Takeaway: We all know sex play can be irresponsible if we aren't careful, but did you know that's not just for our bodies and others? Sex play can harm the planet! Find out how to give the earth a break and still get your rocks off!
Plenty of toys claim to be earth-friendly, and many are - certainly all that make that claim are likely more friendly than toys of previous generations. The term “eco-friendly” generally means that it prevents contribution to pollution, or that it functions to helps reduce pollution. But what makes a sex toy eco-friendly? Here’s what you should look for:
Non-toxic. This is a gimme and it's the reason most sex toys can make the “earth conscious” claim and move on without serious investment. A toxic sex toy inserted into the body would obviously be dangerous. But they exist - lubricants should be parabens-free and toys phthalate-free. Parabens is claimed to cause cancer, though studies remain to be conducted, and is proven to disrupt hormones. We really like the Erosense Aqua water-based lube, and Jo makes a great one too that is the only USDA-certified organic lube on the market. Phthalate is a plasticizer use to soften PVC, so it was once found in many toys. The interesting thing about phthalate is that it actually doesn't bind so it causes the toy to break down over time anyway - simply put, these toys may be bad investments regardless of whether they're harmful to the environment and your body. The good news is it's easier and easier to find phthalate-free toys now; at Jou Jou we carry over a thousand. Look for silicone toys (you can find vibrators like the classic Rabbit but just about everything is available in silicone from butt plugs to cock rings), glass (try these Ben-Wa balls or literally anything from the beautiful and erotic Icicles line), metal (we love the Amore vibrator but typical metal products include cuffs and other restraints), plastics (Iconic Bullet by JimmyJane - but see #2 first), stone (one of our favourites, the D2 stone dildo, is made of granite), elastomers (again in the JimmyJane Iconic line, check out the Smoothie, similar to the bullet but thinner), or ceramic (handmade art pieces). Put a condom over any toys that you're unsure about.
Avoid plastics. Sorry, beloved Iconic Bullet. Not everything has to be perfectly environmentally conscious, so let us praise the Bullet while simultaneously lecturing on plastics. First, if you must choose plastic, choose recyclable plastics, which the Bullet is. But plastic takes a lot of energy to produce and every bit of plastic takes 200 years to break down. It was only invented sixty years ago, but its utility lasts for far under 200 years, so literally every piece of plastic ever made is still with us and mostly in landfills. It's quite literally the worst thing we've done to the planet. Avoid it when possible, but if you just have to have JimmyJane’s Bullet, ease your guilt in other ways!
Recycled packaging. This one’s the easiest to spot and it's a sure sign as to whether the company is really committed to the environment. It's also the most overlooked. Check to see if the packaging includes plastic, including plastic coating. Make sure the cardboard says it's recyclable and even better, that it's made from recycled materials. Leaf is the adult company most well-known for sticking to its environmentally-sound principles. Eco-friendly in every possible way, the Life Plus Massager is a favourite vibe but as an additional guilt-free bonus has completely recycled packaging.
Rechargeable batteries. Batteries are one of the biggest contributors to landfills, and they're toxic. Thankfully, almost all product manufacturers are looking for ways to turn to rechargeable, and sex toys have actually led the way. Avoid toys that require frequent battery replacement, and stock up on a few that don't require charge at all. JOUJOU has 300 toys that feature recharge functionality, and that includes nearly all of our favourites including the Life Plus Massager we've already raved about.
Avoid one-time or limited use products. There are some great toys out there that don't qualify as eco-friendly because they wear out fast or for hygiene purposes are thrown away after one use. Once in awhile it's fine to indulge, but don't make these toys a regular purchase.
If it's limited use, make sure it's recyclable. I'm nodding at Tenga on this one. We really, really like their Egg series. They’re made with elastomers and the plastic packaging could be carton and still keep with the eggshell theme, but at least it's recyclable. No batteries are needed at all - but it's one-time use! Except it's easy to clean so you can get a few uses out of it, and it’s recyclable. But then there’s the Cup also by Tenga - less gimmicky in its delivery, but it works like the Egg line and is reusable because it's not designed quite the same.
- Don't forget about condoms. The bane of eco-friendly sex, we can't exactly advise to not use them. It's hard to advocate for a healthy planet if we’re dead from risky sex. Avoid harmful chemicals and wasteful packaging. Lelo Hex, always one of our favourites, again fits the bill. First, latex is ethically sourced, and Lelo uses less of it while being stronger to prevent breakage and waste. These condoms are revolutionary in their own intended market because they include graphene for better grip. The good news is that graphene is environmentally friendly.
Sex should be fun and carefree but never irresponsible, and one way we often overlook being responsible is the bigger picture - not just with our bodies and our homes but our planet. Look at it like this - if we take care of the planet now, many more generations can enjoy great sex! Do it for your descendants!
Article by: Sara at JOUJOU