Looking For Eco-Friendly Birth Control?

How Green is Your Birth Control?

Many people are trying to adopt a more “greener” lifestyle. One way that an environmentally-conscious person can do this is by choosing an eco-friendly birth control method. Though some contraceptives may be more “green” than others, the following list may offer you some ideas when it comes to deciding upon a more eco-friendly birth control method. Learn how you can still be green without having to sacrifice protection.

Extended Cycle Pills

Continuous cycle birth control pills, such as Seasonique and Amethyst (the generic version of Lybrel), can help to reduce your carbon footprint. These pills reduce the number of times you have your period from just 4 times a year to never. Environmentally-conscious women appreciate that not only do they save money on feminine hygiene products like tampons or pads, they use less of them. This reduces pollution created by the use of these products. Extended cycle pills may also be a green alternative if you experience menstrual headaches and other PMS-type symptoms. Using these pills may help to relieve these medical issues -- eliminating the need to use period-related medications and thereby creating less waste.


Abstinence. Ian Waldie/Getty Images

Obviously practicing abstinence is not only the most eco-friendly birth control method available, it is also the only way to guarantee that you will not become pregnant (as long as you stick to your plan). Abstinence requires no products or devices that could potentially pollute the Earth, costs you nothing, and is 100% effective. 


ParaGard Copper T 380A Intrauterine Device. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

The ParaGard IUD can be eco-friendly and cost effective. It consists of a tiny device that is inserted into the uterus and can stay there for up to 10 years. This equals 10 years of not having to think about contraception or having to use another birth control method that may be less eco-friendly. Plus, ParaGard has the additional advantage of being hormone-free. So besides being extremely effective at preventing pregnancy, you won’t be excreting any hormones through your urine -- thus, keeping the Earth’s water supply cleaner and minimizing your carbon footprint.

L Condoms

L. Condoms
L. Condoms. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

L condoms, a women-owned condom company that started in 2008, is being heralded as "a new condom for the modern consumer" by Forbes Magazine. L condoms have been certified by Green America for being environmentally responsible in the way they source, manufacture, and market their products as well as for running their operations and facilities. Their environmental philosophy is core to its company. L condoms are made with a high-grade natural latex that is sustainably tapped and vegan friendly. Locally sourced, any excess latex is recycled into other rubber products like flip-flops. L condoms and lubricants are free of harmful additives, parabens, and glycerin. They are packaged, without plastic or cellophane, in 100% recycled boxes. Directions for how to use the condoms are printed using vegetable inks on the inner walls of the box to save paper. Even the minimalist black and white design of the box allows for less ink wastage and makes the box easier to recycle. L condoms are also certified as a B corporation for meeting rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency.

Natural Family Planning

Natural Family Planning. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

Natural family planning methods, like the Billings Method or Standard Days can be used to effectively prevent pregnancy while also helping to keep the Earth clean. These methods only require you to monitor and track specific changes that occur in your body throughout each menstrual cycle. By paying attention to these signals from your body, you can determine which days you are most fertile. Then, you just avoid having sex on those days. No pollutants, chemicals, or devices -- just careful planning is required.

Simply Pleasure

Simply Pleasure Eco-Friendly Lubricant
Simply Pleasure Eco-Friendly Lubricant. Photo © 2014 Dawn Stacey

This is a water-based lubricant that can safely be used with condoms. Simply Pleasure, by Trojan, maintains the eco-friendly mission of keeping things simple. This silky lubricant is free of parabens, glycerin and preservatives. It is blended with just two ingredients, so its clear, non-sticky, unscented and skin-friendly. Who says going green means having to sacrifice quality and comfort?

To purchase Trojan Simply Pleasure online:

Nexplanon, Mirena, and Skyla

Nexplanon and Mirena Eco-Friendly Birth Control
Nexplanon and Mirena Eco-Friendly Birth Control. Photo © 2014 Dawn Stacey

These long-term and completely reversible (LARCs) eco-friendly birth control methods offer superior pregnancy protection as well as minimally polluting the Earth. Once inserted, the Nexplanon implant can be left in place of 3 years. Mirena is a type of IUD that provides 5 years of contraception. Skyla, is it's "sister version" and offers 3 years of pregnancy protection. Environmentally-conscious women can choose one of these methods as part of a greener lifestyle. Besides the fact that there are no monthly blister packs to throw away (like with the pill), there is a very minimal amount of plastic waste generated through IUD or implant use -- basically, just the device itself and the protective package it comes in. Both Nexplanon and Mirena slowly release a small amount of progestin into your body. Unlike combo birth control pills, the NuvaRing and the patch, these methods do not contain any estrogen. Research is beginning to uncover the negative effects of estrogen that is being released into sewers and waterways through the urine of women taking combination hormonal birth control. Another perk? Women using Nexplanon and Mirena report lighter, fewer, and even no periods. This means that you will use lower amounts of feminine protection products -- again helping to keep our Earth cleaner.


SYLK Bio-Sustainable Lube
SYLK Bio-Sustainable Lube. Photo © 2014 Dawn Stacey

SYLK is a natural, water-based lubricant that allows you to endorse an ecologically friendly lifestyle by using this bio-sustainable, chemical-free lubricant. SYLK’s natural formula does not contain any silicone, petroleum derivatives, parabens, or animal products. Plus, SYLK is produced through an ecologically bio-sustainable process. This personal lubricant is made from kiwi vine extract from kiwi fruit orchards in the Pukekohe area of New Zealand, so it is gentle on the environment and on your body. After the kiwifruit has been harvested, its vines are usually just left to decompose, offering no other practicable use. The makers of SYLK extract the kiwi gum from the vines and then compost the vines to recycle them back to the orchard.

To purchase SYLK online:

Sir Richard's Condoms

The Sir Richard's Company, manufacturer of these condoms, espouses a socially conscious philosophy. Sir Richard's Condoms are made from 100% natural latex. The Sir Richard's Company maintains that they don’t use any filler ingredients and stresses how it's latex is a renewable resource that comes from the rubber tree. These condoms can easily be added to an eco-friendly lifestyle since they also are paraben, glycerin, and spermicide and free. And since none of their condoms contain casein, a milk protein, Sir Richards Condoms are also vegan friendly.

To purchase Sir Richard's Condoms online:

Wet Naturals Beautifully Bare

Wet Naturals Beautifully Bare
Wet Naturals Beautifully Bare. Photo © 2015 Dawn Stacey

This water-based lubricant is also a greener alternative when it comes to personal lubricants. Wet Naturals Beautifully Bare contains a more natural formula that is paraben free, glycerin free and sugar free. It is specially ph balanced for women, and is a healthier alternative when it comes to lubrication. It uses environmentally friendly ingredients such as botanicals extracts, antioxidants, vitamins and aloe vera. It is also hypoallergenic and easily absorbs into the skin.

To purchase Wet Naturals Beautifully Bare online:

Permanent Contraception

permanent contraception
Permanent Contraception. Edward Olive/Getty Images

Permanent birth control, such a tubal ligation, vasectomy, and Essure can also contribute to an eco-friendly lifestyle. Though these birth control methods have a higher upfront cost, they provide permanent protection -- thus eliminating the need for future contraceptive devices or medications. Not only will you no longer need to think about birth control, you will not have any more contraceptive waste to add to the environment.   

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