Going Green in the Bedroom: Sensual Ways to Help Save the Earth
Americans are opting for organic foods continually more often since 2002, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and 75% of people report feeling uplifted when they take steps to help the environment. What if you could add sensual pleasure to that mix? According to sexual health experts and a growing body of research, you can.
Going green between the sheets can enhance your health and the environment’s.
“Our health and our impact on the environment often intersect,” said Stefanie Iris Weiss, a sexual healing columnist at EcoSalon.com and author of Eco-Sex: Go Green Between the Sheets and Make Your Love Life Sustainable, “so when you stop to consider what’s good for your body, you’re generally doing something good for the planet as well.”
5 Ways to Go Green in the Bedroom
- Use eco-friendly lube.
Personal lubricants can enhance sex in myriad ways, but choosing the wrong variety can damage your health and the planet’s. Many commercial lubricants have high osmolality, meaning they contain more concentrated amounts of sugars and salts than your body naturally contains, and can increase your risk for sexually transmitted infections, reports the World Health Organization. “If we aim to use only healthy, organic, pure brands when we shop for lube, we’ll help to eliminate these chemicals from the production chain,” said Weiss. Use a water-based, organic lubricant, such as Aloe Cadabra. It’s not only planet-friendly, but great for your skin.
- Eat a plant-based diet.
Eating more plants and fewer animal products reduces your carbon footprint significantly because plant production uses less energy and emits fewer toxins into the air than meats and dairy. Going for organic helps further, because organic foods are cultivated without potentially toxic chemicals. Because nuts, seeds, whole grains, fruits and vegetables are packed with essential nutrients that support normal circulation, positive moods and healthy weight control, plant-based eating can also enhance libido, arousal capabilities, erectile function and orgasm. If you’re not up for a fully vegan diet, which Weiss recommends, consider flexitarianism, which allows for modest amounts of animal products and isn’t associated with the health risks of the typical Western diet.
- Use green birth control.
When purchasing organic body care, look for the “certified organic” logo, so you’ll know they meet the new standards recently adopted for body care.
Overpopulation is the leading cause of environmental damage. It causes excessive levels of carbon dioxide in the air, particularly in highly developed countries like the U.S. If you choose to avoid pregnancy, Weiss recommends taking planet-friendly precautions. Use condoms manufactured with latex harvested under Fair Trade and sustainable conditions, for example, rather than typical condoms, which gain latex extracted from rainforest trees. You can also swap latex condom use out for a copper IUD, the Fertility Awareness Method or sterilization.
- Use phthalate-free sex toys.
Like personal lubricants, vibrators, dildos and other sensual toys can enhance solo and couple sex by increasing intimacy, pleasure and body awareness. Some contain phthalate, however, a potentially toxic chemical used to soften plastic. “People who use older model, phthalate-filled sex toys are putting their health at risk,” said Weiss. She suggests purchasing toys from companies, such as JimmyJane, that sell only phthalate-free devices. You may pay a bit more, but the planet (and your body) will thank you.
- Light planet-friendly candles.
Candles enhance bedroom ambiance and create complimentary lighting, which can help you feel more attractive and relaxed, making way for orgasm. Most candles contain paraffin wax, however, which derives from crude oil cultivated with fossil fuels. As they burn, paraffin candles emit carbon. The safety of these gases released from fragrant candles remains unknown, according to Simran Sethi, a journalist who was named one of the top ten eco-heros of the planet by Vanity Fair. She recommends lighting beeswax and soy candles with pure cotton or paper wicks instead. These greener options allow you to keep the sensual fires burning, sans environmental risks.
Author August McLaughlin
is an award-winning health and sexuality writer and creator of the empowering female sexuality brand Girl Boner in Los Angeles. Her work has been featured by LIVESTRONG.com, Healthy Aging magazine, the Nest Woman, DAME Magazine and more. As a certified nutritionist with specializations in eating disorders and sports nutrition, August has taught the importance of healthy lifestyle habits, positive body image and self-acceptance to women of all ages for over eight years. She is represented by Jill Marr of the Sandra Dijkstra Literary Agency and loves connecting with readers throughout social media. www.augustmclaughlin.com
- USDA: Growth Patterns in the U.S. Organic Industry
- World Health Organization; Use and procurement of additional lubricants for male and female condoms: WHO/UNFPA/FHI360 Advisory Not
- Science Daily; Worst Environmental Problem? Overpopulation, Experts Say
- U.S. News & World Report: The Flexitarian Diet
- French Letter: Vegan Condoms
- National Library of Medicine: Phthalates
- Oprah.com: Burn. Baby. Burn. (The Eco Impact of Candles)