Greener Ways to have Sex?

14 03 2009

College and high-school aged kids are constantly warned about the risks of sexual activity.

Now, in addition to possibly causing unintended pregnancy or  sexually transmitted disease (STD) infections, sexual intercourse may have environmental consequences.

According to an article from Slate’s “Green Lantern” Column, both the pill and male condom, the two leading non-permanent contraceptives, can take a toll on the environment. The article says that although most condoms sold in the U.S. are made of biodegradable latex, they contain additives that make it difficult for them to break down in the landfill. Natural condoms are the greenest choice, and are just as effective at preventing pregnancy as latex condoms. Polyurethane condoms, which make up three percent to four percent of U.S. sales, don’t break down at all.

But how much waste is produced from using condoms? The number would startle you.

According to the article, 437 million rubbers were sold in the United States last year. With each one weighing .1 oz, this equals a total of 2.75 million tons.  This might seem like a lot of waste but considering the total amount of waste Americans produce, it isn’t. Only .0001 percent  of the 152 million tons of trash American households generate every year is from condoms.

Sexually active individuals can cut down on condom waste by choosing thinner varieties or buying in bulk.

Condoms definitely seem to be a greener option than birth control pill.  Few realize the environmental impact the pill can have. The women who take these pills end up excreting the hormones through their urine, which then might be flushed into rivers and streams, potentially harming aquatic and plant life.

So, if you must have sex, be safe and environmentally friendly when doing so.

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