Day 15: DIY toothpaste

Zero Waste challenge
Jas (The Ginger) and Morgana (The Vegan) are undertaking the Zero Waste Challenge: finding ways to refuse, reuse, reduce, and recycle as much as possible in their lives, and ask you to join them on their journey.

The problem
Give us a smile. Show us those pearly whites. Say CHEESE.

So, we all care about how our teeth look and everyone wants to maintain a decent level of dental hygiene; but have you ever stopped to think about the environmental impact of simply brushing your teeth?

Toothpaste is typically sold in tubes that are difficult to recycle and usually end up in the landfill. They’re generally wrapped up in an unnecessary layer of cardboard too. And with every mouthful of toothpaste that’s spat down the drain (think the majority of the population, twice a day), a toxic chemical cocktail flows into our oceans and rivers.

The toothpaste brand "Hello" have launched the ‘An Inconvenient Tooth’ campaign to show how none of us knows what’s really in our toothpaste.

Morgana and Jas have gone a step further than simply buying the sustainable version of toothpaste. We’re students, remember, looking for the cheapest way to do literally anything. Scrimpers, if you will. And we want to avoid all wasteful packaging.
“Ew, I hope you’re not suggesting we stop brushing our teeth, waste or no waste, that’s GROSS.” 

Fear not, you can keep your smile as dazzling as ever and still not be a dick to the planet.

The solution
So how do you save money, protect the environment and keep in your dentist’s good books all AT THE SAME TIME?

A little bit of research quickly revealed how lots of people have already sworn off the regular stuff and converted to homemade toothpaste. So the Ginger and the Vegan decided to get a little DIY.

If you want to give DIY toothpaste a go, just mix together these three simple ingredients in a refillable container (eat it regular toothpaste), stick it in the fridge for a while, and you're ready to go:
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 1/2 tablespoons baking soda
25-30 drops Organic food grade peppermint essential oil (or any flavour you fancy)

Now, Jas and Morgana are particularly non-fussy and cheapskate students so the peppermint oil was too exotic for our trial run but the basics are there and we’ll just have to see how it tastes.

Evaluation
Ok, it’s different. Don’t expect the satisfying frothy lather that you would get with a normal toothpaste, instead you use a spoon to get your toothpaste on the brush and it’s just kind of watery. But it tastes fine! Nice, even. Morgana keeps getting tempted to eat it (do not do this).

Overall, our teeth are still feeling clean and this was waaaay cheaper and more sustainable than normal toothpaste. No toxic chemicals either. It’ll still take a bit of getting used to, but so far so good. We’ll keep you posted about this one.

This article is part of our 30 days  Zero Waste challenge.
Read what Jas and Morgana were up to in the past few days.

Day 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14

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