Plastic Free Living – My First Month

Plastic-free items that include Toothpaste & Toothbrushes

It’s not often that I credit T.V. programs with changing my shopping habits and behavioural patterns but after watching The One Show’s recent series on plastics, coupled with David Attenborough’s Blue Planet II, I felt I could no longer ignore the huge impact plastics are having on our environment.

This was further compounded by my move from a house to a block of flats that over-look a train station. My flat is lovely and we were so happy with our choice but one by-product is that on my walk to and from home I pass by the train station and I’m saddened and angered by the amount of rubbish and plastics that gather along the fences there. The problem is, once you see it, you can’t unsee it all and now everywhere I go I’m conscious of the sheer amount of rubbish in this city and it only appears to be getting worse.

I was so shocked by the recent image of a diver surrounded by an ocean of rubbish. It is easy to ignore issues when they’re not on your door-step. But there does feel as if the tide is changing when it comes to people’s awareness and attitudes particularly towards single use plastics.

I felt it was time not just to talk about going plastic-free and cutting down on the amount of waste we use but to actively do something about it, whether that be changing my own habits or encouraging others to do the same. 
With that in mind I started doing some research online. One of the first places I wanted to start was with my toothbrush and toothpaste. I had heard that you could buy bamboo toothbrushes and it seemed like a really simple way to start my plastic-free journey. I found one on Amazon that was being sold by Lavish Essentials; two in a pack. 
After spending over thirty years using a plastic toothbrush and toothpaste from a jar it was always going to be strange switching to something different (I don’t even use an electric toothbrush). I have to admit the toothbrush and the toothpaste did take some getting use to. For one thing the bamboo one is a lot softer than my normal toothbrush but if you like your toothbrushes soft and gentle or if you have bleeding gums then this shouldn’t be too much of problem for you. On Amazon there wasn’t the option to buy them in hard, only soft and medium so I may shop around next time for a brand that does. In addition, the charcoal bristles feel slightly strange in my mouth and I find I have to spend longing brushing my teeth to get the same clean feeling I get with a plastic one.   
I suppose the one thing that did worry me about buying a bamboo toothbrush rather than a much sturdier plastic one was whether, once it gets wet, it would last as long. I’ve been using mine for just under a month now and as long as you dry it after use then it should last for quite a while. 
As well as a bamboo toothbrush I also found out that I could buy toothpaste that didn’t come in a plastic tube but rather in a glass jar. Holland and Barrett sell the brand Georganics Natural Toothpaste. It comes in a variety of flavours including Ginger, and the one I bought which was Spearmint for £6.99. It’s a Coconut Oil based toothpaste made and is free from fluoride and glycerine. The Spearmint isn’t a particularly strong taste which I quite like although it may not be to everyone taste.  
Geoganics Coconut Oil Toothpaste
Of the two products, this was the one I was the most worried about not liking but as it turns out, I love it. It’s a much thicker consistency to normal toothpaste and more of a paste than a liquid. It doesn’t foam up and again like the toothbrush I find you need to brush for longer for your teeth to feel really clean but my teeth look just as clean as before and the next time I visit my dentist I will find out if they notice any difference in the health of my teeth and gums. 
Now that I’ve started on my plastic-free journey, I’m more determined than ever to cut down on the amount of plastic items I buy. Looking ahead I will be thinking more about what I can do in my kitchen as well as continue to cut down on the products that fill my bathroom. 
I hope you found this useful and if you have any experience with these products or similar ones then I would love to hear from you. 

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