You are on page 1of 17


Deanna Duke

 Feminine care products – conventional and


 What is the greenest birth control and disease


 Sustainable sex life – chemicals and product

 Trends toward early maturation / precocious puberty
 Better nutrition up to 1960s lowered age then spiked in the
 Average age today: 12.2 to 12.7
 Increased exposure to hormones in environment
 Hormone-mimicking pollutants in the waterways
 Food choices? – soy, meat and dairy - rGBH/rBST
 currently no link exists in research, but important to be

 Plastics and insecticides
 Obesity?
 Heavy children have high levels of the protein leptin, which
stimulates the 3 main hormones in puberty
 Stick with whole foods - avoid foods with HFCS
 Increased risk of heart disease and breast cancer
 Issues with conventional products:
 Health risks
 TSS (toxic shock syndrome)
 Chlorine bleaching produces dioxin - the main ingredient in
Agent Orange, is thought to cause cancer, reproductive
problems, disruption of regulatory hormones and immune
system damage
 Irritation and allergies
 Environmental issues
 Dioxin is a known pollutant in addition to being a carcinogen
 Pesticides
 Plastics/rayon + petroleum inputs:
 plastic applicators

 thinner sanitary pads = less wood-based pulp and increased

use of synthetic super absorbents made from petroleum

 Dri-weave (polyethylene film) contains pollutants that

contaminate fish and sea life which we consume
 Waste management issues
 Landfill and wastewater treatment
 Total Waste = The average woman uses ~15,000 pads or

tampons in her lifetime (or 350 pounds of waste and would

fill an entire dump truck) not including packaging
 National Women’s Health Network estimate that in the US

alone, over 12 billion pads and 7 million tampons are

disposed of every year
 During an international coastal cleanup in 2006, volunteers

collected nearly 20,000 tampons in one day

 Other
 Cost – average cost over lifetime = $1900 - $3000
 Plumbing issues – 9/10 are result from disposable

menstrual products
 Alternatives to conventional products:
 Disposable organic products
 No plastic applicators and minimal plastic inputs
 Reduced health risks

 Waste management issues remain

 Increased cost over conventional

 Cloth menstrual pads

 Similar to sanitary pads, but are reusable
 Less irritation and chafing (no plastic backing)

 Easy to wash: pre-soak in cold water

 Long lasting – five to ten years with proper care

 Can make your own from patterns found online

 All-in-ones or pads with inserts

 Buy from manufacturers (Lunapads, GladRags) or SAHMs

 Choose organic cotton to eliminate pesticide & herbicide use
 Reusable menstrual cups
 Worn like a tampon
 Made out of rubber or medical-grade silicone

 Can wear up to 12 hours and overnight

 No string

 Don’t leak for most women

 Easy to clean

 Low overall cost

 Last upwards of 10 years with proper care = minimal waste

 Available at Whole Foods, natural markets (DivaCup,

MoonCup, Keeper)
 No reported cases of TSS or other problems

 Some find it hard to use initially
 Disposable menstrual cups
 Similar to reusable cups, but with no stem
 No reported cases of TSS or other problems

 Can have sex without the mess during your period

 Still have issues with waste disposal, but can change only
about half as often as tampons so you’ll create less garbage
 They come in only one size and don’t fit everyone

 Higher cost due to being disposable

 Sea sponges
 Sustainably harvested from ocean floor
 Reusable for up to six cycles or more

 Easy to use

 Still have issues with waste disposal and higher cost than
other choices
 Issues with birth control pills
 Hormones
 Negatively affect humans
 Cancer, stroke, heart disease, weight gain

 Pollute waterways, contaminating fish and other aquatic

life - endocrine disruptors (partially from oral

contraceptives) are causing genital deformations in fish and
 A new Canadian film, Waterlife (2009), features an
indigenous tribal community living along Lake Superior
that now clocks in at 70% female

 Waste
 Pill packs create monthly waste
 Environmentally friendly
 If disease prevention is not an issue
 Go with a diaphragm, cervical cap or non-hormonal IUD
 If disease prevention is an issue
 Go with vegan, fair trade (latex) condoms and don’t flush them!
 Condoms represent only 0.001 percent of trash produced
 If you aren’t planning on having (any more) children
 Fertility awareness?
 Go with sterilization
 Vasectomy (less medical impact) over tubal ligation

 Pregnancy and disease prevention

 Choose the most reliable method
 Ultimately the environmental cost of having a child or
disease is higher than the product usage
 Winners:
 Nonpermanent forms of contraception, the one that is least
wasteful and most effective…. Copper IUD – 99% effective
 Permanent form of contraception…. Vasectomy
 Best sex toys are what you already have on you

 Limit your exposure to chemicals

 Look for products that are sustainable (limit

plastic consumption)

 What’s the carbon footprint of your sex life?
 That good old porn shop smell
 Odor comes from off-gassing phthalates - used to soften
plastics (PVCs) including sex toys like “jellies”
 Like bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates are endocrine
inhibitors - linked to premature puberty in girls and low
sperm production in boys
 Toys with phthalates are porous, which means they can
break down over time, releasing the chemicals in them and
trapping dirt and bacteria on the surface of the toy
 Recommend using a condom with any toy that contains
phthalates to be on the safe side while studies continue.
This also makes it easier to clean
 Recommend using condoms with phthalate toys – can
irritate the skin and condoms can cut down on that
 Europe and California have already banned certain
 Lubricants
 Stick to natural, organic, paraben-free & glycerine-
free (glycerine can cause yeast infections)
 Avoid petro-chemicals, like silicone and especially
petroleum jelly
 Avoid products with silicone if using silicone toys – it
will break down the plastic
 Avoid lubricants that contain the spermicide
 can cause an allergic reaction, lesions and irritation
 can cause urinary tract infections

 shown to increase risk of HIV transmission and other STDs

 increases risk of infection with sexually transmitted human

papillomaviruses (HPVs) that can cause cervical cancer

 If not using latex condoms, you can use coconut oil,
jojoba oil or hemp oil
 Sustainable toys
 Low – energy
 Go with rechargeable or solar powered batteries or specialty hand
crank products
 Avoid plastic products to lower your carbon footprint
 Stainless steel
 will never rust and dishwasher safe

 non allergenic and causes no irritation

 recyclable

 can be heated or chilled, depending on preference

 conductive - can be used in electrical play

 Aluminum
 100% aeronautic grade anodized aluminum

 lighter metal than stainless steel, recyclable and safe

 Pyrex or laboratory-quality glass that will not shatter if dropped

 can be warmed up

 easiest to clean – can be boiled for sterilization

 lasts forever – it’s unlikely to break down

 hand blown glass can be works of art
 Sustainable toys cont.
 Sustainable hardwoods
 try to find organic or reclaimed materials
 super-fine sanding and varnish = very smooth

 coated with gentle, surgical grade or food-quality varnish

 varnish is durable and not affected by oil or water-based

 temperature neutral – so it’s not cold

 wash with mild soap and water

 if sharing with several partners, use with a condom

 If you don’t like hard materials, go with 100% silicone

 non-porous and can be disinfected by boiling or putting in
the dishwasher
 hypoallergenic and medical-grade

 can not be used with silicone lubricants
 Fair trade condoms
 French Letter: natural latex harvested under sustainable and Fair Trade conditions
 The Hot Rubber

 Nonoxynol – 9

 What’s the greenest form of birth control?


 Eco-friendly birth control


 Eco-friendly sex toys


 How green is your sex life?


 Guide to environmentally friendly sex