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Brushing your teeth with yogurt cups

You might find it hard to believe that one teeny tinny toothbrush can have such an enormous impact on the environment. But it does! Approximately 50 million pounds of toothbrushes get sent to landfills annually!

That seems like a significant amount of waste that can could otherwise be avoided. And, that figure would be considerably higher if everyone threw out their toothbrush every 3 months. Crazy!

Fortunately, there are some eco-friendly choices out there to make brushing your teeth a little more green!

Preserve

The toothbrushes are made out of polypropylene (#5) plastic that has been recycled from used Stonyfield Yogurt cups. Love that! They take it one step further by providing a pre-paid envelope to send back your toothbrush at the end of its life.

You may one day sit on a toothbrush inspired bench. Yes, they take the used toothbrushes and upcycle them. They are BPA-free, USA made and no animal testing. Period.

They have created the “Gimme 5” program where you can either drop-off your #5 plastics or mail them to the company directly to be transformed into other raw materials such as a picnic table. I find this to be a great initiative; most cities and towns do not recycle #5 plastic, so now there is a solution to the #5 plastic problem!

By choosing Preserve toothbrushes, they claim we are significantly reducing our impact on the environment; according to Preserve their products require:

  • at least 54% less water
  • at least 64% less greenhouse gases
  • at least 48% less coal
  • at least 77% less natural gas
  • at least 46% less electricity

Radius

These toothbrushes are made from 93% recyclable materials and 47% renewable resources. Their handles are molded from recycled US dollar bills, recycled flax and recycled wood blended with recycled polypropylene (#5) which results in a bio-plastic that is 100% recycled or renewable. Pretty awesome of them!

You keep the handle for, well ever, and just need to replace the head which weights only 7% of the toothbrush. The only down side I can possibly see is, what do you do with the head once you are done with it?

It simply gets tossed into the trash. Do not get me wrong, by purchasing this particular toothbrush, you are in fact reducing your environmental impact, but I would much rather see a way to recycle the head and have zero-waste.

Do not want to bother sending your toothbrush back?  How about turning it into a bracelet. Yes, a bracelet. HGTV’s guru Carol Duvall recommends boiling your toothbrush for a minute and reshape it into a masterpiece. How fun is that? It can be a great activity for the kids!

Here are a few other ways to bring some life back to your toothbrush:

  • Cleaning and scrubbing tiles, toilette, sink or really any small area in your home.
  • Your plants are falling over? Hold them up with a toothbrush.
  • Can’t remember which fruit or veggie is what in your garden? Let your old toothbrush act as a sign to identify them.
  • If you are the artsy type, maybe use it as a paint brush?
  • Kids might enjoy using them as a puppet or a paint brush.

Anyone else have any great ideas? I would love to hear them

I honestly feel good brushing my teeth with a Preserve toothbrush; knowing that it is on its second life and will most probably have another when I am done with it. This may sound weird to some, but that is just how green I am.

Next time you are in the market for a new toothbrush, let’s say in 3-4 months; consider saving our precious planet one toothbrush at a time!

I did not receive any compensation and was not asked in anyway by either company to write this blog post. This was all done by my own free will. However, if someone wants to send me a free toothbrush, I would not say no. 🙂

Sources: Preserve Products and Radius

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Do you know if they make one for electric toothbrushes?? I know, not exactly eco friendly but it does a much better job on my teeth.

  2. Wow, what a great site! I will definitely look into that toothbrush! I’m a new follower. Thank you for stopping by my site this week. I love your site so much, I’m awarding you the Versatile Blogger Award! Check it out here http://www.mama-press.com/, I chose you and 14 other sites to receive this, after receiving it myself. I hope you accept it!
    Tracy

  3. Very, very cool! I see a trip to Whole Foods in my future. This seems like a rather painless way to help our environment.

    Completely off topic, but I love your striped scarf in your header pic!

    Dropping off some love from the Wild Weekend Hop. <3

    Mandi
    Smile and Mama With Me

  4. My mom always saved old toothbrushes to use for scrubbing little crevices 🙂 Good point on the environmental impact on an item that is usually overlooked.

    I found this through the Stumble hop and stumbled it.

  5. I love this article. We have used preserve toothbrushes for years. They work great and their kids brushes come in containers with animals. My kids love them.

    Fortunately our town recycles #1 – #7 but it is great the company accepts mail in donations of recycled products.

    Overall this is a great article with lots of ideas and helpful information. Thanks!

    I stumbled it for you. Stop by my site about green living at http://www.theresagrisanti.com/getting-where-i-thought-i-would-never-go.html

  6. I love this article. We have used preserve toothbrushes for years. They work great and their kids brushes come in containers with animals. My kids love them.

    Fortunately our town recycles #1 – #7 but it is great the company accepts mail in donations of recycled products. Always nice to have new opportunities to recycle.

    Overall this is a great article with lots of ideas and helpful information. Thanks!

    I stumbled it for you. Stop by my site about green living at http://www.theresagrisanti.com/getting-where-i-thought-i-would-never-go.html

  7. Everything seems to be tested on animals..BOO! There must be some company in Australia that manufactures something similar! Sometimes the smallest things have the biggest impact! 🙂

  8. Very VERY interesting! Just something as simple as the tool you use at least twice a day to scrub those teeth can really be detrimental to the environment. Thank you for sharing this.

  9. Interested on your take on the environmental impact of using the mailing service to return the Preserve brush versus throwing the head of the Radius brush in the trash. You definitely prefer the first option. Why?

  10. LOL! Whole foods takes yogurt cups for the Gimme 5 program and thy send them all to Preserve in mass amounts! I think they take the toothbrushes as well. Actually, WHole foods takes any #5 plastic to be sent to preserve!

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