26 June 2016

#GoneGreen2016 | Day 134 | Sustainable Switch: Why I'll Be Brushing With Bamboo




Day 134 / 365
*please note: this is a re-post of a post a wrote back in December, but I wanted to include bamboo toothbrushes as part of this #GoneGreen2016 series as it is a super important (and easy) sustainable switch to convert to! xx Holly

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It was much to my own blissfully ignorant surprise when I discovered the toothbrushes I have long loved and dedicated the health of my teeth to, are as evil as the cleverest of Bond villains.

We've long been told plastic is no bueno, but I somehow didn't connect that information to the object I use at least three times per day. I would have never imagined something we use so regularly could be created with such lasting harm to the planet and its inhabitants. Each piece of plastic ever created is still in existence, which is why it is no surprise multiple gyres of floating plastic, as big as the U.S.A, have swelled up in our oceans.

IT TAKES OVER 1,000 YEARS FOR A SINGLE TOOTHBRUSH TO DECOMPOSE. And that's being optimistic. We tend to replace our toothbrushes every 3 months in the Western world, with additional replacements if we get sick. Which means Billions of plastic toothbrushes reach landfills globally each year, and they will never biodegrade.

Millions more end up in our waterways and pollute our oceans, harming, poisoning or suffocating wildlife and marine life who ingest these plastics thinking they are food. Over a million seabirds and mammals die annually from plastic ingestion or entanglement (that we know of).



To top off all these wretched realities, the chemicals used in making plastic products of any kind (benzene, vinyl chloridexylems, bisphenol A, BPA) are highly toxic and loads of toxic waste is produced. Making plastic also pollutes the air, it releases carbon monoxide, dioxin, hydrogen cyanides and volatile organic compounds. Plastic recycling is not a solution to the crisis.

Bamboo, on the other hand, is a sustainable and biodegradable alternative. It is the fastest growing plant in the world (24 inches in 24hrs!) which enables frequent and sustainable harvesting without causing damage to the ecosystem of bamboo forests. It grows abundantly, without pesticides and is watered naturally by mountain rain. It produces more oxygen and absorbs more carbon dioxide than trees, combating global warming with each bamboo shoot planted. Because it is from the earth it can return to the earth and adds benefits rather than harms when it does.


Each purchase we make has power. And each purchase we make against plastic, by buying an alternative, is a vote in favour of bio based products that are not fossil fuel-based and a vote against companies who produce products unconsciously. So when the time comes to replace your toothbrush again, make a switch in the sustainable direction. Cost wise it is about the same (in my case cheaper) and I cheese you not, the bristles feel spectacular.

where to buy ...

USA
Izola (the most aesthetically pleasing
Woo Bamboo (they do brushes for pets too!)

CANADA

AUSTRALIA
Environmental Toothbrush (David Suzuki's fav

EUROPE
Ecco Verde (I bought two 'eco bamboo' brushes)
S220 (which is a beautiful UK design site) 

These are just a few of many! Just google: "Bamboo Toothbrush, (your city/country)" and plenty of options will come up. You will also find selections of bamboo toothbrushes in your local Bio store!

** If you're concerned about knowing which one is yours in the holder, just D.I.Y your brush with a bit of eco paint / pen / marker and make it your own - you can use Izola as inspiration **

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