Most of us started our eco-friendly journeys by switching from single-use plastic grocery bags to reusable totes. Then, we ditched the straws to save the turtles. We swapped out flimsy plastic water bottles for sturdier refillable ones and found other ways to reduce our carbon footprints.
Each day there are new ways to make our homes and our habits eco-friendlier. And many people are surprised to find that bathroom products are a major contributor to habits that aren’t exactly planet-friendly.
How many plastic-containing items can you count in your bathroom? We bet it’s more than you’d think. In most American bathrooms, there are plastic-based toothpaste tubes, bottles for shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion… the list goes on.
See, all that plastic adds up fast. But don’t worry, we don’t expect you to go from a regular routine to a full-blown eco-warrior overnight. Let’s start with traditional dental products and routines. Taking a deeper look at these is a great way to ease into a more sustainable routine.
What is Zero Waste Toothpaste?
Also known as sustainable toothpaste or eco-friendly toothpaste, zero waste toothpaste minimizes the amount of waste being created. These types of products help lessen our environmental impact by using healthier ingredients, no plastic, and fewer materials.
And the fact that they’re better for the environment isn’t their only selling point. Zero waste or sustainable products often feature ingredients that are better for humans, too. When something is better for the planet and better for us, it’s hard to argue against it!
Zero Waste vs. Traditional Toothpaste
Most traditional toothpastes contain ingredients that may be harmful to us, as well as tons of plastic packaging that is harmful to the environment. We all understand the impact of plastic packaging ending up in our landfills and waterways.
But let’s take a quick step back and talk about the potentially damaging chemicals that we’re ingesting when we use traditional toothpastes. Most people don’t know about those. Two of the most common are Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) and Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES).
These surfactants are what makes the toothpaste lather, but they’re also common ingredients in industrial cleaners. Certain studies have linked SLS-based toothpastes to an increase in the frequency of repeated mouth ulcers.
It can also cause canker sores, microscopic damage to the oral tissue, skin irritation, and inflammation. And SLES may be contaminated with a substance called 1,4-dioxane, which is known to cause cancer in lab animals.
While substances like SLS and SLES are typically used in small doses in toothpastes to ensure safety, who wants to use a toothpaste that contains such potentially dangerous ingredients? Zero waste toothpaste helps reduce or eliminate potential harm to humans and the planet.
One of our favorite brands, David’s Toothpaste, uses an ingredient derived from coconuts instead of SLS. This healthier substitute, called sodium cocoyl glutamate, is 100% sulfate-free. And before we move on, let’s talk about two other ingredients we’re happy to see left out: fluoride and glycerin.
Kicking Fluoride and Glycerin to the Curb
Fluoride, while safe in small quantities, can be toxic in larger proportions. And even though we’ve been using it in our toothpastes and water sources for decades, there is growing evidence now that that the potential risks from consuming fluoride-containing water may outweigh the benefits for some individuals.
Some of these potential risks include changes in tooth enamel that range from hard-to-see white spots to full-blown stains and a concentration in the bone. At high levels, fluoride collected in the bone can stimulate bone cell growth, altering the tissue structure and weakening the skeleton.
But even more concerning is the preliminary research that suggests that high levels of fluoride may be toxic to brain and nerve cells. These studies were conducted on lab animals, and further research is needed. Studies with human subjects identified possible learning and memory impairments with high fluoride exposure.
Glycerin, a nontoxic GMO, is used in most traditional toothpastes and other everyday household items. But if we’re avoiding GMOs in our food, it doesn’t make much sense to use them in our toothpastes. Plus, the coating that it leaves on our teeth is a magnet for plaque.
Again, further research is needed into ingredients like glycerin and fluoride to see what potential long-term consequences they may have. Currently, the most common belief is that they are dangerous in higher doses and safer in smaller ones. But why take the chance when you don’t have to?
It used to be that traditional toothpaste options were all that we had. But now, there’s so much more out there. And there are tons of recipes to make your own natural toothpaste, too. The eco-friendly options are many, and there’s never been a better time to improve our health and our planet.
With natural ingredients, like coconut oil, baking soda, vegetable glycerin, peppermint oil, and spearmint oil, plastic-free toothpaste gives you a healthier, happier mouth. And it helps contribute to a happier, healthier planet, too.
Why You Should Make the Switch to a Zero Waste Toothpaste
Making the switch to a zero-waste toothpaste comes down to two things: our health and the planet’s health. We’ve already done a deep dive into the human health benefits of ditching traditional toothpastes. And if you’re on our page, it’s safe to say that you want to hear more about how your choices can help improve the environment.
If you’re searching for sustainable solutions, we already know that you’re someone who wants to lessen your impact. You’re searching for more than a sustainable routine; you’re searching for ways to help make a difference.
