Birds do it, bees do it, and hell yeah, earth-loving enviros do it too. In truth, there’s nothing that connects us to nature’s raw animalism quite like sex. Though leave it to humans to take a simple instinctual act and complicate it with dodgy plastic dildos, synthetic hormones, ocean-clogging condoms and lubricants made of fossil fuels. Not that I want to take your fun away (I’d probably get spanked by the whole lot of you if I tried), but by now we should be able to keep playtime healthy and happy without being planetary masochists.
Looking for a little extra help to spice things up? Sex toys are like the cayenne pepper of adult playtime. Just don’t ask me why hormone-disrupting phthalates were finally banned from kids’ toys in Canada in 2011 but are still allowed in adult toys. Come on, I know some adults who play with their toys just as much as kids would, and they put them in way more, um, sensitive places for, er, prolonged periods.
Search for safer squishy options: Your wisest pick with a fleshy feel is silicone. It’s a man-made fusion of silicon (basically sand) and oxygen that’s moulded into everything from baby bottle nipples and bendy muffin trays (no, that’s not a euphemism, I’m talking bakeware, people!) all the way to fabulous sex toys.
Silicone products are totally stable and can even be sterilized by boiling. The only real scandal here is that sand mining can be pretty disruptive to ecosystems (as all mining is, including the silica that goes into other basics, such as glass). Too bad that natural latex dildos from rubber tree sap aren’t readily available in North America. One mysteriously malleable thermoplastic resin material used in fleshy sex toys is called CyberSkin and has been confirmed by Greenpeace to be phthalate-free, but unlike silicone it’s not non-porous, so Toronto sex store Come As You Are recommends you use a condom with it.
Try, er, harder alternatives: They seem cold at first, but glass and stainless steel can leave you positively tingling with pleasure knowing they’re totally inert and truly body safe. Good luck finding any with recycled content, but they are durable. You can also score sensually sculpted wooden dildos by NobEssence.
Their wood comes either from their own tree plantation in Costa Rica or from Forest Stewardship–certified farms (with new-growth not old-growth trees, phew). Don’t worry, you won’t get splinters from these, and they’re a perfect erotic gift for the, ahem, tree huggers in your life.
Get off on rechargeables: Wanna talk buzz kill? Most cheap vibrators run on disposable batteries that end up leaking in landfill. Avoid the whole mess by investing in a quality rechargeable vibrator that gives you 60 to 90 minutes of fun.
Ignore claims of recyclability: Sorry, no municipal recycler I’ve spoken to even accepts glass toys in its bins. But you can mail old toys across the border to Oregon’s scarletgirl.com.
Love the local: Surprise: 70% of sex toys come from China. Time for a “buy Canadian” policy. Try the handcrafted Ontario-made silicone toys from happyvalleysilicone.com, super-durable locavore fetish gear from aslanleather.com and leatherbeaten.com. We-Vibe isn’t made here (just headquartered), but they do have good sustainability policies and are “carbon neutral.”