Plastic Avoidance: Part 6

Toiletries

Toothbrushes

According to the Australian Environmental Toothbrush website, over 30 million toothbrushes are used and disposed of by Australians annually, amounting to approximately 1000 tonnes of landfill each year. The plastic they’re made of won’t break down in our lifetime.  Nor within the lifetime of our children. Imagine that on a global scale.  This is what inspired a Brisbane dentist to invent the wonderful Environmental toothbrush.

Thankfully they are easy to get hold of in this country too and you may well find them in your local health food store.  If not you can get them from Living Naturally (the soapnut people) and of course they sell them on Amazon 🙂 I recommend ordering a few from Living Naturally when you get your soapnuts 😉

These toothbrushes are lovely and they come wrapped in nothing but a little cardboard box.  Being made of bamboo they are safely compostable if you remove the bristles – they haven’t been able to find natural bristles yet so they’re made of a BPA-free polymer, as they explain here, but still this toothbrush is far superior to one made entirely of plastic.

We use our toothbrushes for cleaning the bathroom when our teeth have finished with them.

Toothpaste

Toothpaste is very difficult to find without plastic, so let us know if you find any.  We’ve just discovered Remineralizing Tooth Salve, haven’t tried it yet but it looks very promising.  It’s made by Ophir Naturals and we came across it at Living Naturally.  These little tabs come in a glass jar (unfortunately it does have a plastic lid) and according to the manufacturer, they enable the teeth to re-propogate enamel through the process of remineralization (you can read the scientific details here).  They’re vegan, sustainable and fair trade;  and their customer testimonials are very impressive.  It’s quite expensive but if it does as it claims it’ll be worth every penny for what you’ll save on dental work.  I’m really looking forward to trying these – I’ll let you know how we get on 🙂

post script:  10.42pm – we’ve now tried them and, well, the soapy taste is gonna take some getting used to – Miranda ate a cake afterwards to get rid of the taste 😉 – but I’m so encouraged by the testimonials on their website that I have high-hopes for their effect on my teeth and I will continue using them 😀 

pps: Just wanted to add that I’m now really enjoying Ophir Remineralizing tooth salve – it’s so soft on my teeth and I got used to the taste very quickly.  Good stuff! 😀

Deodorant

We use natural volcanic alum stone instead of packaged deodorant and we get on very well with it.  After washing and drying your skin, you just wet the stone, rub it under your arms and leave your skin to air dry.  Rinse the stone, dry it and put it somewhere safe for next time.  One stone will last for months.  This really works!

Admittedly I don’t often do activities that make me sweat but when I occasionally do get hot and sweaty and have been a bit worried that I’m starting to smell, I notice a few minutes later that the smell has completely gone.  It’s like the alum, which inhibits the growth of the microbes which cause the smell, takes a couple of minutes to neutralise them.  So even if you get sweaty and start to notice an unwelcome odour, you’ll find that it disappears after a few minutes 😀  When this has happened to me I check my skin again at the end of the day and find it smells lovely and clean, not a suggestion of anything unpleasant.  The only thing to be aware of is that your clothes may start to smell if they are in close contact with your armpits, so it’s best to wear things that are loose under your arms so that they don’t become contaminated if you do sweat.  The stone will only keep your skin smelling sweet, not the fabric that sticks to it 😉

You can get the potassium alum stone from Natural Spa Supplies – and you’ll find a lot of other gorgeous stuff in their shop too.   “Alum stone can also be used as a fantastic natural aftershave, ideal for sensitive skin, which reduces the appearance of shaving burn, and can help stem bleeding from nicks.  Alum styptic have long been used by traditional barbers.  In addition, Alum stone can also be used to relieve insect bites.”  They send it to you wrapped in paper and an eco-friendly paper padded envelope 😀

For those who feel they need a little more protection, Miranda uses this in the summer when she’s cycling.  She gets really sweaty and says this works brilliantly.  It’s a lovely cream which goes a long way because you only need a very thin layer on your skin.  Packaged in a glass jar with a metal lid, it is provided by the lovely people at Living Naturally.  It comes in Rose & Lavender, Citrus & Ylang, or fragrance-free.

