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Eco-Friendly Condoms: Is There Such Thing?

by Sheri Reed on April 1, 2009 at 12:00 PM


condoms

Photo via Eco-Chick

Hello, it's Sheri from Home & Garden Buzz, here to talk about eco-friendly condom choices! Condoms are the preferred birth control for many moms out there, so you might as well know how to make your choice the best choice for the environment too.

 

First and foremost, the advantages to using a condom far outweigh its potential effects on the environment. After all, another human is going to wreak way more havoc on the planet than lots of little condoms.

In fact, via Slate's, What's the Greenest Form of Birth Control?: "Given that the condoms represent only about 0.001 percent of the 152 million tons of trash American households produce annually—and that we still need a lot of research into the precise effects that pharmaceuticals are having on our water supply—condoms seem to be the greener choice."

So how can you choose the best condoms for the planet and how can you dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way?

Via Green Daily and Go Ask Alice!, here are the eco facts about condoms, condom use, and environmentally friendly condom disposal:

  • Latex condoms are biodegradable (when not under water), but they take a really long time to break down.
  • You can feel pretty good opting for fair trade condoms like French Letter Condoms. The rubber plantation workers are paid proper wages and benefits, and the condoms are completely vegan. However, when it comes to biodegradability, they're still latex.
  • Lambskin condoms are the best biodegradable condom choice (chemical additives and lubricants may slow it down some), but they do not protect against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV—so maybe only a good choice if you're in a monogamous relationship and you've both been tested for STDs.
  • Avoid condoms made of polyurethane, a plastic material that will not break down. And no one is recycling condoms at this point. 
  • Bodily fluids are biodegradable. Hooray!
  • Condom boxes can be recycled. Yay!
  • Plastic or foil wrappers cannot be recycled. Boo!
  • For the most friendly condom disposal, DO NOT flush condoms down the toilet. Simply wrapping the condom in a paper (not plastic) bag, tissues, or toilet paper is probably your best bet.

It looks like the condom industry has a ways to go in terms of making a super-green product. However, condoms do most their good green work in preventing unwanted pregnancies, and that's good news for an already overly impacted planet.

So overall, I give condoms a green thumbs up!

 

Filed Under: birth control, green guide, sex life

Comments

10
  • Cafe...
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    Cafe MicheleZ

    April 1, 2009 at 6:21 PM

    Eco-condoms! Thanks for letting me know about this. Plus I had no clue you shouldn't flush down toilet.


  • ladys...
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    ladysylpher

    April 1, 2009 at 7:34 PM

    I didnt know about the toliet either, thanks for this wonderful article, Im going to share it with hubby when he gets home! :)


  • kfroz...
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    kfroz0415

    April 3, 2009 at 2:14 AM

    OK did the third one in on the top row not scare anyone else? LOL!


  • zweed...
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    zweedledee

    April 3, 2009 at 4:21 PM

    I am much more appalled by the fourth one on the second row, LMAO!!


  • New_M...
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    New_Mom_2008AMN

    April 3, 2009 at 7:50 PM

     WOW! I had no clue that they had Eco-friendly condoms. I will keep that in mind the next time I have to buy some!


  • wildp...
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    wildprairierose

    April 6, 2009 at 9:45 PM

    Then third one in the top row looks like it would be FUN.  I have to agree with the forth one in the second row. ... a bit sad. 

    Either way, not much is going to save you from disease & preg. and still be good for the enviroment.  Unless it is just not having sex.  But, that isn't a good choice in solid relationship. It could really kill them.


  • Lynette
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    Lynette

    April 6, 2009 at 11:14 PM

    seems to me if you are super green Natural Family Planning is the way to go.  I admit I'm not organized enough for that.  After that Diaphragms would be good but I don't think I want to go there wither.  So yes DH and I use condoms. 


  • Nic
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Nic

    April 7, 2009 at 12:20 PM
    Good Afternoon everyone, I saw the article about going green and being more environmentally friendly. I think it is great that so many people are waking up to the fact that the planet is in trouble and that we need to act now in order to help out. I think with global warming creeping up on us, I think it is very important that we become more aware of trying to lower our carbon emissions, and try and do right by the planet. I think we can all do our little bit extra to try and help! At home I always shut the computer down rather than putting it to sleep, and always turn off electrics rather than leave them on stand by. These tips may seem small, but if everyone pulled together then I think we could really make a difference to the world. Another hint I have is that I now use e-Cards rather than buying paper cards. Not only are you saving money if you choose a free site, but more importantly, you are helping the environment by saving paper, and therefore less trees need to be chopped down! I have done my research and finally found the best free /www.ecards.co.uk">Environmentally Friendly e-Card site. It is really easy to use, which is great if like me you are not very good with computers! I really like this particular site as there is just so much choice. I know e-Cards are not for everyone but think of the environment it really is a great way to help out and do your bit! Kind Regards, Nic
  • Katie
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Katie

    July 23, 2009 at 3:59 AM
    Apparently, some mainstream manufacturers are making their condoms more environmentally friendly but not telling us, since they think that the health and well-being messages are more important marketing tools than going green. Here's an article about Durex Featherlite condoms becoming less carbon-intensive to produce - without benefitting in marketing terms, the company still gains by reducing production costs and we gain by polluting less due to our nocturnal habits!
  • Jessica
    -- Nonmember comment from

    Jessica

    September 3, 2011 at 7:41 AM
    Shouldn't the addend environmental cost of raising a lamb be accounted for in the total effect, even if such a condom is biodegradable? Rubber for latex must be farmed also, but a lamb must be fed on farmed grain and slaughtered.
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