If you are interested in decreasing your environmental footprint, then one of the first tips any zero waste or low waste individual will recommend, is switching out to a bamboo toothbrush. The first bamboo toothbrushes which hit the market were answering the environmental concerns of the enormous number of plastic toothbrushes which end up in landfills and oceans every year. However, the environment is not the only pro of purchasing a bamboo toothbrush, and in today’s article you will see some of the other benefits of a bamboo toothbrush.
Minimising Plastic Waste
Over 1 billion toothbrushes are thrown out every year in the United States alone, and while Australia’s number is a much humbler 30 million toothbrushes per year, that is still astounding. These 30 million toothbrushes equate to roughly 1000 tonnes of non-biodegradable material in the landfill every year, that can take upwards of 400 years to decompose. For those toothbrushes which are not properly disposed of and locked inside the earth for hundreds of years to come, many end up in the water ways and eventually the oceans. Currently, plastic toothbrushes are one of the most common items found on the beaches all over the world.
Less Plastic in our seas
If you have participated in any beach clean ups, whether they are in Australia, Europe, on the Coasts of Africa, or in one of the many islands in South East Asia, you would have found an abundance of two familiar items. One being flip flops (pluggers, thongs, or jandals) and the second being the toothbrush. Toothbrushes are an item everyone uses daily, meaning they somehow find themselves into just about every load of trash. Currently, the rate of plastic entering our oceans is a terrifying 1 truck load every minute. Anytime we choose an alternative to plastic, we are helping to minimise the amount of plastic which can enter the ocean.
Less Trash to enter the food chain
Apart from being an eyesore, plastic entering the oceans has many other detrimental impacts on the environment and animals which live in it. One of the biggest factors, is that with the combination of salt and sun, the plastic breaks down into smaller parts. The weathering of plastic creates a new form of plastic pollution, one that has been taken the media by storm : microplatics.
These microplastics range from being virtually invisible to 5mm and become extremely difficult to capture and remove, but they also have an additional problem. Algae begins to grow on these tiny pieces of plastic, which suddenly makes the piece of plastic appear as a tasty morsel for any passing fish or other sea creature. Once this piece of plastic enters the digestive system of this animal, it remains there. The smaller fish which eat algae will then be eaten by a larger fish, with the plastic slowly moving up the food chain to the biggest predatory fish.
Current data shows, that nearly 100,000 marine mammals die globally every year simply due to plastic pollution. Whether this is from consuming it, in which case plastic toothbrushes can be the culprits, or becoming entangled in it, which is more connected to discarded fishing nets than oral hygiene.
You Consume Less Plastic
While on the topic of plastic pieces entering the ocean food chain, one thing people forget to consider is that due to our love of seafood, humans often enter this food chain as one of the top predators. Studies have shown that plastic has been detected in the faeces of people in Europe, Russia, and Japan. The accumulation of plastic particles in fish means that when they are caught, cooked, and served to humans, this plastic simply transfers to the next step of the food chain. The humans. The impacts of consuming plastic is still unknown, as most of the studies in this field are quite recent.
In terms of directly consuming less plastic, studies have shown that when you are brushing your teeth and accidentally scrape the plastic material of the toothbrush, these sections become stressed. Plastic under stress then, leaches particular chemicals. An extensive study found that even plastics which have been deemed as ‘safe’ still release estrogenic chemicals.
Taking Care of Your Oral Hygiene
The material the toothbrush is made out of plays a significantly smaller role in your dental hygiene than the way, and frequency you brush your teeth. With dentists recommending 2 minutes twice a day, ensuring you cover all surface areas and hard to reach spots in your mouth. Bamboo toothbrushes however, unlike plastic, are antimicrobial. This means that while you are brushing your teeth, the bamboo toothbrush fights microbes. This does not mean that you should not rinse your toothbrush after use, as certain microbes will still happily thrive on the nylon bristles.
Unlike plastic which comes from oil and has a significant carbon, and environmental footprint, the bamboo toothbrush is mostly created from one of the worlds most renewable resources. Bamboo plants grow extremely quickly, with some people claiming bamboo to be the fastest growing plant on earth. It is a grass, and will keep sprouting to new and great heights without the need of any fertiliser, pesticides, or particular growing conditions. If you purchase bamboo tootbrushes, you are supporting an entire industry which grows plants to create materials, rather than the oil and mining industry.
Innovation and Design
Unlike the plastic toothbrush which has virtually not changed design since the 1940s, the bamboo toothbrush is the newest step in oral hygiene and design. Many bamboo toothbrushes have unique and classy designs which will set apart from dental hygiene products from any one else’s. Just check out the cool colouring available from the Booboo toothbrushes.
Whenever you travel, you would have either found yourself throwing your toothbrush directly into your toiletries bag, maybe wrapping it in toilet paper, or having to purchase a separate toothbrush case. Bamboo toothbrushes on the other hand, typically come with biodegradable packaging making them easy to carry, as well as being light, and hygienic. There is no need for charging your toothbrushes, carrying cables, or having to purchase separate items to be able to keep your dental hygiene products handy.
It Supports Small Businesses
Another great benefit of purchasing a bamboo toothbrush, is you have the opportunity to support small businesses and help boost the local economy. Check out who makes bamboo toothbrushes in your country, and support small individual businesses rather than the massive conglomerates which prioritise finances over sustainability. The booboo toothbrush is Australian, made by Australian mums to ensure your family has the best teeth brushing experience possible.
Become a leader
The last benefit of using the bamboo toothbrush, is that you would be joining the revolution against plastic and joining millions of people putting their voices together to fight for a cleaner and greener earth. Bamboo toothbrushes may only be the first step to solving the plastic crisis or decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. However, they are a step in the right direction, and you have the opportunity to share your love for the oceans and the planet by choosing bamboo instead of plastic. You will be able to get the conversation going about our planet and inspire other people to make positive small changes in their life to help decrease the amount of resources we use as humans.
These are just the top ten benefits of switching from the common plastic toothbrush to the more environmentally friendly, and hygienic alternative. The bamboo toothbrush simply provides a safe, , convenient, and easy way to change a little part of your daily routine to help preserve the natural world.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started and subscribe to receive your very own bamboo toothbrush every 30, 60, or 90 days! This way, you do not even have to think about it, and an eco-friendly alternative will simply arrive in your mail whenever you are in need of a new one.