Rather than contributing to the problem or pretending it doesn’t exist, you’re actively seeking out products and habits that are healthier than the ones most of us are used to. Our bathroom habits matter. 1.5 billion plastic toothpaste tubes are thrown away each year in the U.S. alone.
And as we all know, clunky plastic materials that end up in landfills often sit there for hundreds of years. Or worse, they end up polluting our oceans and waterways and poisoning marine life. Neither is an option that we want to be a part of.
Small changes, like swapping out traditional tubes for plastic-free toothpaste, can make a big difference. And once you make some smaller swaps, it’s easier to build momentum and tackle the bigger ones, too!
Easy DIY Toothpaste Recipes
The do-it-yourself movement has been gaining momentum for years. Crafty and conscious individuals have been breaking away from pricey pre-made items and opting to make them at home instead.
There are step-by-step guides, videos, and tutorials on how to make everything from wine bottle flower displays to all-natural body scrubs. Because it results in less waste, tends to include more natural ingredients, and challenges you to make more conscious choices, the DIY movement goes well with the eco-friendly movement.
And thankfully, there are eco-warriors out there that have been leading the pack. Now, they’re teaching us all how to DIY many of the household items that produce the most waste. Shampoo and conditioner bottles are a great example of sneaky wasteful plastics.
You can easily find recipes to make your own or snag our travel-friendly zero waste shampoo and conditioner bars! This is just one example of many. Eco-friendly living allows you to get creative. And one eco-friendly DIY creation is rapidly gaining traction: DIY toothpaste.
All you need is:
- Coconut oil
- Baking soda
- Sea salt
- Essential oils for flavor
DIY Natural Toothpaste Options
The ingredients listed above for your eco-friendly toothpaste will provide you with several different DIY options. Here’s what you’ll need to make toothpaste with baking soda and water:
- One teaspoon of baking soda
- One drop of your choice of essential oil(s)
- A few drops of water
For toothpaste with baking soda, salt, and water:
- One tablespoon of baking soda
- One tablespoon of natural salt
- Three drops of your preferred essential oil(s)
- A few drops of water
Now, we know it sounds strange to add salt to your toothpaste but hear us out. Natural salt disinfects, reduces inflammation, and stimulates saliva production, which promotes strong enamel. See, it doesn’t sound so bad now, does it?
And for option number three, we have toothpaste with baking soda and coconut oil:
- Two tablespoons of baking soda
- Two tablespoons of coconut oil
- Ten drops of your preferred essential oil(s)
Whichever one you choose, simply gather up your ingredients in a bowl and mix them until smooth. These natural ingredients offer oral health benefits without the potentially complicated side effects.
Coconut oil, for example, is a natural ingredient used in many different homemade health recipes. It has natural anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-fungal properties. It also protects against cavities and is easy to find in stores or online.
Baking soda helps naturally neutralize the pH balance of our mouths. It also has mildly abrasive properties that help naturally remove stains from our teeth. The essential oils help with natural flavoring and also contribute other benefits, depending on the ones you choose.
And sea salt, as we mentioned before, disinfects, reduces inflammation, and stimulates saliva production. These household ingredients offer healthy and sustainable toothpaste options. Plus, since you’re mixing up your toothpaste right in your own home, the need for a plastic tube or plastic packaging is easily eliminated.
Many people who make their own dental hygiene products choose to store them in small decorative glasses or jars. These are not only reusable and more planet-friendly, but they can add a pop of color to your bathroom, too!
Pre-Made Sustainable Toothpaste Options
Now, if reading the section above made you a bit anxious, don’t worry. We all know the boundaries of our comfort zones. And if you’re not quite at the stage of mixing up your own toothpaste, we’ve got you covered!
Two of the most popular zero-waste toothpaste options are pastes and tablets. At EcoRoots, we sell David’s Toothpaste, made with the highest quality naturally sourced and naturally derived ingredients.
It safely and effectively whitens teeth, fights plaque, and freshens breath – all without being detrimental to the environment or your health. This plastic-free David`s toothpaste option is also free of artificial flavors, artificial preservatives, artificial colors, and artificial sweeteners.
Available in peppermint flavor or peppermint and charcoal, you won’t miss your old fake-tasting favorite toothpaste! These vegan, cruelty-free, and fluoride-free options come in recyclable metal tubes with a convenient key to help you squeeze out every last bit.
When we say zero waste, we mean for the environment and your wallet! The cardboard box your toothpaste comes in is 100% recyclable, and the metal tube and key are 100% recyclable, too.
