Tag Archives: toothbrush

Getting Interesting

It’s been a long time, sorry!  The grocery shopping at Lemon Street Market and Central Market has become pretty easy.  It’s almost second nature to bring containers for everything that we are going to need.  Some interesting items have come up though.

We need new sheets for our bed as ours are falling apart.  As far as we can tell you can’t buy sheets without them coming in that big plastic wrapper.  Apart from getting them used, I think we might have to make them.  For now we are making do with using some sheets that don’t quite fit our bed – a flat sheet instead of a fitted sheet, etc.  If you’ve ever tried that, you know that it sort of works, but can be annoying.  Pretty soon I’m going to actually do some sewing and try to fashion something that actually clings to the bed.  The funny thing is that I remember my dad fashioning some crazy thing like that when I was little and I thought he was crazy and I thought I would never do anything so silly when one could just go out and buy sheets.

We knew that the time would come when we had to make choices about our health and the health of our children, and we promised not to sacrifice anybody’s health to our game.  When the girls needed new toothbrush heads for their electric toothbrushes, I bought them.  We have too many cavity issues to revert to regular brushes.  One small victory, however, is that the dentist recommended disclosing tablets so we could see where the plaque was after they brushed.  I found a distributor of disclosing tablets that packs them in cellophane, not plastic.  100% biodegradable!   I also got diagnosed with a vitamin-D deficiency and the one they wanted me to take came in INDIVIDUALLY wrapped plastic packets.  Sheesh.  Anyway, I bought them.

I had an amusing call from the local newspaper.  They said, “We’d like to get you back on our regular delivery.  We have a special deal for you…..”  I let her finish and then I said, “We’ll start back up just as soon as you can deliver them in something other than plastic.”  There was a pause while she came to terms with the fact that this excuse was nowhere on her script.  She responded, “That’s the only way we do it!”  And I said, “Okay, well, as soon as you figure out another way, call me back!”  And I hung up.  My uncle just pointed out that we should see if we can make a newspaper delivery box like people used to have (and maybe still do?).  Then we could assure them that even if it were delivered without a bag that it would still stay dry.  I think I actually like not getting the paper, so this might not be one I push on.

I also would like to admit that I haven’t managed to not consume plastic when I travel on business.  Next business trip I go on (May 2) I’m going to try to not consume/use/purchase plastic the whole trip.  I’ll have to bring my own mug for Starbucks, not get any Kind bars there either, not have a drink on the plane, and not order any food to take-out.

 

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Looking for a Toothbrush

I need a new toothbrush and even before doing a general Google search for a plastic-free option, I check out http://www.myplasticfreelife.com where Beth Terry has amassed an enormous amount of information about avoiding plastic. Sure enough, she has a post from May of last year where she looks at several options that don’t all necessarily fit into the plastic-free category, but they are definitely not your normal CVS variety.

One toothbrush is made from post-consumer plastic and is wholly recyclable (it even comes with a sleeve that will allow you to mail the toothbrush back to Massachusetts – the toothbrush’s state of origin). Yeah, they get to be plasitc lumber in the next life, but ummmm… plastic?  Trying to stay away from that, Beth.

Another brush has a wood body, but has Nylon 4 bristles. A study claims that Nylon 4 will biodegrade in 4 months in soil with active sludge or something like that.  Not sure what active sludge is, but I can hardly get my compost to wholly biodegrade in our backyard so I’m pretty sure that the Nylon 4 is going to last more than 4 months around here.  Besides, this brush comes from Australia. While Australia is no China, and from what I remember a pretty good place for a worker to live, that’s a long way for a toothbrush to travel. Beth also says that this brush comes in a plastic sleeve.  Yikes!

The third option is also a brush with a wooden body, but instead of plastic bristles, it boasts bristles that are made entirely from natural fibers. And what fibers might those be? This un-vegan-friendly brush is made with pig hairs harvested from meat pigs in China. The hairs are only going to go in the bin anyway, might as well put them to good use. Gross.  Almost as gross as Haggis. Can’t do it. This is also one well-traveled toothbrush.  The pig hairs travel from China to Germany where they are united with the wood handle and then they make their way to you via the livewithoutplastic.com people who are in Quebec, but have a warehouse in New York.

It looks like as far as toothbrushes go, there isn’t a perfect option if one is trying to go plastic-free.  Beth Terry, the goddess of plastic-free, goes with the first option. As a product that is from the Northeast, it doesn’t take much to get it to me here in Lancaster and I like that component. And while the use of the toothbrush doesn’t mean that there is less of a demand for plastic on the planet, borrowing a bit of plastic as it transitions from one thing (yogurt containers) to another thing (plastic lumber) sounds okay. Plus, if Beth Terry says it’s okay, it must be okay. Okay?