By which we mean without damaging the planet or your fellow humans while you’re at it. Whatever else you’ve got going on, that’s your business
Many people experience strange feelings of guilt when it comes to their sex lives. For some, it’s due to ongoing personal or religious hang-ups, while for others, it’s simply the conviction that your dead grandparents are watching you go at it with ghostly, wrinkly disapproval.
While we can’t help you with that, we can ease any concerns you might have had about your carbon butt-print (that’s what you get when you cross your carbon footprint with the impression your buttocks leave in the sheets after a bout of vigorous love-making). If you want to make sure your nighttime activities are as sustainable and green as your daytime activities, you’ll want to check out the perfect eco-friendly accessories for 100% guilt-free sex.
When faced with the struggle of putting on a condom, the only thing most men are trying to ‘sustain’ is their erection. But there are other things to consider: the impact of the traditional rubber industry, for example, with its history of child labour and toxic chemicals. You can avoid this potentially wilt-inducing dilemma with Sustain Condoms, a father-daughter run condom brand (seriously) that uses Fairtrade rubber and donates 10% of its profits to family planning and maternal healthcare for underprivileged women.
If you’re an into-lingerie type of person, pause a moment while tearing your ladyfriend’s underwear off with your teeth to consider exactly where those panties came from – physically and culturally. The lingerie industry constantly bombards us with under-realistic and overly sexualised images of underwear – to make it clear women’s skimpies are intended for the pleasure of the starer, rather than the wearer. Instead, a pair of Neon Moon knickers is all about making the person inside them feel good about themselves. From the realistic size guide to the un-retouched photos, they’re designed to put the feminism back in underfeminismwear (sorry, we struggled with that one). They’re also guaranteed sweatshop-free. Besides, have you ever tried taking off someone’s underwear with your teeth? It takes forever.
Men are often accused of being willing to stick their junk in just about anything, and sadly that’s not entirely untrue, especially when it comes to their underpants. Avoid the mass-market brands and their suspect supply chains with boxers from Pact, made from pesticide-free, organic cotton and stitched together under ethical conditions (child labour-free guaranteed). These bad/goodboys will make your dude’s dude bits happy in a whole new way.
People can be incredibly picky about what they put in their mouths, so it’s sometimes surprising how little thought they give to what goes into their other, even more fun, body parts. Some brands of personal lubricant contain all manner of potentially hazardous chemicals, from breast cancer-causing parabens to yeast-boosting glycerin. Avoid the slippery (very slippery, actually) slope with a range of organic lubes from Good Clean Love, sold in packaging made from recycled and recyclable materials.
You’ll probably want to shower-off after all that exercise, and you can do so in the knowledge you’re not wasting water with this smart shower that tells you exactly how much water you’re using. LED lights (turbine-powered by the flow of water) illuminate different colours depending on how efficiently you’re showering. So, if you were planning on taking that shower together, you’d better make it a quickie.
Emission-free mood lighting
Getting it on in front of a flickering fireplace can be all kinds of sexy, but sadly that smoke is all kinds of bad for the environment. Bio-ethanol fireplaces are greener, but they’re mostly decorative and emit very little heat, which doesn’t lend itself well to prolonged bouts of nakedness. Instead, try a pellet stove. They burn small pellets of compacted sawdust at temperatures so high that very little smoke or ash is produced, all while putting out twice as much heat as traditional wood-burning stoves. Hey presto! Now you’ve got that warm, romantic firelight, and the only emissions you need to worry about will be your own.
Environmentally sound rugs
Once you’ve got your fireplace set up, it’s traditional to behave like an animal on some kind of animal-skin rug. A real tiger or bearskin rug is obviously out of the question (yuck), and most faux-fur is pretty terrible for the environment, too; acrylics and nylon are not exactly biodegradable. Instead, get yourself a beautiful, soft sheepskin rug from New Zealand’s EcoWool, as they’re tanned without the use of harsh chemicals like arsenic or formaldehyde.
If you do manage to control yourselves long enough to make it all the way to the bedroom, take a moment to consider exactly what you’re rolling around in. The textile industry isn’t known for its eco-consciousness, but Boll & Branch sheets are guaranteed to come from organic cotton, grown by farmers paid a fair wage, and made without the usual dangerous chemicals used by mass-market brands. Now you can go ahead and put the ‘stain’ in ‘sustainable!’ (Okay, maybe we should stop trying with that joke).
Biodegradable pregnancy tests
If you failed to take precautions, you may well find yourself using one of these. Despite all the panic you’re suddenly feeling, try to take some reassurance from knowing that soon, the pregnancy test as we know it will be vastly improved. Designed by four women who wanted to make the test both more discrete and less wasteful, the Lia – scheduled for release later this year – is cellulose-based and biodegradable, meaning you’ll be helping leave a far better world for your children. Erm, if you’re having them. Good luck?