It’s no secret that most sex toys contain plastic parts. Even the body-friendliest silicone toys can contain some plastic inside, as battery housing or component parts of your vibe’s motor.
Conventional plastics, derived from fossil fuels, are no friend to the environment. Every year, the world produces millions of tons of plastics, and most of those products are disposable, like food packaging, and go straight to the landfill. Even renewable plastics, made from recycled parts, corn or methane, are produced on a relatively small scale, and while they are gaining in popularity, we as consumers have a responsibility to help, too.
So! Let’s say you’re environmentally friendly in the rest of your life—you recycle, you use glass tupperware, you walk your neighborhood, and try not to buy too many packaged goods. Why not go all out and invest in eco-friendly sex toys? Even the smallest acts can have a collective impact, and if everybody joined in, we’d be well on our way to solving the problem.
Glass, crystal and metal toys are made from 100% natural and generally hypoallergenic materials, and will typically outlast plastic and silicone toys. If and when they break, glass and stainless steel are considered non-toxic, recyclable materials.
Read on for a roundup of our favorite eco-conscious choices!
From our buds at Unbound comes this smooth-yet-curvy glass pleasure wand. Designed to offer targeted stimulation, the Gem is curved and beaded at one and and smooth on the other, so there’s basically no end to the good feels you can give yourself with this toy. Made of strong, non-porous boroscillate glass, the Gem is a perfect way to explore g-spot (or p-spot!) sensation and temperature play.
Chakrubs are definitely one of the finer things in life. Hand-crafted from body-safe, natural crystals, these smooth, polished dildos are not just pleasure toys, but beautiful art objects in their own right. Designed to last a long, long time, you can feel confident that a Chakrub is an earth-friendly choice—and if it does wear out, you can give it a new life as a decoration. Two birds, one precious stone! Check out the clear quartz Prism, the rose quartz Heart and the amethyst Yoni Egg.
Everyone loves a pocket rocket, and this trusty little vibe from Blush Novelties hits all the marks! Slim and smooth, the Gaia eco-vibe is made from a starch-based bioplastic and is considered the world’s first biodegradable vibrator. The material takes less energy to make and produces less greenhouse gas than regular plastic, too.
There are lots of eco-friendly lubes on the market, but this one from Province Apothecary is one of our all-time faves. Unscented and non-toxic, this luxurious, ultra-moisturizing oil is alcohol, glycerin and paraben-free, contains no petroleum products or preservatives. It’s got a shorter shelf life, but trust us, you’ll go through this stuff so quickly that you won’t even notice! (Heads up: It’s not intended for use with latex products or condoms. Read our guide to lubes here for more info.)
While you could argue that no animal material can be called friendly to the environment, leather is a naturally biodegradable material that will not clutter up a landfill forever. The mass leather production industry is another story, but vegan leather production also causes its fair share of environmental issues. Our special collab flogger with Annoukis is made of 100% natural vegetable tanned leather, which has a significantly reduced environmental footprint, and is made of leftover leather scraps that would otherwise be thrown away. And, you know...it's gorgeous ;-)
Our glorious Kooch Quench made by Fat and the Moon is a magical all purpose salve with only 4 ingredients; coconut, beeswax, lavender and chamomile. Not only is it eco-friendly in its recyclable tin, it's also incredibly multipurpose, meaning you can do more with less. You can use it as a hydrating personal lubricant, as its name implies, but it also makes an amazing lip balm or soother for sensitive skin. 💦
When it comes to silicone and plastic sex toys, there actually are some ways to dispose or recycle your unwanted dildos and vibrators. Many facilities consider toys a biohazard, since they have come into contact with bodily fluid, and some toys contain stuff like batteries, electric motors and toxic ‘jelly’ that can’t be recycled and could head straight for the landfill. One co-operative sex shop in Toronto, Canada, actually offers a sex toy recycling program for customers to donate old, broken toys, to be separated into abs plastics, metals and silicone that can be re-purposed. There are plenty of other initiatives in the U.S. and U.K., so do a quick Google and educate yourself—the Earth will thank you!
Header image by Johnny Smith.