Today is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. I’m excited to share this post because I think April 22nd is one of the most important days of the year. Without our beautiful planet, we would have nothing: no sweet berries or vine-ripened tomatoes, no crisp night air filled with chirping insects, no beautiful landscapes or beaches that take our breath away. The health of the planet is vital to human health and wellbeing.
The wonderful thing about environmentalism is that every person has the opportunity to incorporate small swaps into his or her daily routine. Multiplied by billions of people, these small changes can add up to huge results.
I wanted to share a milestone that Alan and I recently accomplished: we began using bamboo toothbrushes. This switch might not seem like a big deal to some, but I’ll admit that ditching the plastic toothbrush was hard for me at first.
I am very particular about my teeth and I was in a comfort zone with my plastic toothbrush. I was afraid the bamboo version wouldn’t clean as well as my old one, or that I simply wouldn’t like it. My hesitancy about this switch showed me how hard it can be to change your routine, but also how important it is to continually challenge yourself to learn and grow.
Most eco-friendly toothbrushes are made out of bamboo, and for good reason. Bamboo is a wonderfully versatile material and the world’s fastest-growing plant. Some bamboo species can grow as fast as 1.5 inches every hour. How amazing is that? Bamboo also has natural pest-resistant properties, making it easy to grow without harsh pesticides.
Why do I like them?
Now that I’ve made the switch, I’m glad I did. I quickly realized I had nothing to worry about. A few main reasons I am loving my new toothbrush:
Softer bristles. The bristles are softer than I’m used to, but they do a great job cleaning my teeth. Actually, I’d say they do an even better job than my plastic toothbrush did.
Charcoal for whitening. Depending on the brand you choose, some bristles are treated with charcoal for additional antimicrobial and whitening benefits.
Fully biodegradable. The biggest reason that I love my bamboo toothbrush? The fact that it isn’t contributing to the planet’s enormous plastic waste problem.
Where can I get one?
Bamboo toothbrushes aren’t readily available in drugstores yet (at least, not that I’ve seen) but there are many places to get them online. I’d recommend buying a multi-pack to last several months or the whole year. The American Dental Association recommends changing your toothbrush every 3-4 months.
The original (and probably the most well-known) bamboo toothbrush company is Brush With Bamboo. Their toothbrushes are made in the USA from organic bamboo and shipped in compost-friendly packaging. They offer free shipping, too!
The Brush Brand has a great selection of toothbrushes as well. I really like the various colors available in the multi-pack, so each family member knows which toothbrush is whose! They are offering free shipping on every order for a limited time.
Another great option is the Isshah brand. They are available on Amazon and have carbon-treated bristles. They’re also less than $12 for a pack of 8.
When you try new things, your comfort zone will be stretched. I try to remember that discomfort often coexists with growth. It’s all worth it, though: in my experience, there are better things waiting at the end of your comfort zone.
PS: A fun fact about these photos. These are actually from a project I did last year. I’m not sure if you can see the plants behind me, but can you take a guess what those jagged leaves are behind me? If you guessed poison ivy, you’re right! I had no idea. I spent a few hours at MedExpress the day after these were taken to treat the hives lol.