Thursday, December 18

Noitalever: Toothpaste

Hello, friends. I wanted to let you know that I've been thinking about toothpaste an unreasonable amount during this last year, but I've made some interesting discoveries.

In May, I read this post by Green Bean and realized that I, too, could use toothpaste to the last drop. I could also use less. This idea focused on the principle of "reducing," and really snuggled with my thrifty nature. It so happened that this epiphany coincided with needing to buy toothpaste again. I bought the normal stuff with all of the plastic trimmings because I just didn't have the energy to do otherwise at the time.

So, I brought my new tube of toothpaste home and sat, staring at it. "Beth thinks she can make you last a whole year," I explained to it. "But really? I think we're dealing with six or seven months of material. I'm going to make you last until December."

And so, we set out on our Life Quest, with a side of "reduce toothpaste." I cut my amount down to a third, because it occurred to me that at least a third dropped off of my toothbrush usually, so I was never using the full amount anyway. And you know what? Using 66% less has not inhibited my brushing experience. In fact, besides not swallowing any or dropping any, I cannot tell the difference!

Last week, as I was cutting apart my toothpaste tube in order to truly make it "good to the last drop," I felt an overwhelming sense of victory. I did a little thrifty dance. And then, I thought about what else I could do.

In that same post, Beth talks about how baking soda irritated her mouth and how dentists want us to have more flouride, etc. But I started thinking...

I thought about my grandmother, who used to play "Little House on the Prairie" with me when I'd spend the night at her house. The only part of that whole experience that I can really remember is getting to brush my teeth with baking soda, because it was so novel. I also thought about my aunt, who always adds bread to stuffing mixes to stretch them, or macaroni noodles to boxed macaroni. This principle of "stretching" is something we can see also in the trend to add water to shampoo or lotion. How could I stretch toothpaste?

I want to lower my impact, but not give up toothpaste (I do love it so), so here's what I came up with: I will brush my teeth with toothpaste (I purchased Tom's of Maine) during the day, but use baking soda at night. That way, I'm using much less toothpaste, but also not enough baking soda (hopefully) to irritate my gums.

I have started doing this, and so far it's working well.

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