Condoms, Vasectomy’s and Birth Control, Oh My!
In the wonderful world of sex, how often do you consider the effects of your ever-so-easily disposable forms of birth control? Far too often, male condoms can get a bad w(rap) for their effects on the planet. They usually come with a large amount of packaging and there isn’t many things more embarrassing than having a condom pop out of your purse while you’re digging for perfect change for your coffee. However, for most people, male condoms are their first line of defense when it comes to safe sex.
The environmental impacts of male condoms is what inspired one father daughter duo to launch their own brand of environmentally conscious condoms called Sustain. Sustain are the only brand of fair-trade certified condoms in the United States. They are made in a factory in India which utilizes eco-friendly practices. At first, their inspiration for launching a condom company was not for the environment but for the purpose of marketing to women.
The condom industry is greatly geared towards men in their marketing, packaging and overall business model. This issue is what brought Jeffrey and Meika Hollender to form their company, Sustain. They are looking to make women feel more comfortable when purchasing condoms and feel better for having them in their purse. Unfortunately, the stigma still stands that if a woman is carrying condoms, she may be a “slut”. So, when they looked into advertising to women, they found more women would like to purchase birth control that is eco-friendly.
According to the CDC in 2010, only 16% of women in the U.S. who use any form of birth of control, use condoms are their first method birth control. This percentage has went down from 20% in 1995. Even with the new inventions of IUDs and hormonal birth controls, this decrease is quite alarming. An even more alarming statistic in my book, is that 37.8% of women between the ages of 15 and 44 do not use any form of birth control. The Hollender’s are looking to reach more women when it comes to providing contraception.
Another advocate for environmentally friendly birth control is our buddy, Rob Greenfield. Budget Dumpster had the pleasure of meeting and helping out Greenfield during his Food Waste Fiasco in Cleveland, Ohio. While he was with us, we got to know him quite a bit and if you have ever had the pleasure of meeting Greenfield, you will most likely first notice his good looks and then you will quickly learn he is an advocate for the environment and he hates wastefulness.
His commitment to the environment and hate for wastefulness is what led him to get a vasectomy at the age of 25. He has many reasons for his decision and very few regrets. He thinks the responsibility for birth control is equal to both women and men. Greenfield views female hormonal birth control as costly as well as it produces a great deal of trash. The pills are usually encased in plastic with an unnecessary amount of packaging. Hormonal birth control can also cause depression and anxiety among women.
Greenfield is not one to push his beliefs onto others, he is just the type of person who wants to leave a positive impact on the environment. He claims to have had women who do not want pursue a relationship with him because of his inability to have children, but he thinks his choice is bigger than just that. His overall mission is to make the earth a healthier and better place for everyone and he says he does not need to have children to do that.
Another form of birth control, we have talked very little about is the IUD, also known as the intra-uterine device. Unlike condoms and female hormonal birth control, IUDs can be used for five to ten years. There is usually no plastic packaging and the Mirena IUD contains a very small amount of progesterone. The IUD can also be used as an emergency form of birth control when it is inserted 48 hours after unprotected sex. IUDs are safe, inexpensive, effective and best yet, eco-friendly.
If you are someone who is invested in making our planet a happier and healthier place for all, there are many ways you can care for the environment. And yes, one of those ways is with sustainable and environmentally conscious forms of birth control. I hope this blog post has enlightened you to the many different forms of eco-friendly contraception. Feel free to comment below with any edits or suggestions regarding this post. Thanks for reading!