The curse

There’s no longer any need to use disposable products for your monthly curse – go to Earthwise Girls to get everything you need in terms of washable, reusable, organic, natural, eco-friendly alternatives 😀

Hand Creams and Moisturisers

This cream is gorgeous.  It’s organic, it’s vegan and it’s the best moisturising cream I’ve found.  It’s perfect for making dry skin (hands and body) silky smooth (I used it on my tattoo and it was perfect for the job), and it says on the tin you can also use it on your face.  It smells heavenly and comes in a tin with a foil seal over the top.  No plastic at all.  You can get it from Holland & Barrett 😀

Alternatively, you can get a selection of soapnut moisturisers in glass jars from Living Naturally 🙂

Soap

For those who don’t want to wash their hair and bodies with soapnut water, Living Naturally provides lovely soap and shampoo bars.  You can buy all sorts of varieties, singly or 5 at a time.  If you buy one singly, it comes it a little drawstring linen bag; if you buy 5 for a little discount, they come wrapped together in a single sheet of paper.

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Click for PLASTIC AVOIDANCE parts twothreefour, five and seven 😀

29 thoughts on “Plastic Avoidance: Part 6

  1. Thanks for all the suggestions! For toothpaste, I’ve found baking soda works well (alone or can mix in a bit of stevia and peppermint essential oil for taste if you like). For moisturiser, I love shea butter or coconut oil (glass jars).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Many thanks for the like on my post 🙂 . And I’m so happy to have found your site! Not only have I been looking for ways to (even further) cut back on my family’s contribution to the huge problem of plastic pollution, but it’s also just really heartening to find like-minded people. Thanks for all the work you’re doing here to spread the word about all these issues!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve really enjoyed this series of posts and made some changes as a result. The way in which you set out the facts and supplied suggestions and links I found really helpful and informative. Very approachable style of educating people. Not at all scary or sensationalist as often appears in the press. Very Thank you so much.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I just wanted to say that I have really enjoyed this series! The humor woven throughout was wonderful and it was great to learn ways to reduce our plastic. I am so intrigued by the tooth salve…for a while we were using Living Libations dental products, but it was getting to be too pricey (but it was great that everything came in glass). Thank you for sharing!! I’ll definitely pass your posts along! 🙂
    p.s. – we love soap nuts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for telling us, I’m so glad you enjoyed these posts 😀 I’ll add an update to the bit about the tooth salve to say that I’m really enjoying it, I got used to the taste very quickly. I’ve never heard of Living Libations, thank you so much for sharing, I’ll include a link to them here so that other people can find them 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I read about the toothpaste and brushes with much interest as my dentist recommended using baking soda/lemon juice mixture as toothpaste and a soft brush. I was surprised when I looked at the abrasive properties of most toothpastes, finding this was much less so, helping to preserve tooth enamel while helping to keep teeth stain free. Link to info

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Robert, I’m really glad to know your dentist recommended that. We cleaned our teeth with bicarbonate of soda (your baking soda) mixed with salt and made into a paste with water for a long time. Then I got worried that the bicarb was too abrasive and stopped doing it, so I’m really glad to know that your dentist says it’s a good idea. If you are able to get the remineralizing tooth salve mentioned in this post though, that is even better. Click on the link to read the science. It’s much softer than toothpaste or bicarb because you’re cleaning your teeth with soap. The taste is unpleasant at first but very quick and easy to get used to. It tastes like licorice to me now 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. hey for plastic-free toothpaste, check out toothy tabs from LUSH. The “Dirty” tabs are my fav. and are completely natural and come in recyclable cardboard. Also, there’s a toothbrush company called Preserve. They’re made from yogurt cups, and when you’re done you mail it back to the company so they can recycle it into new toothbrushes… after 5 returned toothbrushes they give you a coupon for a free one!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I used to use Lush toothy tabs years ago but they stopped putting them in boxes and started putting them in plastic bottles. Have they gone back to boxes now? That’s great news if they have. Yeah, Dirty was my favourite too, and the cheapest 😉 Thanks for sharing 😀

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    • Just checked the Lush website and sadly they’re still putting them in plastic bottles. It’s so silly because I assumed when I found them that they’d made them precisely to enable people to clean their teeth without plastic containers but one of their staff told me that they started putting them in plastic bottles when some people complained that their tabs were getting damp. They could have just told those people not to keep them in the bathroom and they would have been fine.

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