(You might want to listen to this song to set the mood for reading this post).
I used to have one of those, battery powered toothbrushes. You know, the ones with a vibrating head so you can “brush like a dentist”? I had held back on buying one for a long time thinking that it was a waste of batteries and resources to have a toothbrush so large (plus, my dentist gave me brushes for free – why would I go out and spend $10 on one?) But, after months of roommate peer pressure, I caved.
And|I have to admit I actually liked the vibrating toothbrush. My teeth were smooth and polished. When we started the Clean Bin Project and ran out of toothpaste, the combination of my vibrating toothbrush and my homemade baking soda toothpaste was even better. And then things went awry.
Both my and Grant’s toothbrushes died. (they were cheap pieces of crap after all). So began the search for an eco-friendly toothbrush. . .I wanted to get a wooden toothbrush, but couldn’t seem to find one made in North America, so we both went with recycled plastic. Her is my formal review.
Grant chose The Source toothbrush by Radius, made in Kutztown, USA. It has a handle made of recycled dollar bills (or flax, or wood depending on the model), and replaceable heads made of nylon. It has a large ergonomic handle (that looks quite a bit like a turd) and a surprisingly large head of very soft bristles. I personally find the bristles a little too soft (yes, I tried his toothbrush – I’m trying to do a complete report here) and the head a little too large, but Grant likes it lots.
I chose the Preserve toothbrush which is also made in the States. It has a handle made of 100% recycled plastic, and looks, well, like a regular toothbrush. The reason I picked it was that preserve has put real thought into the end of the product lifecycle. The brush comes in a plastic container that doubles as a travel case. When your brush is worn out, they supply an envelope so you can mail it back to them to be made into park benches (ok, it’s not true recycling, but at least they’re taking responsibility). Brush-wise, it does the job, and the travel case is handy.
It sounds dumb to say a toothbrush makes me feel good, but seriously, I really do feel good every morning when I brush my teeth with something I know is on its second life and will have another life when I’m done with it. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I do miss my vibrating toothbrush, and it was hard to say no to the freebie at the dentist, but these days, our recycled toothbrushes are serving us just fine.
4 responses to “ChChChhChh (You Brush Your Teeth)”
i think sean has that turd kind. I’m in the market too, and I think I’m gonna go for the one you got if I can find it because I always need a travel case. and I love sending mail.
I love your site!
I’m a Canadian in Europe, and while living in Germany I discovered a toothbrush made by a company called Aronal. I have no idea if they are made of recycled plastic or not, but when you buy an initial toothbrush it comes with 2 replaceable brush heads, which are available in a couple of different bristle strengths. Afterward you buy replacement packets of brushheads. Now I’m in France, and these brushes aren’t available here so I stock up every time I’m in Germany, as well as take the old heads back to recycle in the vastly superior (but far from perfect) Germany recycling system!
Thanks for reading! I like the extra heads option. I’ve seen ones where the whole head pops off, but not just the bristles – nice design. And I’m impressed by your dedication to storing used heads until you get to Germany – nice one.
Too bad about the wooden type availability. They are fab. At least the company takes ownership of the waste toothbrush and the landfill outcome is delayed. At present, this is fine though better designs should emerge later.