It’s a basic part of everyday life - we brush our teeth. Every day from when we just gnawed on the brush and swallowed toothpaste to today where I’m assuming we don’t do that anymore. It’s gotten really high tech as well, with all manner of electrified gizmos to keep your pearly whites pearly and your gums from receding. And all the things that you need for your oral health are made of… wait for it… plastic.

Oh friends of Mother Earth, must it be so? Over 1 billion toothbrushes end up in landfills every year in the US alongside about 10 milion tons of toothpaste tubes.

If everyone in the United States followed the American Dental Association’s recommendations for flossing (lol,) a landfill the size of a football field that’s 6 stories high would be needed JUST for empty floss dispensers every year. The floss could go around Mother Earth about 1,246 times. As small crap often escapes the keepers o’ the crap (garbage is handled a lot), right to the ocean it goes...where it kills things.

Options, people! There are options. Bamboo toothbrushes are a thing! While every plastic toothbrush made since the 1930’s is still hanging around somewhere, bamboo takes about 60 years to biodegrade and, even better, can be mechanically composted! Just be sure that you remove the bristles where necessary! The toothbrushes sold at Me Mother Earth have bristles made from bamboo with bristles that need to be removed prior to home composting (progress not perfection). We also have an option for your Philips SonicCare made from castor bean and infused with charcoal, totally biodegradable. 

Bamboo Sonicare Heads

Toothpaste? Lots of options! I like these adorable little tablets; they come in a compostable envelope. You pop one, chew it up and brush...easy! Take the processing down one more step and you have tooth powder; that comes in a cardboard tube and you just wet your bristles, dip, and go (no energy expended on chewing.) If you’re a person struggling with change right now, we feel you; try David’s Premium Natural Toothpaste which comes in a tube … made of aluminum. You do have to cut and clean it out to recycle it, but it comes in a tube and looks like toothpaste, squeezes out like toothpaste, and tastes like toothpaste (cuz it’s toothpaste.)

Toothpaste Tablet

For me, flossing has become a more than once a day thing with me; apparently my teeth are migrating. The fact that teeth are an exposed part of your skeleton is creepy enough, but they move. Ick. Anyway, I have formed a deep and meaningful relationship with this floss. First of all, the charcoal makes it dark so you can see where you’re going with it but most importantly it has a kind of rough surface so your mouth bones feel really clean. If you’re a fan of those pick floss things we got you covered too.

Biodegradable floss

Things that we do everyday definitely add up through a lifetime. I’m 60 and it makes me sort of nauseous to imagine how many toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes I’ve contributed to the plastic nightmare we now find ourselves in. You simply can’t know what nobody told you. However, once you do know - that’s now on you. I just can’t blindly keep using single-use plastic products; every blog I write, every fact I learn, demands that I be responsible to the planet I call home. I hope you’ll see how easy it is to swap without major hassle - since everything seems to be a hassle right now- This one is a cinch.


Plastic-Free Living Blog by Me Mother Earth may contain testimonials or reviews by contributor writers. These testimonials reflect the real ­life experiences and opinions of such users. However, the experiences are personal to those particular users, and may not necessarily be representative of all users of our products and/or services. We do not claim, and you should not assume, that all users will have the same experiences.

Me Mother Earth was created by Amanda Runkle and Alberto Gomes who aren’t experts, just two Mother Earth loving humans who share their plastic-free tips and advice with the help of contributor writers. The various DIY & zero waste methods, suggestions, and tutorials on Me Mother Earth are not error proof, they’re merely what worked for Amanda and Alberto along the way. Extra precautions and additional research are always advised and Me Mother Earth cannot be held responsible for your personal health or the outcomes from any of the articles shared on our Blog.

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