It’s scary to think that potentially every toothbrush you’ve ever owned is in landfill, taking up precious space on our land or in our oceans. It was time to tackle my toothbrush and toothpaste, and truth be told I was slightly hesitant to give up my beloved Colgate. After having braces for over 3.5 years, I had a solid oral care routine deeply ingrained into my brain. My parents sold souls for me to have nice teeth, so if there was something I was going to take seriously, it was this. I also never wore my retainer so I owe them this much.
Getting rid of what you’ve got
I learnt about the Colgate Brigade initiative whilst doing my grocery shopping at Unpacked. I saw a little box at the front door with ‘Toothpaste Recycling’ written on top. Through a company named TerraCycle, businesses can sign up and implement their own boxes in their shops to collect old toothbrushes and toothpastes. These items are then used to create things like garden pots and chairs. Best part is, it’s not exclusive to Colgate, all brands are welcome! To find your nearest drop off point, head to the Terra Cycle Map. Once I’d dropped off my old toothbrush and empty toothpaste, it was time to find zero waste replacements!
Toothbrush (go bamboo)
The internet leads me to believe that bamboo is the best toothbrush alternative. The brand I chose was Go Bamboo, BPA free and cheap (around $10), and best of all it’s compostable to! Unfortunately for any non-Hobart folk, you can’t buy this brand online, but there are plenty of bamboo brands for online sale. Biome have a huge range online, and ship worldwide! However they aren’t uncommon, so do some research and find some in your local area!
Make your own toothpaste
The next step was to replace toothpaste. I’d read that you can make your own, so I tested and tried a few different recipes but here is the best one I could find. It’s simple and wallet friendly.
2tbs of coconut oil
1 tsp of bicarb soda
Peppermint oil to taste (15-20 drops)
Mix together and store in a jar, in a room temperature area.
If you don’t mind the slight bicarb soda taste and are willing to let go of that toothpaste texture/taste, then this is the recipe for you. That being said, I would encourage you to test and try your own recipes you find online! But if you are after something that represents that toothpaste feeling, I’ve got the best recommendation.
MyShay is a local Tasmanian business (@myshay.deodorant) They make the most amazing deodorant, which you can read about here, but in my opinion their toothpaste is the most similar to the brands we all know and love.
On a very trustworthy whim (as I am obsessed with the deodorant) I bulk bought a HUGE jar of this toothpaste which should last nearly a year (unless I can convince Jake to start using it to). This cost me $100, but you can buy little tins of it as well for $14. The best part about this brand, it’s local, it’s handmade and it doesn’t include any of the bullshit chemicals from normal toothpaste!
This toothpaste has a subtle peppermint and orange flavour, but honestly it took me few brushes to really acquire the taste and adjust to the texture. Now I’m hooked and couldn’t imagine going back to trusty Colgate.
Where to buy
I bought my huge jar in bulk from Unpacked in Kingston, however click here to find the list of Tasmanian stores their products are stocked in. The only downside is this toothpaste is not available for online sale. For those outside Tasmania, do some research in your local area and check out if anyone is making homemade toothpaste for you to buy!
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