There are certain products that exist, and it is hard to imagine a time before they existed. That’s how I feel about toothbrushes! I recently read a book called “The Sisters Brothers” that takes place in the 1850s in which one of the characters gets a toothbrush for this first time. That was really the first time it occurred to me that toothbrushes are a relatively new phenomenon! Just like I hadn’t given much thought to the origins of the toothbrush, until recently I hadn’t given much thought to the fact that they are typically made out of plastic. While researching easy ways to reduce plastic in the home, a recommendation that kept coming up has been bamboo toothbrushes.
Conventionally made toothbrushes have a plastic handle and nylon bristles, which take thousands of years to break down. That means that every toothbrush you have ever used is still hanging out in a landfill somewhere!
Bamboo toothbrushes are an eco-friendly alternative for several reasons. First, bamboo is fully biodegradable. Second, bamboo is one of the fastest growing plants on the planet, requiring little by way of care, fertilizer, or pesticides. Lastly, since companies that make bamboo toothbrushes are often concerned with environmental impact, the packaging is often recyclable or compostable. In addition to their eco-friendly benefits, bamboo is antimicrobial, which means that bacteria will not grow and spread to the handle of the toothbrush. Also, as bamboo toothbrushes’ have become increasingly popular, they have become increasingly easier to find; they are available everywhere from specialty retailers, to national chain drugstores, to big box stores, to online e-commerce giants.
Something to note – unless you purchase a bamboo toothbrush whose bristles are also biodegradable (most bamboo toothbrushes have nylon bristles), you will need to remove the bristles before composting.
As always - Sustainimals LLC is in no way affiliated with any of these products or retailers. We are just trying to share some tips.