You might not think your contraception is negatively impacting the environment, but there are hazards that it could be placing on the planet. Although contraception in itself is more eco-friendly than bringing a baby into the world as this will impact the environment in various other ways, different types of contraception are greener than others.
Here are some of the least and most eco friendly forms of contraception.
The Contraceptive Pill
Birth control pills might be your favourite form of contraception, but they’re not very green. Not only does their plastic packaging need to be thrown out regularly, but the estrogen found in hormonal birth control usually ends up in rivers and streams after it leaves the body.
According to a 2006 study conducted by the US Geological Survey in which fish in the Potomac River were examined, it was found that a shocking 80 percent of the male smallmouth bass were showing signs of intersex characteristics. This means they were growing female reproductive parts. The cause was found to be from synthetic hormones from birth control pills that were finding their way into rivers and lakes.
Although you might find it easier to use a contraceptive patch instead of taking a pill every day, it has been said to secrete the same amount of hormones into the body as the pill does.
A Bit Greener
Latex condoms provide an effective barrier against the contraction of STDS/HIV and pregnancies, and they are also biodegradable. However, they take a really long time to break down. Never flush a used condom down the toilet – it will clog pipes and that flushed water often ends up into the environment. Added to this, latex condoms are not biodegradable when they are in water. The best way to dispose of condoms is to wrap them in tissues or toilet paper as these are also biodegradable.
Using lubricant can affect the biodegradability of a condom, so if you’re going to use a latex condom at least choose eco lubricant such as Waterslide Personal Lubricant. This is a water-based lubricant that is safe and natural to use. It’s also compatible with sex toys and condoms.
Birth Control Implants
The intra-uterine device (IUD) is much more eco-friendly than the pill or patch. Not only is the IUD reversible but it’s very effective against unwanted pregnancies. There are no blister packs to throw away and not much plastic waste resulting from them because a single IUD device can be used for five to ten years.
Although still made of latex, vegan condoms are a great way to increase your greenness in the bedroom. Did you know that many condoms contain casein, a dairy derivative? Vegan condoms such as Glyde don’t have this ingredient, so you can use them without contradicting your eco lifestyle.