Environmental sustainability is a key focus here at GCH and we encourage all our staff to promote sustainable practices.
When it comes to reducing household waste or your carbon footprint, what’s the first thing you think of? Using less energy or investing in solar? Re-usable bags when you go shopping? Using less chemicals for cleaning the kitchen or bathroom? Getting an electric or hybrid car?
Investing in solar, household batteries or a new electric vehicle can be expensive, and money is tight for a lot of people right now. But there are ways to make a difference that won’t stretch the budget too much. And we’re going to start with something everyone reading this will have in their bathroom: the humble toothbrush.
The WWF reports that globally 3.5 BILLION plastic toothbrushes end up in landfill or our waterways and oceans. Consider also that one single plastic toothbrush can take up to 500 years to break down then you can see how these everyday items can have a big impact on our planet. But there are alternatives.
BAMBOO BRUSHES: Bamboo is awesome stuff, it is fast growing which makes it a perfect renewable, it’s versatile and pandas eat it. Bamboo is compostable, so instead of chucking your old toothbrush in the bin, chuck it into your compost. You just need to remove the bristles first. It may take a bit longer to break down than food scraps or garden clippings, but it will still break down and have a positive impact on your garden and the environment.
CORN-STARCH BRUSHES: Corn-starch brushes offer the same benefits as bamboo brushes in as much as they are fully compostable (bar bristles). Corn-starch brushes are sturdier and less porous than the bamboo ones, meaning they may last a bit longer and won’t absorb as much liquid as the bamboo ones might.
REPLACEABLE HEADS: Some of the major brands in the toothbrush game have introduced toothbrushes with replaceable heads. The heads are still plastic, however the handle is aluminium, meaning it’s much sturdier and doesn’t need to be chucked out with the head of the brush. Yes, you may still be using plastic, however it’s estimated that by using a replaceable head toothbrush you can reduce your plastic waste from toothbrushes by between 60%-80%. If you have an electric toothbrush, bamboo heads are also becoming available thanks to our clever friends in Sweden.
Of course, you don’t need to chuck a toothbrush as soon as it’s done with. Give it a good wash and it can have a second life as a tool in your cleaning arsenal. Old toothbrushes are great for cleaning things like jewellery, grout, the sole of shoes, taps, computer keyboards and even cheese graters.
Keep an eye out for more GCH Green adventures in the coming months.