Monday 24 June 2013

a green dental fling

I'm about a month into (re)discovering sustainable living in America, and I couldn't be more grateful for Whole Foods.

Now I don't want to imply that everything in the store is eco-flawless, but it sure has been a source of comfort as I navigate this frequently over-consuming culture of my homeland. I have stocked up for my camping excursions with delicious organic and local food, been introduced to new sustainable clothing labels, and found an excellent source of natural, clean and safe body products. And wouldn't you know it, the first thing I needed to replace was my toothbrush (oh how exciting. . .).

Now, I have been using Monte Bianco toothbrushes for years, simply replacing the toothbrush heads instead of the entire brush every few months.

I was able to purchase these at the Manly Co-op, but for the life of me I can't track them down here in the States. (I can't locate a website for the manufacturer, but there are a number of websites that sell them if you're not continuously on the road!) When the bristles started falling out of my last replaceable head, I finally conceded and headed to Whole Foods to get a new brush.

Enter Preserve.

A toothbrush "made with love and recycled yogurt cups" - mine is fuchsia! It's made of recycled #5 products through Preserve's Gimme 5 program. When I'm done with the toothbrush, I can go to the website, enter the code on the back of my toothbrush package, and Preserve will email me a postage paid label to stick to this back and mail back my toothbrush. I can even get rewards like discounts on another toothbrush the more I recycle. The program also takes other #5 plastics, so if your local area doesn't take #5, go to the website to learn how to send in your plastics for recycling.

I also couldn't locate my usual Eurofresh Aloe toothpaste here in the States (yet!), so I've turned to an old pal, Tom's of Maine. Tom's has a long history of environmental sustainability, animal welfare and human rights, and I especially appreciate the high level of transparency in the way the company is managed as well as the ingredients in every product. I wish more companies could make it this easy!

And when I turned over the tube I was thrilled to see the lovely Terracycle logo, meaning I can take the used tube to a Terracycle collection point and it will be recycled. There's not too many toothpaste options that include clean teeth, fresh breath, and a recyclable packaging!

Terracycle was founded in 2001 by a college freshman, Tom Szaky, and today works with over 100 brands in 23 countries to upcycle items that would normally end up in landfull. I had the pleasure of hearing Tom speak at Sustainable Brands 2013, and his was definitely one of the more inspirational and non-greenwashing talks of the week. I found especially interesting the cigarette butt recycling program Terracycle has implemented since I know these little fellas are the most widely littered items on the planet.

Terracycle works with a number of schools and other groups to arrange collection locations - typically these collections earn money for the group, so have a look at how you can create a Terracycle Brigade if you're interested in participating in this exciting movement and earning money for your school or group.
Some of the items made by Terracycle.

Okay, I promise my next post will be about beauty or fashion, but sometimes it's the more practical items that need to be addressed first! I'm running low on face moisturiser, mascara and will need to get my hair done soon, so many lovely posts will be headed your way as I continue to navigate my way around the US as sustainably (and stylishly!) as possible.



  1. I thought it was going to be some boring old post, but it really compensated for my time. I will post a link to this page on my blog. I am sure my visitors will find that very useful.
    oakville dentist

    1. Thanks John! Glad it was worth your time :) And thank you for posting on your website, here's hoping for eco-friendly brushing by all your patients!