Ten thousand free condoms with photos of polar bears, whooping cranes and other endangered species are promoting how safe sex can save wildlife.
The conservation-themed condoms highlight how endangered species under threat by population growth can be protected by people using protection. The colourful packages have slogans like “Wrap with care, save the polar bear” and “When you’re feeling tender, think about the hellbender” and “Can’t refrain? Think of the whooping crane.”
The free condoms will be given away across the country by the Center for Biological Diversity on Valentine’s Day to help couples consider population growth’s threat to wildlife and the planet.
They will be distributed across the United States by nearly 100 volunteers at college campuses, health clinics, resource centers and at a handful of in-person, socially distanced events.
“The pandemic may not leave us with much to do this Valentine’s Day, but couples will still get busy,” said Sarah Baillie, population and sustainability organizer at the Center. “Every day we add 227,000 people to the planet. As our population grows, we crowd out other animals and plants. Endangered Species Condoms help people make the connection between safe sex and saving wildlife.”
In the past 50 years, as the human population has more than doubled, wildlife populations have fallen by half. The United Nations predicts that the global population will reach 9.8 billion by 2050 and exceed 11 billion by 2100. There are more than 7.8 billion people on the planet, with the United States ranked as the third-most populous country.
Scientists agree that we are currently in the midst of the planet’s sixth mass wildlife extinction, with more than a million species threatened in the coming decades. While previous extinction periods were driven by geological or cosmic factors, the current crisis is caused by human activity.
“Human population growth and reckless consumption are key drivers of this crisis,” said Baillie. “But we can’t tackle the problem until we can talk openly about it. Endangered Species Condoms are funny, they’re much more unusual than the typical Valentine’s Day box of chocolates, and they make great conversation starters.”
Endangered Species Condoms are wrapped in colorful packages featuring nine different endangered species and information about the pressure that human population growth puts on polar bears, monarch butterflies and other imperiled wildlife. The Center has given away more than a million free Endangered Species Condoms since 2009.