We all know it’s important to carefully consider the materials our sex toys are made out of. There are many things to consider when choosing a sex toy; how porous is the material, will it leech phthalates, how easy is it to clean, etc. Have you ever wondered, “Is my toy eco-friendly?” or “What is the environmental impact of this toy?”
Perhaps this just sounds like a Portlandia episode but there are people out there creating toys that are at least somewhat sustainable. Even though the Gasm by Lelo was just an April Fools Day joke, they were surprised how many people hoped to purchase their cleanest greenest vibe. (The Ikea-like assembly instructions are priceless.) A toy made of recycled materials, or even a fully biodegradable vibrator, has yet to be developed, but you can choose from materials that are easily recycled and/or less toxic for the environment. These toys are long lasting, which helps with sustainability and reducing your carbon footprint. With few resources available for toy recycling, going green with your sex toys might help reduce your environmental impact.
Glass toys are made of borosilicate, known as Pyrex glass. It’s made of silica, or sand, so it is 100% natural and fully recyclable. It’s smooth and nonporous, so it is easy to clean and sterilize. You don’t have to worry about phthalates and it’s hypoallergenic. It’s very important to make sure it’s 100% borosilicate glass with no additives. Pick a reputable company that makes their toys in house, rather than outsourcing. Quality can be hard to regulate in this business, even harder if your product is coming from another place you can’t supervise. There are some great companies out there that produce beautiful body safe toys such as Phallix, Icicles and Crystal Delights. Also, make sure the toy is glass and not acrylic. Acrylic is a plastic and while non-porous and body safe is not exactly eco-friendly.
Metal is recyclable, nonporous and phthalate free. It is easy to clean and sterilize. Medical grade stainless steel is recommended but you can also get aluminum toys. You can find toys covered in chrome, silver and gold too, but if they don’t have an eco-friendly inner base, they are not recyclable. As with glass, make sure you are purchasing a high quality pure metal toy from a reputable company. Some companies may have other things mixed in that may compromise their ability to be body safe, eco friendly or even recyclable. Also check to make sure your metal toy is nickel free as some people are allergic. Look for these products at companies like Njoy, Lelo and Jimmyjane.
Stone, yes stone. Ok, finish giggling. I know you’re thinking of something rather rock shaped, like something out of the yard. Stone sex toys are 100% natural, body safe and nonporous so they are easy to clean and sterilize. Like glass and metal they are also rather beautiful pieces of art. Materials include marble, rose quartz, agate and onyx. Make sure your stone toy is nonporous as some materials may not be and will need more work to clean and disinfect. Being all natural they are sustainable, non-toxic and technically can be recycled as the stone can be repurposed or reused. Not many companies produce stone toys, Luz de La Riva, Laid and Nectar Products are among the few.
Wood is probably making you giggle about as much as stone did. We’re not talking a twig here. There are beautifully crafted dildos out there, made of 100% natural and recyclable wood. Polished and sealed to be nonporous, it is also easily cleaned and sterilized. Wood is sustainable, if properly harvested, and recyclable. Just make sure the sealant is also biodegradable and nontoxic. The right coating will also be hypoallergenic and phthalate free. Companies to try are NobEssence and Petrenalia.
Ceramic toys are similar to wood in that they are usually made of all natural products, are nonporous and phthalate free, and are beautiful works of art. Just like wood toys, the sealant is very important. A bio safe, non-toxic polish is a must. Ceramic toys are not exactly recyclable unless you can figure out how to repurpose the materials. A well-crafted ceramic toy with a good sealant will be easy to clean and disinfect. These toys don’t seem to come in as many varieties as glass, metal or wood and are made by only a few companies. Try Shiri Zinn, and Goldfrau.
Body Safe / Chemical Free
Silicone is body safe and, at its base, is technically all natural. Unfortunately, it has to be bonded with other materials to make a silicone product so it’s not recyclable nor does it biodegrade. So while it’s close to being an eco-friendly product, it falls short since it will likely live in a landfill for a while. Silicone is a long lasting product so you will keep it out of the dump for quite some time, at least. What’s also important is that it’s non-toxic and latex/PVC/phthalate free so it won’t leech dangerous chemicals into the environment while it’s there. There are other materials out there that claim to be phthalate free and non-toxic. Do your research first. Check out reviews and sites, like Dildology, that test the chemical composition of sex toys. It’s a poorly regulated business so sometimes a product leeches chemicals and the company selling it isn’t even aware. Too many to list here but you can look for companies like Tantus, Vixen Creations and Fun Factory.
Rechargeable / Electric
Vibrators usually require batteries. A way around this is to use a toy that plugs in directly thus eliminating the need for batteries completely. A wand type corded vibrator just plugs in and there are several companies that make them like Vibratex and Acuvibe. Using sex toys that are rechargeable also helps to keep toxic batteries out of the landfill. You can find USB rechargeable ones too. There are many rechargeable toys made by companies like We-Vibe, Lelo, Fun Factory, Minna Life, and the Leaf by Swan.
A solar powered toy is similar in eco-responsibility as rechargeable toys as it limits batteries in the landfill. You don’t have to use power from an external source to charge, making it even more sustainable. Alas, there are scant few of them available. One I found was the Sola solar powered bullet vibe.
Other Eco-friendly Choices
Organic lubricants are all natural, as well as, paraben and glycerin free. Same with all natural massage oils. These products are not only body safe but also keeps toxic chemicals out of the environment. Using locally made products also helps to reduce your carbon footprint. You can even find vegan and eco-friendly condoms. Most of the protective bags the above toys come in will made of recycled or sustainable materials. Check the companies that make the harnesses and bdsm toys you want to purchase because you can find sustainable eco-friendly choices there too.
Buy direct from the company or check out your favorite sex toy retailer for recommended high quality eco-friendly toys and accessories.