would do our bit and write an article about how you can reduce your environmental footprint while still enjoying sex.
Here is a list of guidelines you can follow to enjoy sex in a more environmentally sustainable way. We researched these tips from people and organisations who know better than us (such as Greenpeace).
Ordering from companies that operate and manufacture their toys in the same country as you is an obvious choice. For a start you are reducing the carbon footprint of long hauling or flying products around the world. At the very least, you could try to make sure that the company you deal with is on the same continent as you.
If you’re not ordering from manufacturers in the same country as you then you should at least be able to find a shop based in the same country you are.
Here at Obsession Rouge we live in the European Union. While we don’t claim that the EU is doing everything they could, they have got regulations in place. The EU has reduced it’s manufacturing carbon footprint since the 1990’s and is continuing to regulate companies. Therefore we feel most comfortable when we buy sex toys and accessories from European manufacturers. We already know that those companies are regulated to some degree, so it reduces the amount of risk we take when ordering from them.
Some other countries and continents aren’t as regulated. This unfortunately means that companies from those countries cannot be trusted as much. China is a country that comes to many people’s minds when thinking of this, however there are other countries who have even more questionable environmental practices. India, South Korea and Mexico are all on the list of countries to be skeptical of. So get informed.
At the Environmental Democracy Index you can find a detailed ranking of most countries based on their environmental regulations. The Environmental Democracy Index doesn’t give much indication to what regulations are actually followed though. As we see here, many countries have environmental regulations yet they are not followed.
The Environmental Performance Index is another good website to find out how ethical countries currently are for the environment. Page 4 of their 2018 study gives a ranking of good and bad countries that you might find helpful.
As Greenpeace said, if you couldn’t eat the lube you buy… it shouldn’t be going inside your body any other way either. It is generally recommended that you buy lube with as few ingredients as possible. Look for organic lube with natural ingredients like those by SLiquid.
Say no to these chemicals:
- Silicone oils
- Glycerin and glucose
- Propylene glycol
Explanation and source: https://www.care2.com/greenliving/sexual-lubricant-7-ingredients-to-avoid.html
That said, be careful about some natural ingredients based on plant oils. Many of these oils are great but can destroy condoms.
Good nutrition and a healthy body is important to keep you lubricated. If you always have to use a fuck load of lube every time you have sex or use a vaginal sex toy, you should ask yourself these questions.
- Do you drink enough water a day?
- How is your diet?
- Are you too stressed all the time and do you sleep enough?
More tips: http://sistahvegan.com/2012/05/07/vegan-vagina-libido-and-keeping-it-moist/
Vegan products aren’t limited to food! Lube, condoms, candles, massage oils and a host of other products all have vegan versions. We aren’t vegan but we still promote the use of vegan products. It is now well known that livestock production is bad for the environment when we compare it with plant production. The greenhouse gasses, water usage, pollution and land usage required for ‘animal production’ is huge. If we all ate less meat or no meat, we would be helping the environment considerably. Plus if you love animals and don’t want to harm them… all the more reason to order vegan products!
I already mentioned SLiquid lube. As well as having an organic range, their lube is also vegan.
These are some vegan condom companies:
At this point, it should be obvious that phthaletes are bad. For those that don’t know, phthaletes are chemicals companies add to plastic to soften it and make it rubbery. Greenpeace pointed out years ago that these chemicals are bad for the environment because of their toxicity. Plus, phthaletes are linked to causing cancer and a whole host of other nasty conditions.
Typically toys that are listed as jelly or rubber are not safe to use. Some unscrupulous companies have started calling ‘jelly toys’ by other names so you should be on your guard. Here at Obsession Rouge, we just avoid any toys that are partially transparent or look like they are made of a jelly substance. We also avoid buying toys that don’t list what materials are used and toys with materials that we don’t recognise.
Also be aware of companies that try to get away with listing a material as ‘silicone jelly’ or some other weird kind of silicone. Silicone is silicone. If it isn’t listed as silicone, it isn’t silicone.
The longer your sex toys will last, the better they are for you and the environment. Treated wood, stone, metal, glass, ABS plastic and silicone are all good choices because they can last for your whole life (excluding battery toys of course).
Jelly and rubber sex toys are bad because when stored they react to each other chemically and break down. So they can melt in storage and basically don’t last long. It’s a similar story with porous sex toy materials like the sleeves that Fleshlight uses. The materials are porous and cannot be fully disinfected. Therefore over time porous materials build up bacteria and have to be thrown away.
Yes it’s true, silicone isn’t biodegradable. However it can be recycled, is body safe, doesn’t poison the seas and lasts longer than other plastics. It can also withstand crazy temperatures and be thoroughly disinfected. So it is possible to wash and sterilise silicone toys and have other people reuse them. I have even seen some respectable sex toy bloggers sell and give away their silicone sex toys (after sterilising them of course).
Non-electrical toys are of course better for the environment than anything else but let’s face it, people love vibrators. The least you could do however is think to order vibrators with rechargeable batteries or electrical cords. It is more convenient, more cost effective (in the long run) and better for the environment.
Toys that require replaceable batteries should be avoided if you’re trying to be environmentally conscious. If you already own these kinds of toys at least consider buying rechargeable batteries to use inside them.
It frustrates us that some companies use such a huge amount of plastic in their packaging. While it is sometimes necessary to wrap items in plastic in order to keep them hygienically safe, many companies use excessive packaging.
If you are ordering your sex toys online it sometimes isn’t possible to check what packaging a company uses. Here at Obsession Rouge we do our best to photograph the boxes and packaging we receive toys with. So if you are buying a toy we have reviewed, you will be able to see what kind of packaging has been used. Typically we find that the most premium brands use more sustainable packaging. However this isn’t always the case.
If you’re anything like us, you may like to use candles to set the mood. Try not to buy the most cheap candles you can find at the supermarket though. Especially cheap scented candles, which can contain so many bad chemicals that they will give you headaches and migraines.
Here are some good companies to buy candles from:
- Northumbrian Botanicals (UK)
- Green Tulip (UK)
- Rive de Saintonge (France)
- Cyor (France)
- Ponoie (France)
- Wood & Wax (USA)
- Brooklyn Candle Studio (USA)
Seriously… who are these people still flushing condoms down the drains?? You’re damaging the environment, aquatic life and you’re risking blocking your own pipes. Stop doing it!
… and while you’re at it, do some research into condom companies who are environmentally conscious.
Showering together can be sexy as hell. So why not extend your lovemaking to the cleanup? You save water and therefore do something good for the environment at the same time 😉