There are so many benefits to brushing with a bamboo toothbrush
Say goodbye to the neon-colored, plastic monstrosity you’ve been putting in your mouth at least once a day for the last month.
Not the best phrasing, but you get the point.
Also, seriously, why do they put so many grippy things on plastic toothbrushes? I’ve been using bamboo for so long I forgot about that feature.
So I guess that’s the first pro I’ll list for bamboo – made of a material that the human hand can grip without the aid of plastic ribbing or cushioning.
Plus, instead of sending your old plastic toothbrush to the landfill, think of all the fun uses you can find for it…
Q1: Is bamboo better than plastic?
Heck yea! Bamboo toothbrushes are biodegradable.
That means you can toss it in your compost when you’re done using it!
Impact-wise toothbrushes may not seem like a big deal, and in the grand scheme of climate change, your dental hygiene choices are a drop in the bucket.
But think about it this way, say you use 4 toothbrushes a year and you live for 80 years – that’s 320 opportunities for you personally to either add to the growing piles of plastic waste or leave behind zero traces of your brushing habits.
Let’s do a quick lifecycle comparison, shall we?
Materials: Plastic – mainly derived from a byproduct of coal, oil, and natural gas and supports the fossil fuel industry
Lifespan: It’s recommended you switch your toothbrush every 3-4 months
Decomposition: Hundreds of years
Materials: Bamboo & Nylon – Bamboo is super fast-growing and requires very little water. Nylon is plastic and should be removed and recycled after use.
*Note: some brands use plant-derived nylon or fully biodegradable bristles which are even better options!
Lifespan: Again, 3-4 months
Decomposition: 6 months
Q2: Which bamboo toothbrush should I buy?
There are seriously hundreds of bamboo toothbrush manufacturers out there.
Unfortunately, just like with the bamboo utensil trend, unethical companies jumped on the bandwagon and started pushing out cheaply made items marketed towards eco-conscious consumers.
Now listen, there’s nothing wrong with buying off Amazon or searching for a lower price if that’s what your situation demands.
But, please know that the agricultural and labor practices used by certain companies to produce those products may negate your initial intent to do something good for the earth.
Here are a few brands I trust:
Net Zero Co. – Net Zero Co. creates a number of low-waste household items and they have their own line of bamboo toothbrushes as well! Each purchase is shipped in 100% biodegradable and recyclable materials and helps plant trees through the Eden Reforestation Project.
Brush with Bamboo – This company is one of the only I’ve found to use organic bamboo AND plant-based bristles made from 100% castor bean oil.
The Humble Co. – These brushes were developed by dentists, are compostable (handle) and recyclable (bristles), and give back to children in need.
Brush with Bamboo & The Humble Co. can be found on most large online retailers but I highly recommend going through EarthHero
The price is the exact same but unlike amazon, EarthHero is a certified B Corp, part of 1% for the Planet, uses carbon offsets for shipping, and uses recyclable shipping materials (can you tell I’m a fan of them?). On top of all that, you can use code “altanthro” at checkout to get 10% offthe incredible eco-brands the supply, heck yea!
One more purchasing tip:
Buy in bulk!
Ok, not like hundreds at a time but it becomes much cheaper when you buy a pack rather than buying individual brushes.
I promise you’ll use them, plus you’ll save on emissions by having it shipped once rather than multiple times a year.
Q3: How long does a bamboo toothbrush last?
The exact same amount of time as a plastic toothbrush – 3 months!
At least that’s how long they recommend for both.
I’ve used mine for longer, don’t tell my dentist.
Q4: Can you recycle a bamboo toothbrush?
This is where people get confused!
You only recycle the plastic bristles of the toothbrush and you only compost the handle!
I can’t emphasize this enough because I totally made this mistake with my first few. The box said “biodegradable” so I assumed the whole thing could compost and boy was I wrong.
Be sure to separate the bristles from the handle before discarding it!
If you have pliers, those are the best thing to use but I’ll be honest… I use tweezers because it’s all I have and it takes me so much longer. 0/10 do not recommend.
Each brand is different so just be sure to read carefully and discard properly.
Want to brush up on your recycling knowledge? Hop over to Recycling 101 next!
Q5: What do I do with my old toothbrush?
Since all I can think of now is “use it as a comb for your pet parakeet”, I’ll let Net Zero Co. demonstrate this one:
Q6: How do you store a bamboo toothbrush?
Keep it somewhere dry!
Make sure it’s in a holder that drains water or do the lazy-girl method like me and just prop it up beside your sink without a holder.
Bamboo is naturally anti-bacterial but because it’s wood, it is slightly absorbent, so it simply holds up better when you allow it to fully dry out between uses.
So you’re sold, right?
This switch is easy, affordable, impactful, and let’s be honest – aesthetic. I mean look at this neutral color palette.
I guarantee bamboo will clash less with the color scheme of your bathroom than the plastic Mickey Mouse one that’s in there right now.
Speaking of Mickey Mouse, they totally make kid sizes too! Start ’em young and they’ll never have to know a world where our oceans are littered with plastic waste.
After you make the switch leave me a comment about the weirdest way you’ll use your old plastic toothbrush!
Your sustainable lifestyle coach,
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