Happy Earth DAY!!!!
Let's talk about teeth. They are important. Dental hygiene is important. I may be from Arkansas, but I plan on keeping all of my teeth in my head. As an actor my appearance is pretty much everything - especially my teeth! I have been acting a long time. I had my first performance at age four. My dad would always tell me stories of people who got cast just because their teeth were white. Thinking about it now, it was probably just a ploy to get me to consistently brush my teeth. But, it worked! I brush these bad boys at least twice a day and water pik for awesome gum health.
I've waited to share my tooth powder recipe; because I wanted to work with a dentist on it. It was important to have input from someone who's all knowledgeable in the tooth department. Beyond toothpaste coming in an un-recyclable plastic tube, it has a lot of additives.
- Saccharin and aspartame: Artificial sweeteners which both made the Center for Science in the Public's Interest's list of additives to avoid.
- Triclosan: Used in antibacterial soaps and listed as a pesticide. More research is being conducted because of it's negative effect on thyroid and estrogen levels.
- Glycerin: It's not harmful, but it coats your teeth, and prevents the beneficial minerals in saliva from reaching the teeth.
- Sodium lauryl sulfate: Commonly referred to as SLS, it's an unnecessary foaming agent that agitates gums and can cause ulcers and canker sores.
- Silica: A natural component of sand
I won't even get into flouride. But, if I can avoid these things and have super healthy teeth - why not!? It meets all of my rules of personal sustainability and it costs pennies to make.
- 1/4 Cup of Xylitol: It's a natural sweetner. It prevents bacteria from sticking to the teeth and neutralizes the pH to help avoid tooth decay.
- 1/4 Cup of Baking Soda: A very mild abrasive (less abrasive than commercial toothpastes) that dislodges plaque on teeth, breaks down stain causing molecules, and neutralizes pH.
- 1/4 Cup of Bentonite Clay: Draws out toxins, contains calcium, and is often used to help remineralize teeth.
Stir together. Avoid using metal with the clay, it will deactivate. I used a wooden spoon and store it in a glass mason jar. This is will leave you with clean breath, and tastes like nothing. The sweetness in the xylitol cancels out the saltiness of the baking soda and the clay is very neutral. If you want some minty freshness, you should check out my mouthwash recipe.
step one: dampen toothbrush
step two: dip in tooth powder
You don't need too much
step three: brush your teeth!
Beyond the toothpowder, lets talk about the equally important toothbrush. Switching your toothbrush may be the easiest swap! Not only is it incredibly attractive, but it's WAY better for the environment.
Did you know that every plastic toothbrush ever made still exists? Be apart of the solution and get a toothbrush that will return to the earth. Brush with Bamboo is my toothbrush of choice. They're a completely transparent family business.
Brush with Bamboo just offered all GZW readers a 10% off coupon. Use "ditchplastic" at the checkout! And, happy earth day from the BWB family!
I never knew I could get so jazzed about a toothbrush, but the more I learn about their company - the more I fall in love. They produce 5,000 lbs of organic food from their lawn and the community garden they started each year! I have just never met a company whose values align so much with mine, and I trust them.
Seriously, go check them out.
The handle is made of biodegradable, wild bamboo. No pesticides, no fertilizers, and only watered by rain which means no water waste! You can compost it in a municipal composting facility or you can save it for kindling in your campfire.
The bristles are 62% castor bean oil and 38% plastic. It's the most plant based bristle on the market. (The only compostable bristle is made of pig hair... which comes from the meat industry in China. I'd rather not be apart of that.) So, you need to remove the bristles before burning or composting.
I've been using their toothbrushes for over a year, and I haven't had to remove the bristles yet. After the bristles have frayed (which is around 4 months for me) I use them to clean hard to reach places and as an eyelash separator.
This is a huge selling point for me. Paper with no glue or tape! They use tabs that lock into place, and I can put the package in my backyard compost!
This has the lifespan of a regular toothbrush around four months. The best part is it costs the same as your average plastic toothbrush. I find it fits my mouth better than those too. It's agonizing trying to find the right toothbrush at the grocery store. I just want a normal toothbrush and Brush with Bamboo is PERFECT. The bristles are the perfect strength level and they're the perfect width.
And, beyond all the positive environmental impacts - they look so much cooler than a plastic toothbrush. Class level +100%.
EARTH DAY CHALLENGE!
Come on - you knew this was coming. I want you to pledge one zero waste swap for the year and tell me what it is in the comment section below!
You know - besides swapping to brush with bamboo...!