How to save the planet while brushing your teeth

The 5th of June was World Environment Day and Plastic Free July is fast approaching. So let’s raise awareness of what small changes we can make to our daily routines that will make the world of difference.

5 Tips to Reduce Your Waste

Turn the tap off when brushing

The average person wastes at least 90 glasses of water per day when they leave the tap running while brushing their teeth!!

Did you know, you don’t actually need any water to brush your teeth?

  • Apply toothpaste to brush
  • Brush for 2 minutes
  • Spit (don’t rinse your mouth)

(OK, well you will actually need a little water to rinse your brush!)

 

Kathryn at the Brisbane Council Green
Heart Fair last weekend.

 

Switch toothbrush

Are you using a plastic manual toothbrush? Why not try a bamboo brush?

In Australia, over 30 million toothbrushes are used and disposed of, amounting to approximately 1000 tonnes of landfill each year. The plastic they’re made of won’t break down in our lifetime (www.enviromentaltoothbrush.com.au).

We are using The Environmental Toothbrush, which was developed by a Brisbane Dentist. The handles are made from Moso bamboo (which is not a food source for pandas). This is biodegradable, environmentally sustainable, and does not pollute the environment. Did you know that bamboo is considered a grass, and is the fasted growing plant on the planet? This amazing growth and self-renewing ability means that the use of bamboo is environmentally sustainable. Also, the bamboo that The Environmental Toothbrush uses is grown by local farmers (not on plantations).

 

The Environmental Toothbrush – We will be
giving these away in July.

 

When it’s time for a new brush, break off the bristles and put in the bin. Put the bamboo handle in the compost or in your garden, where it will break down.

We will be giving away these amazing brushes during Plastic Free July – so be sure to come in and get yours!

Re-usable Floss Containers

There’s no getting around it – we need to floss. And unfortunately there is no alternative to the plastic tapes available at the moment. However, what about reducing the amount of plastic by using a refillable floss container? We stock some Seriously Good Floss – Man Floss & Queen of Clean, which come in a refillable glass jar. Just buy this once, then top up with the refills when you run out.

 

Seriously Good Floss!! Glass floss jars with refils.

 

Recycle your packaging with Terracycle

Terracycle’s aim is to recycle the ‘non-recyclable’. Check out their website for all the info on how you can participate. If you would be interested in dropping off your oral care waste (toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes, packages and containers) to us to send to Terracycle, please let us know as we are considering becoming a drop-off location.

 

Visit your dentist regularly

By visiting your dentist regularly and carrying out proper home-care, you will greatly reduce your need for any treatment (other than preventive care like scaling and cleanings). This will reduce time, effort, money and the energy that goes in to carrying out these treatments. All non-disposable equipment used on you needs to be re-processed (cleaned and sterilised) which uses energy and water. Some equipment due to safety and infection control reasons is disposable and usually made of plastic (although we do try to source degradable plastics).

 

Taking the recycling out!

 

5 Things We’ve Done To Reduce Our Waste

Set up a recycling programme

We recycle everything that we can, from paper and cardboard to ink cartridges and old x-rays. We work with a company who will safely and confidentially recycle old x-ray films (among many other things). Did you know that x-ray films contain silver halide which can be extracted and converted into pure silver?

Our recycling system.

 

Gone paperless

This is still a work in progress, but we have massively reduced the amount of paper and ink we are using. Last year we switched from paper records to a computer system. Those who have seen us this year will have noticed the use of the iPad as we move away from paper forms.

We will always ask you first if you want a receipt printed. We can email you invoices, treatment plans, information and forms.

Re-usable cups for coffee

The staff have been using Keep Cups for a while now if going out for their morning coffee.

Reducing Plastic

To comply with infection control regulations and ensure your safety, we do have to use a lot of plastics and disposables. We will always try a reusable option first. Where we have no choice, we source our disposable products from a great company called BioProtect. Their products use degradable plastic, used from EPI (Environmental Products Inc.), a 100% oxo-biodegradable material. They even supply us with cornstarch cups instead of plastic ones.

 

Cornstarch cup which completely
biodegrades.

 

Digital x-rays are coming soon!

This will mean less chemicals, no actual films and less water and energy in the processing.

We will be celebrating Plastic Free July with some special gifts and prizes, so if you are due your dental check-up or have treatment to finish, be sure to book in.

 

Resources:

https://www.terracycle.com/en-AU

https://www.worldenvironmentday.global/

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