The Stigma Of Single-Use: How Sex Needs To Get Sustainable

Black couple cuddling

Did you realise that sex can have an impact on the environment and it’s not always good? When you think about it, you’ll find that sex toys, lubricants, condoms, and even the pill have a powerful influence on the ecosystem. These contribute to the degradation of the environment since they commit to the heavy amount of waste generated in the UK each year.

The world isn’t sustainable yet and neither is your sex life. Are you surprised by this? Well look at it this way, there are about 222.9 million tonnes of waste in the UK a year for sex-related objects alone. A sobering figure for just one industry.

So what is the alternative? Is climax change the latest frontier in sustainability? What needs to be addressed to make the environment sustainable?

The good news is that the eco-revolution comes with bio-degradable products to help promote a greener world in the sex industry. Some innovative products and solutions have changed the way we enjoy sex, including eco-conscious coupling. 

These eco-friendly practices encourage sex practices that are both safe and good for the environment. This is good news for those wanting to spice up their sex lives.

So, can we enjoy sex without contributing to the destruction of the planet? As mentioned, a resounding YES to that.

Projected to be worth £27 billion by 2025, the global sex toy market is an important target for the sustainability drive. With the ‘Green Sex’ initiative, brands are now realising that sustainability is becoming a major factor for consumers in choosing new products.

Humans are powerful change agents and with something as simple as making your sex life more eco-friendly, you can kick start a chain of positive change.

Here you will find five ways of enjoying sustainable and eco-friendly sex below. These allow you to keep the earth safe while you maintain your healthy sex life.

1. Non-petroleum based lubricant is the best option

Why are petroleum-based lubricants bad for you? Well, petroleum extractions lead to the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and it also causes oil spills and water wastes. 

So choosing a petroleum-based lube means encouraging petroleum extraction.

Lube is great for sex but not so good for the environment. If you want to contribute to the general well-being of the environment, make sure you avoid all petroleum-based lubricants, and it’s really easy to do this.

Here’s what to look for in eco-friendly lubricants:

a. Choose a good clean love lubricant, made with aloe vera, agar, and xanthan gum. This is a vegan lube that is paraben, glycerin, and cruelty-free,

b. Choose a lubricant that has no trace of petroleum, glycerin, parabens and silicon in it.

c. Choose a multi-purpose lubricant. Whether it is aloe vera or coconut oil, use it for everything. It can serve as a massage oil, for penetration, and more.

 2. Consider recycling your sex toys

The Gaia Eco Biodegradable Vibrator is sending sensations through the industry and helping support eco-friendly products for sex with the first recyclable and biodegradable vibrator. 

It has a simple dial controlled and quiet multispeed so you can quickly alter the vibration to suit your desired excitement.

If you already have an electrical sex toy, Love Honey, a company devoted to greener practices will recycle your toy.

3. When buying lubricants, avoid all plastic.

Like many products, vendors package most lubricants in plastic containers that have no reuse value. Despite this, other good options exist out there, including coconut oil and aloe Vera.

You can opt for the aloe vera plant itself instead of the 100% pure aloe vera they sell in most stores (these products are clear jelly and not the green ones you’d apply to avoid sunburns). This suggestion might sound a little ridiculous, but if you’re passionate about the environment and sustainability, cutting an aloe vera plant and using its liquid as a lubricant is an excellent green initiative.

The bitter nature of aloe vera makes it imperfect for multi-purpose use. You should go for coconut oil if you desire a multi-use option; it smells great, has a wonderful taste, and it is available. You can get coconut oil in a recyclable glass jar too.

It is important to note that oil-based lubricants are detrimental to latex condoms. Make sure you don’t mix the two.

 4. Use a washcloth to clean up.

A washcloth is a good eco-friendly option for cleaning up after sex, avoid disposable wipes. Some of these “flushable” wipes being advertised are horrible for the environment and may clog water systems. So, opt for reusable towels instead.

 5. Get some dark-coloured sheets for the bed.

Being conscious of the needs of the environment entails a consciousness of how much you buy daily. Semen leaves a lasting yellow stain on white linen sheets and it will often tempt you to get new ones. Darker sheets and towels will never show these lines which is why they are the best.

If your dark sheets get messy, you can handle them by pre-treating the sheets. Place a little detergent on the affected spot and soak the sheets in warm water for an hour before washing. This system is less messy and produces even less waste, everybody wins.

What about condoms?

Condoms are often inexpensive and widely available. They help protect you from sexually transmitted diseases or STIs and the hassle of unwanted pregnancy. They are very useful. However, their single-use nature raises a lot of questions in appraising them as eco-friendly products.

Considering there are over five billion condoms purchased and discarded every year, condoms contribute to the growing waste generation and need urgent attention, but that doesn’t mean we should stop using them, there are eco-friendly options out there. 

Can we find any eco-friendly condom brands in the market?

Certain brands have produced sustainable and biodegradable condoms.

One of these brands is Lelo Hex, an eco-friendly, non-toxic ethical condom brand that uses natural latex and no nitrosamine in it (nitrosamine is a constituent existing in a lot of condoms that are linked with carcinogenic effects).

Here the Lelo Hex range offers a more sustainable condom brand. This is a vegan-friendly condom company that produces condoms that contain no animal derivatives. 

These products offer you a unique honeycomb structure, a thickness of only 0.045mm, and the strength needed without added thickness. The best condom choices will stretch to fit your sexual activity and promise a secure fit. You receive a guarantee of the condom’s safety and quality.

What is a responsible way of disposing of condoms?

You must never flush condoms down the toilet, irrespective of the type of condom you use. Such practices can have some negative effects on sewage systems, aquatic life, and waterways. Throw all condoms into the bin whether they are biodegradable, toxin-free, or natural. Then, waste is safely discarded into landfills for decomposition.

What makes the use of a condom so eco-friendly?

Fortunately, there are eco-friendly options for people who intend to use condoms thanks to sustainable latex options, recycled packaging that some companies are using and fair-trade rubber. Plus, there are plenty of options out there that haven’t been tested on animals says Carly Smith a sexual health expert from

Another aspect to think about is the prevention of diseases that using a condom can help with. Since diseases are not sustainable for the planet or the individual, condoms help sustain the environment when they keep people from spreading STIs unknowingly.

If you have the means, order your condoms from the more green-oriented brands, this might take a little extra from you but it is worth it. This way, you will protect yourself while also protecting the environment by not leaving a pollutant in the oceans and landfills.

The most important part of it all is that you don’t have to swear off sex to help the environment. With the help of innovative products, inspired by an eco-friendly mentality and the neo-consumer conscience, you can have all the fun and orgasms you want responsibly.

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