Over the past twelve months or so, I’ve felt the pull of the conscious global shift in energies towards a more sustainable future for our planet. I’m really enjoying my journey toward a chemical free existence, especially discovering the many simplicities of what at first seemed like a daunting task ahead.
For the most part, the decisions to switch out chemical products for natural alternatives has been a conscious decision, but there have been moments when my body has guided me in the right direction. For instance, about a 8 months ago I was on the contraceptive pill. I knew it wasn’t right for my body but I kept taking it, thinking finding an alternative would be too hard. But it got to the point where I physically could not swallow the tiny tablet – I’d gag or couldn’t keep it down. Psychologically and physically I knew it was time to move on. The same thing happened recently. I noticed a uneasy feeling when picking up my plastic toothbrush and smearing fluorescent coloured sparkly toothpaste on the nylon bristles. It just didn’t quite seem right, and that sickening feeling arose within me once more.
Enter the bamboo toothbrush. I’d seen them in the health food stores and had always dismissed them as something only a hessian-bag wearing hippie would use. Man, was I wrong.
Did I mention, I love being wrong?
After about a week of using the new brush, I can’t believe I hadn’t made the switch sooner. Not only does it clean just as well as the plastic alternatives, it looks prettier too! I decided to do some more investigating into other, less cosmetic, aspects of the industry so that I could convince all my friends to make the switch too.
I was shocked at what I found.
For just about every plastic product we use and overuse, there is another solution. My whole life I’ve avoided plastic water bottles so as to not contribute the unnecessary plastic to landfill, but never had thought to apply this practice to my oral care. Turns out billions of plastic brushes reach landfills globally each year. Unfortunately this doesn’t account for the millions of those that don’t make it into the trash – those plastics that end up in our waterways and eventually polluting our oceans, harming wild life and marine life.
More than filling tips, killing animals, and adding to the giant floating mid-ocean garbage patches the size of countries, the plastic brushes also take at least over a thousand years to degrade – which is why bamboo is so great. Bamboo is a fast growing, environmentally sustainable timber that regenerates itself naturally with minimal rain and without the need for harmful pesticides. The energy that goes into making a bamboo toothbrush is merely a tiny fraction of that which is required to produce the plastic alternative.
For a cleaner planet, clearer conscience, and happy teeth I recommend heading to your local health food store and doing some research on the types of brushes available. Also check out this blog post on other switches you can make for a more natural mouth care routine.