Birth Control Is Bad for the Environment

Amy Kuras

condom wrapperNot making any more people is one of the best things you can do for the planet (says the mom of two), but birth control can be bad for the environment as well. There are some good ways to make your attempts at curbing overpopulation greener, though. Some forms are greener than others, and some are just plain bad for the planet.

Surprisingly, IUDs are among the greenest forms of birth control, since producing them doesn't create a lot of waste, according to this Huffington Post slideshow.

Another surprise? Vegan condoms! Who knew?

As it turns out, regular latex condoms are infused with casein, a dairy derivative. In any case, make sure you toss them out with the trash instead of flushing them down the toilet. And please don't leave them in front of your neighbor's house so they have to step over them to get into their car. Take it from me, that's gross. There are also fair trade, biodegradable condoms.

The vaginal ring, which lasts three weeks and produces less plastic waste than the Pill, is pretty environmentally friendly, or go old-school with a diaphragm or cervical cap.

Which forms are the least green? Well, both the Pill and the patch release hormones into the water stream through the urine of women who use them, but the Pill comes out worse because it generates a lot of plastic waste (all those little compacts!).

The greenest? Probably Fertility Awareness Method, which uses nothing at all. You need to be very aware of when you're ovulating and remain "sperm-free" during that time. It can be tricky to figure out exactly when to abstain from intercourse, and you'd best not be in a life situation where an unintended pregnancy would be a total disaster. It's green, though, that's for sure.

Do you worry about the eco-friendliness of your birth control?

Image via Kain Road Cul de Sac/Flickr



Read More