You can already tell that it is going to be hot during the Rio Olympics. We are not talking about just the weather either. The government of Brazil is set to hand out 9 million condoms for free in an effort to encourage safe sex.
According to the local Olympic organizing committee, 450,000 of the condoms will be given to the athletes and staff of the Olympic village. The rest of the condoms will be for all the lovely people flooding Rio for the Olympics.
This is not as raunchy as it sounds. True, there are several people who will take advantage. But there is an economic factor behind this.
Why condoms during the Rio Olympics is about sustainability
The condoms are produced in Brazil by a factory called Natex. The factory is run by the government of a state in Brazil and the condoms are made from latex gathered from Amazon rubber trees.
One of the rubber tappers, 71-year old Raimundo Mendes de Barros, who is employed by the government said:
“Our condom factory, aside from guaranteeing a fair price for the rubber, employs hundreds…It gives the world a product – the condom – that will be very present there in Rio, to fight disease and help with birth control.”
Rubber tappers like Barros see themselves as protectors and defenders of the forest. Some of them have lost their lives in the process of protecting the Amazon from deforestation. They see their craft as an ancient and noble one.
If you are at the Rio Olympics and you get a free condom, there are certain things you need to know. You need to know that what is in your hand is not just a symbol of safe (free) sex. You need to know that what you hold is a sustainable way of protecting the Amazon rain forest. Use it responsibly and diligently.
If you plan to attend the Rio Olympics in August, do you think the free condoms are a plus?