This is a continuation of a series that was started in this post. See that firs post and part two to get more information about the series and see the other lifestyle habits of fertility awareness users.
Right now I am embarking on a month of no trash. I already try not to make waste, but this month I am locking down and being serious about it because, lately, how conscientious I’ve been has been slipping. And making trash sort of makes me feel shi**y about myself (I know it shouldn’t, but there you have it, enviro-guilt).
I’ve never really called myself “an environmentalist” or a super similar term to that, but I often say one of my main passions is sustainability. I don’t really have any deciding moment of why I became concerned with sustainability, I just always kind of thought that I should be careful about what I waste, worried about how my actions effect others, and be discriminating with non-renewable resources (or resources that are renewable but we blow through them faster than we can renew them).
When it came time to make a birth control decision, I felt like most options were not very aligned with a sustainable lifestyle.
How fertility awareness helps me with my sustainability goals
There are three main parts to the environmentally friendly piece of using fertility awareness.
The first way that fertility awareness helps the environment is as an alternative to synthetic hormones. Since our bodies try really hard to maintain a neutral state (called homeostasis), we basically have to take more of anything we use with the expectation that our bodies are going to be eliminating a lot of it.
This is definitely the case with hormonal birth control and ends with lots and lots of hormones being excreted into our toilets via pee.
That may not sound like the worst problem in the world (ok, it’s definitely not the worst problem in the world), but it’s a huge problem because the hormones end up in our bodies of water and can screw up ecosystems and the sex of fish. Not only that, but the hormones can be persistent in our own drinking water if it isn’t properly purified.
Are hormonal contraceptives the only reasons we have synthetic estrogens in our water? Hardly (fertilizers, cow pee, and industrial waste make up a huge chunk), but that doesn’t mean that you want to contribute to it in any way. I certainly don’t.
Next, fertility awareness helps you reduce the amount of trash you use considerably. I don’t know exactly why trash is one of the things I hate so much, but I know that I don’t like persistent plastics in the ocean, garbage all over beautiful scenery, plastic manufacturing producing environmental pollutants, and landfills a-plenty.
The beauty of not having to use hormones means you don’t need to collect blister packs full of pills. Not having to use condoms (or not much, anyway) means you don’t have that trash to deal with either (but for god’s sake, use a condom if you have any chance of getting an STI from the sex).
This isn’t even to mention pregnancy tests (you don’t need those if you already know based on your temperature and cervical fluid when you should be getting your period) and disposable crap at doctors visits (you don’t need to go to the doc as much if you don’t need new prescriptions and don’t have issues with your birth control).
I also don’t want to have an unlimited amount of children. As much as I think babies are cute and funny and amazing mini teachers, I know that we have a big population on this earth. And while we certainly are surviving now, but I wonder if we all adopted sustainable habits and healthy lifestyles if we could all truly thrive? I don’t have the answer, but I’m not certain it’s possible. So, I am choosing to limit the amount of kids I have by using a method of birth control that is effective — Fertility awareness.
Before you get offended, I don’t look down (or up) on anyone because of the amount of children they choose to have. That is a personal decision and you are welcome to choose whatever suits you.
Just as fertility awareness helps me be more minimal in my life, it also helps me minimize trash and minimize my effect on the environment, which is why it is something that a lot of women choose when they are wanting to live in line with environmentally conscious values.
What about you, are you an “environmentalist nut job”? What have been your guiding beliefs that have led you to think about, or use, fertility awareness? Have any of your beliefs kept you from using fertility awareness? Let me know in the comments!