Portlander Vicki Kriner is pushing the envelope of sustainability … into the bedroom. Her company, Scarlet Girl, sells sex toys online and hosts private sex toy shopping parties.
At an event in Portland last night, she offered advice on greening up your sex life – from vegan and degradable condoms to non-petroleum-based lubricants and eco-friendly sex toys.
If may sound like a Portlandia spoof, but Kriner is serious. Really, she said, even sex can be greener.
And when Kriner offers advice on green sex, it’s important to know that she really walks the talk. Believe it or not, she also has a company – quite possibly the only company – that recycles used sex toys. So, remember that as you read her suggestions for sustainability in the sack.
5 Ways To Green Up Your Love Life
1. Choose Your Sex Toys Wisely
The greenest toys are phthalate-free and made from materials that can be easily recycled: Glass, silicone and metal. They use rechargeable batteries, if they use batteries at all.
Looking for a green vibrator?
- The new Blush vibrators have removable parts that make them easier to recycle.
- There’s also the Earth Angel hand-crank vibe – no batteries required!
- Or, for some “fun in the sun,” Kriner suggests the solar-powered bullet vibrator.
2. Recycle Them When You're Done
Isn't recycling sex toys a little gross? Yeah, Kriner sees that. But it's also a little more green than throwing them away.
“Just to clear this up,” she said, “they're not repaired and resold. They are broken down for recycling. They’re not reused.”
A few years ago, Kriner went looking for a way to recycle the sex toys that weren't selling off her shelves. But she couldn't find one, so she started doing it herself.
She worked with an environmental engineer to design a way to disassemble sex toys into component parts that could be recycled. She also consulted a nurse on matters of health and cleanliness.
In the end, her company sends sanitized glass, plastic and metal from used sex toys to a certified recycler. And she gets thankful "love notes" from grateful customers all over the world.
3. As for lube...
Kriner recommends going with water-based lubricants, and avoiding those made from petroleum products.
“Your body doesn’t flush out petroleum products very well, and it will break down latex,” she said.
You can also opt for natural, organic oils such as almond or jojoba.
4. Consider changing your birth control
Hormones in birth control are excreted in urine and aren’t removed from wastewater treatment plants, Kriner said. As a result they can wind up hurting fish and wildlife in local waterways.
“But not bringing more people into the earth, that’s also very green,” she said.
Intrauterine devices, or IUDs, can be greener than other kinds of birth control, but they still release hormones. So, she said, condoms maybe the greener option. But even your choice of condom has environmental considerations.
5. Which condom is greener?
By choosing condoms, Kriner said, you avoid drug manufacturing and birth control hormones in waterways. But there are several different kinds, and each has some trade-offs.
- Polyisoprene condoms are a synthetic latex that are vegan and hypoallergenic. But synthetic condoms are most likely made with petroleum products, said Kriner.
- Polyurethane condoms are another alternative to latex, which some people are allergic to, and they, too, are vegan. But they do not degrade, Kriner said.
- Lambskin condoms are natural and degradable, but not vegan. And they don’t protect against many sexually transmitted diseases.
Whatever kind of condom you use, Kriner advised, do not flush it down the toilet.
“Make sure you put it in the landfill,” she said. “Otherwise, they will have to fish it out at the wastewater treatment plant, and it is not pretty folks.”
Other bedroom considerations
When choosing night-time clothing and bedding, Kriner said, look for eco-friendly organic cotton or bamboo.
“You have to be very careful when you’re looking at the labels,” she said. “There was a company that got caught labeling material as bamboo when it was really rayon.”
And you might consider lowering your thermostat temperature at night to 64 degrees or below.
“It’s good for cuddling,” she said. “And and you save energy.”