Episode 7 - Plastic Waste in the Bathroom - Part 2

Welcome to 1000 Ways Green! The show where we are going to give busy people like you easy ways to help save the planet for our future generations.

This week’s episode is continuing our series on how to remove plastic from our lives, with part two of all the plastic waste that exists in your bathroom. Onto this week’s three things:

Mint Green level: Your mint green level challenge this week is to stop buying toilet paper from the store. And I know those of you who went through the toilet paper insanity of Covid may be calling me insane and may have just stopped listening, but give me just a minute. We switched from your standard tree-killing, plastic wrapped, need to go to the store to get toilet paper brand to a company called Who Gives A Crap and I think it is my favorite green switch of all time. Their toilet paper is made from Bamboo, which grows much faster than trees, breaks down much better in your toilet or septic system and in my experience lasts far longer. We also ended up ordering toilet paper far less often than we used to, I think we are somewhere between 6-9 months since our last order and are just now starting to get low. Oh, plus half of their proceeds go to building toilets for those who don’t have them, which is good since about 800 children die every day due to not having access to proper sanitation. So don’t go to the store to buy toilet paper, save money, save the planet, and save people’s lives.

Shamrock Green level: For our shamrock green level challenge this week I’m going to give away my secret of how you can get lots of toothpaste past the TSA. The TSA only lets you bring up to 3 ounces of liquids on planes but…if your toothpaste no longer has water in it, you can bring as much as you want! Which means using toothpaste tablets rather than toothpaste gel tubes is how you do it. If you’re not familiar with them, they are basically dehydrated toothpaste in the form of tiny cylinders or pills that you pop into your mouth, chew and brush with a wet toothbrush and continue as usual. I’m going to break down the 3 I’ve tried with their pros and cons below:

  • Humble Company Toothpaste tablets:

    • Pros:

      • Love the fact that their containers are fully recyclable

      • I like the flavor of them

      • The price was reasonable

    • Cons:

      • The feeling was slightly gritty

      • Sometimes they made my gums bleed while brushing

  • Native Toothpaste Tablets:

    • Pros:

      • The container is more easily reusable for other purposes

      • The container seals the best for long term storage

    • Cons:

      • The taste wasn’t great

      • The container is comes in is still plastic, albeit the best kind (#2) so it actually can be recycled pretty well

      • Not the best price

  • Bite Toothpaste Tablets:

    • Pros:

      • Size; they are small and you can fit a lot in a tiny space, great for traveling.

      • Cost is the best of the 3 if you buy in bulk.

      • Love the fact that you only need to buy the glass container the first time, then refills.

    • Cons:

      • Taste is meh

      • Not a ton of foam so it doesn’t seem like it is cleaning but seems to do the job well enough.

If you switched to toothpaste tablets, and convinced your network to do the same, and they theirs we could collectively save 1.5 billion toothpaste tubes from both being made and thrown away every year. And regardless of which toothpaste you use, you ought to switch to a bamboo toothbrush so you only need to throw away the bristles and not the brush as it can be recycled or composted. If we all did this we could save 3.5 billion toothbrushes from being thrown away each year.

Forest green level: And for our forest green challenge this week, it isn’t actually that much more challenging but it does have the highest start up cost, though it will save you the most money in the long run. So this challenge is to replace your standard razor with a Metal Safety Razor. Safety razors only have one very sharp blade that gives you a closer shave than your standard razor and should in theory last you your entire lifetime. While there are many out there, the one I am recommending to you is from Albatross and allows for you to send the blades back to them so they can recycle them into other products and the new blade packs are way cheaper than other razor replacements I’ve seen. They take a little getting used to but the albatross one has a perfect 5 star review average. This mission, should you choose to accept it will help us stop throwing away 2 billion razors each year, not to mention the heads of reusable razors.

P.S. - Whether or not you choose to take on this mission or not, something you should know is that the main reason that razor blades dull is due to them having water sitting on them and the reaction between the metal, water and air. If you can simply dab the razor blade dry when you’re done you will extend its life and sharpness by months. Also that little colored gel strip that some companies have telling you when to replace is total bull, even if you don’t dry it off, they are still sharp enough to work.

Thanks for listening, that is it for this week. Remember there are links to all of today’s mentions in the show notes for you to easily access based on the level of the challenge you choose. If you like what you’re hearing I’d love to have you give the show a review on your podcast player of choice as it helps the show reach more people and allows us to make a bigger impact for our future generations. If you don’t love what you’re hearing please “leaf” me a note at 1000WaysGreen.com and let me know why. Until next time, be green and be seen.