Green this, green that - it's all you hear these days. But while you're debating which brand of recycled paper towels to buy, did you ever think about what kind of carbon footprints you're leaving all over the bedroom? Check out our top ten tips for a more enviro-friendly sex life.
Bad: Using a tissue to clean up semen
Tissue and TP = trees. Yes, it's biodegradable, but throw it away and it adds to a landfill, flush it and you're using water and putting it into the waste stream. If you must use tissue, at least get the recycled kind.
Better: Use a washable cloth
Cloth is washable and reusable, but washing uses water and energy.
Nothing more to clean up or throw away, uses no resources, plus you're utilizing the semen's nutritional value.
2. Paperless Porn
Bad: Glossy magazines, DVDs
Magazines use toxic inks and are a waste of trees, while DVDs and their packaging are made from plastics and contribute to landfills.
Better: Online porn
Paperless porn is better, but the computer still burns up electricity.
Go to a sex club and watch, or better yet, watch your neighbors have sex.
3. Keep It Local
Bad: Long distance relationship
Add the fuel used for travel to the energy required for long phone calls, chat, and cam sessions.
Better: Local partner
Uses less energy getting together for booty calls and keeping in touch.
Best: Live-in lover
The most convenient, and you're conserving by sharing other resources
4. Au Natural Lingerie
Bad: Synthetic fabrics that are petroleum based; lingerie made by large manufacturers that use environmentally unregulated sweatshop labor.
Better: Lingerie made from organic cotton, hemp, or bamboo fiber, by smaller eco-friendly companies.
Best: Your birthday suit
No cost and nothing to wash afterward.
5. Enviro-friendly Condoms
Bad: Polyurethane condoms are full of chemicals, and possibly petroleum derivatives. Use only if you have a latex allergy.
Natural and biodegradable, but made using a tanning process that may not be eco-friendly. Also not considered effective against STDs.
Best: Natural latex
Sustainable and theoretically biodegradable, although this may take a while in a landfill. Buy condoms individually, in bulk, or by the roll to cut down on cardboard packaging.
6. Turn out the lights
Bad: Having sex with the lights on
No need to waste electricity.
Romantic and cuts energy consumption.
Best: Sex in the dark, or sex in the daytime
Have sex during the day, with natural lighting. Or outdoors, under moonlight.
7. Use Clean Lube
Bad: Petroleum Jelly
Made of petroleum, and when washed off, it becomes a pollutant. And it's not even a good sexual lube. Silicone-based lubes are environmentally better, but are still synthetic.
Better: Water-based or vegetable-based
Even organic water-based lubes still come in plastic bottles.
It's free, nontoxic, renewable, and there's no wasteful packaging.
8. Turn Down the Thermostat
Bad: Cranking up the heat
You need to stay warm when you strip down, but turning up the thermostat is the most energy-consumptive solution.
Better: Stay under the covers
Get a nice quilt or comforter and snuggle up together.
Best: Group sex
All that body heat can warm up the whole house.
9. Efficient Pre- and Post-Sex Cleanup
Uses gallons of water, plus the energy to heat it. If you insist, take a quick shower together.
Better: Baby Wipes
Uses less water, but wet wipes are still an overpackaged product that wastes trees.
Cleans the important bits with a minimum of water. Americans may have to make due with a wet washcloth.
10. Sustainable Sex Toys
Bad: Petroleum based materials, battery powered vibrators
Common sex toy materials such as Cyberskin, vinyl, and jelly rubber are made with PVC (polyvinyl chloride) which uses petroleum, and contain plastic softeners like phthalates and BPA.
Better: Non-phthalate materials
Silicone, acrylic, or latex rubber are phthalate free and preferable to other synthetics.
Best: Natural materials, manually operated
You can find dildos, butt plugs, and other items made of glass, metal, and even sustainably harvested fair-trade wood.