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When Birth Control Becomes an Environmental Problem

There is a path in the park by a lake where I like to take my children strolling every day that we are in the area. It's a lovely place to teach them about nature and we have managed to take some fabulous pictures of owls, redheaded woodpeckers and most magnificent of all of our birding efforts was the day that we saw a bald eagle perched in a treetop no more than 20 feet above our heads.

This is a wonderful, wild and wooded area where we can watch people catch fish, do some bird watching and get our exercise with the children. It's a rare day when the weather is so poor that it keeps us from enjoying our daily walks on one of our favorite paths. Last December as we were strolling along something caught my eye about a foot to the side of the nature trail. As we drew closer it became crystal clear that someone had been enjoying our favorite place to observe nature and all its wonder to experience a little something more adventurous.

To put it bluntly, what lay directly ahead and that my oldest daughter almost stepped on was a neon yellow condom that from all appearances had been used. While I’m no prude I also don’t like to dodge people’s used personal products when out for a walk with my kids. Whether it’s chewed bubble gum, women’s sanitary products or a q-tip; I would rather not have contact.

Getting back to the issue, after the stroller and my toddler moved ahead a bit I nudged the condom off the trail and under some leaves. That prophylactic sighting took place in late December and yesterday afternoon after a strong rain came through the area guess what? The bright yellow condom resurfaced. It was dirtier, partially ripped away from the top, but in the same place. Here it is almost July and I know that it’s been lying there covered in leaves, has gone through one of the wettest seasons that we’ve had in quite a while and yet shows no signs of deterioration. Pardon me for the pointing out in a rather graphic manner that this condom is just one of the millions that have been thrown out the car window, flushed down the toilet or put into the trash in seven months. Along with all of the other environmental problems we have to deal with; I wonder if are going to wait until the ozone is gone and the garbage is on our doorsteps before we do something about it? Is there such a thing as a recyclable condom?