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For the discerning holiday shopper

Jessica Clark

Grist weighs in on the toxins used in sex toys, and offers up some green alternatives: If you want to do your part for conservation while getting a buzz, go for the Solar Vibe, a bullet vibrator that comes wired to a small solar panel. Some vibrators come with rechargeable power packs, says Suzanne, "which is a little bit better alternative to the typical battery-run toy, where you just toss the batteries … into the landfill." What about accessories? The Smitten Kitten takes pride in its "animal-friendly" inventory of bondage and fetish gear. "We have some floggers that are made of nylon rope … natural rope, and rubber," says Pritchett. "The same with the paddles, collars, cuffs, and whatnot. Totally leather-free, animal-product-free." A few manufacturers are bringing green values directly to the adult-toy market via products that might not be out of place in the cosmetics aisle of a natural-foods mega-retailer. Offerings include Body Wax's candles made from soy and essential oils, and Sensua Organic's fruit-flavored or unflavored lubes -- one of a few lubricant lines touting either organic or all-natural formulations. "People enjoy having the option," says Weintraub. "It's like, 'I use organic face wash. Maybe I want to use organic lube, too.'" Kittens, I'm smitten!

Jessica Clark is a writer, editor and researcher, with more than 15 years of experience spanning commercial, educational, independent and public media production. Currently she is the Research Director for American University’s Center for Social Media. She also writes a monthly column for PBS’ MediaShift on new directions in public media. She is the author, with Tracy Van Slyke, of Beyond the Echo Chamber: Reshaping Politics Through Networked Progressive Media (2010, New Press).
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