It is crazy how much plastic we are using in our day to day life. Last year I tried to assess where a lot of my plastic waste comes from and I realised that one room where we use many plastic items, is the bathroom. I hence decided to make it one of my 2018 goals to work towards having a zero waste bathroom.
In order to reduce waste, the easiest thing is to swap single-use, plastic items for an alternative that can be composted, recycled or reused.
Zero waste toothbrush
I decided to start with something I am using every single day: My toothbrush. Dentists recommend getting a new toothbrush every three months. This means that I throw away a plastic toothbrush around four times a year plus all the plastic packaging in which my new toothbrush comes in.
After doing a little bit of research I ordered these bamboo toothbrushes from the brand f.e.t.e. (from earth to earth) which came in a pack of four, so basically a supply for the entire year. They were packaged in recycled paper, and not wrapped in any plastic at all.
Unsurprisingly, they work like any other toothbrush does and it didn’t feel like a big adjustment to make that swap. Great success, I would say!
DIY zero waste toothpaste
So I decided to take things a step further and investigate some zero waste toothpaste solutions. I came across Lauren Singer who is the zero waste guru. She can fit her entire waste from the last four years into ONE mason jar. On her youtube channel, she recommends making your own toothpaste. That way you avoid buying any plastic tubes or containers toothpaste normally comes in.
So yesterday I took to the kitchen and mixed together my own DIY toothpaste. I followed Lauren’s recipe which is very simple. You mix organic coconut oil, baking soda and essential oil (I used peppermint as that is a classic dental hygiene flavour). You stir your ingredients together until they form some sort of paste. And voila, there is your toothpaste.
I was surprised how easy this was. I imagined making your own products would be a lot more complicated and time consuming.
Zero waste toothpaste: win or fail?
However, I then in my excitement decided to put this concoction to the test and it is very different to regular toothpaste. I never knew that baking soda tasted so salty! Also, obviously this toothpaste does not foam up in your mouth, so it felt very differently to my normal dental hygiene routine.
I probably have to use it a few more times and see if I get used to this type of toothpaste. So far the taste makes me feel a little sick… Maybe I should add more peppermint oil? Has anyone tried this before?
Also, my dentist recommended that I use toothpaste with fluoride, as it is one of the most effective ways of preventing tooth decay.
I might opt for some sort of compromise and use my zero waste toothpaste in the mornings and my store-bought toothpaste in the evenings.
Do you have any experience with zero waste dental hygiene? Do any of you know if there are alternatives for flossing that come with no plastic packaging? I would be grateful for any tips on how to progress further on this journey!
My next zero waste bathroom swap
Next month I want to explore some zero waste deodorants. Let me know if you have any recommendations! I will review my experiences in a couple of weeks!