More and more people are examining the way they live their daily lives and trying to live in a much more planet-friendly way. Whether you are a fully-fledged eco-warrior or want to cut down on your contribution to landfill, changes can be made to your dental routine that will positively impact the environment. Despite originally utilizing natural materials such as tree twigs, these days daily oral care is particularly heavy in its use of plastics. These cannot be easily recycled, so they can end up in landfill for hundreds of years, or even worse in our oceans and forests. By 2050 it is estimated that there will be more plastic in our oceans than fish, but that is maybe no surprise since a garbage truck are dumped into them every single minute. Every plastic toothbrush you have ever used in your entire life will be living on somewhere just now and will be for a long, long time after you have gone! Quite staggering, really.
So, what are the main bamboo toothbrush benefits?
Good for sustainability – bamboo grows quickly!
One of the main advantages of bamboo, in general, is that is regenerates quickly. Insanely quickly. In optimal conditions it can grow a meter in 24 hours and can become fully grown in as little as 3 years – compare this to trees (bamboo is a grass, not a tree) which can take decades to reach their maximum height, and you can see why bamboo is a great choice for toothbrushes.
Bamboo also does not need pesticides to grow, they are naturally pest-resistant – another great reason why it is such a valuable resource. Pesticides cause chaos in the environment, polluting soils and waterways and affecting wildlife in the process. This lack of need for pesticides is a key part of making bamboo such a wonderful eco-friendly material.
Bamboo also needs very little water to grow, relying on rainfall only. Once it gets going, it involves very little input from its growers. Saving water is an important aspect of caring for the environment. Less water wasted equals less water taken from natural bodies of water – this helps maintain these environments and sustain the animal and plant life that live within them.
Bamboo is good for the compost pile
Bamboo can be added to your compost pile – unlike plastic toothbrushes. The only caveat being you must remove the bristles before you throw it in. You can simply pluck these out with tweezers or pliers. Although advances have been made (some companies have developed bristles with mush less levels of plastic), the bristles still contain an element of nylon. This does not biodegrade unfortunately. Also, be sure to purchase a bamboo toothbrush in eco-friendly packaging. Despite producing an eco-friendly toothbrush, some companies have failed to realize that their plastic, non-degradable packaging is part of the problem too!
(If you are new to composting have a look at some of the main start-up questions answered here)
If you don’t have a compost pile, there are plenty of ways to use it after its finished brushing your teeth. If you are green fingered, you may want to use it in your garden or window ledge pot plants to keep them upright. If not, leave the bristles on and use it for cleaning. And even if they do end up in landfill somehow – although not ideal – they will biodegrade centuries quicker than plastic brushes!
Good for bathroom aesthetics
Let’s face it, plastic toothbrushes don’t make an attractive addition to your bathroom – they look out of place with most bathroom styles. The simple design of the bamboo toothbrushes, on the other hand, give an element of class to any bathroom.
Good education tool
Since toothbrushes are used every day from a very young age it is a great way to introduce your children the idea of sustainability. It is never too early to start the conversation about caring for the environment and, hopefully, practices such as using a bamboo toothbrush will lead to lifelong planet-friendly choices.
Bamboo toothbrushes are a great alternative for travelling. They are lightweight and less bulky than electric toothbrushes. No charging or power source is required, making them ideal for a weekend camping trip. If you do want to stick with your electric toothbrush though, you can now get bamboo replacement brush attachments too!
Great for oral health
Bamboo has natural microbial properties making it a great choice for oral health products – as well as chopping boards and kitchen utensils. Bamboo kun – a substance found within bamboo – is responsible for this. It fends off bacteria and other microbes, making bamboo a naturally hygienic material.
The bottom line
Switching from a conventional plastic toothbrush to a bamboo one will, over time, have a significant impact on the environment – a new toothbrush every 3 months over the course of your lifetime certainly adds up to a sizable pile in landfill! Using bamboo is not just advantageous for the environment, it also allows you to take advantage of the hygienic nature of bamboo whilst making your bathroom more aesthetically pleasing. What’s not to like? All in all, its’s worth the switch!