And just because you’re ordering fancier toothpaste tubes now doesn’t mean you have to worry about fancier routines. All you have to do with your new toothpaste is what you were doing with your old ones: brush thoroughly after each meal or as directed by your dentist.
Now, let’s talk about toothpaste tablets.
What Are Toothpaste Tablets
Our toothpaste tablets are a natural, clean, and refreshing way of brushing your teeth while supporting the environment rather than damaging it. Made from high-quality natural and organic ingredients like the paste option, these tablets kill bacteria and promote fresh breath and healthy teeth and gums.
They’re the perfect addition to your zero-waste dental care routine! Each of our glass jars, shipped in 100% recyclable packaging, contains 120 tablets. That’s enough to last two months for one person. They come in both spearmint and activated charcoal flavors.
Our Georganics toothpaste tablets are:
- Fluoride, glycerin, and SLS-free
Since the tablets and jars are small, they’re incredibly travel-friendly, too! No more worrying about smooshed and leaking toothpaste tubes in your suitcase when you travel. And when you run out, you have a cute and upcyclable jar with a metal lid to reuse.
Or, if you’re looking to clear up space in your bathroom, they can also be recycled when you’re done. These tablets and their containers are incredibly convenient and eco-friendly. Plus, they’re easy to use.
How to Use Toothpaste Tablets
Using zero-waste toothpaste tablets is easier than you might think if you’ve never done it before. All you have to do is this:
- Chew one tablet in your mouth and let it dissolve.
- Brush your teeth as usual for two full minutes.
- Spit out and rinse well.
How to Store Toothpaste Tablets
Store your tablets in a dry place for up to 12 months after you open them. Since they already come in a handy and attractive container, you can leave them right on your sink ledge or on a shelf. Wherever you used to store your traditional toothpaste tubes should work just fine.
Your Zero Waste Dental Routine
Once you’ve got your sustainable toothpaste, using traditional toothbrushes, mouthwashes, and floss won’t feel the same. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We make it easy to create a happy, healthy, start-to-finish zero-waste dental routine.
Let’s start with that flimsy plastic toothbrush you’ve been using. Most only have a shelf life of about three months. After that, the bristles begin to wear out and harbor bacteria. And nobody wants that.
In the United States alone, one billion plastic toothbrushes are thrown away each year. This creates an annual 50 million pounds of waste. Imagine 50 million pounds of waste sitting across landfills or floating in our oceans. And that’s just toothbrushes.
Our natural bamboo toothbrushes help protect and preserve our beautiful planet from plastic pollution. And they come in a convenient set of four. Each one has a 100% compostable bamboo handle and recyclable nylon soft bristles.
They’re cruelty-free, vegan, and come in plastic-free and recyclable cardboard packaging. Bamboo is one of the most eco-friendly and sustainable natural resources out there. It is currently considered the world’s fastest naturally renewing resource.
But even better, bamboo is also naturally anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial. See, an eco-friendly mouth is a happy, healthy mouth! Next up, we have zero waste mouthwash and floss. Because once you make one switch from traditional to eco-friendly, you won’t want to stop.
Zero Waste Mouthwash
In between brushes, or when you’re on the go and need a little breath refresher, our mouthwash tablets are just what you need.
Choose charcoal or spearmint flavor to restore your mouth’s pH balance, maintain your oral health, freshen your breath, and decrease sensitivity. Each glass jar contains 180 tablets, which averages three months for one person.
Just like our eco-friendly toothpaste options, these tablets are free from potentially dangerous ingredients. We choose happy, healthy, vegan, and cruelty-free ingredients here because you deserve nothing but the best.
And don’t worry, the mouthwash tablets are easy to use, too. We know most people aren’t used to their mouthwash coming in anything but liquid form. But we promise you’ll get used to them faster than you think. They easily dissolve in a mouthful of water and are ideal for everyday use.
Just dissolve, swish for 30 seconds, and spit, all while saving our planet from single-use plastics! Like traditional mouthwashes, you’ll want to spit but not rinse. Otherwise, you’ll be washing away the health benefits and that super fresh smell.
Zero Waste Floss
Few of us enjoy, it but we all know we have to do it. Make flossing less of a hassle with our low-waste alternative to conventional plastic floss. Our zero waste floss is the cherry on top of your new eco-friendly daily oral hygiene routine.
Nix the traditional options and grab your zero waste glass floss container to go on the shelf with your other eco-friendly products. The glass container comes with a recyclable metal dispensing lid. And the bamboo floss itself is made from bamboo fibers with activated charcoal.
As always, our packaging is compostable or recyclable. And the floss is vegan, cruelty-free, fluoride-free, and made without using preservatives, colorings, or artificial sweeteners. Use it the same way you used flosses of the past.
Our zero waste floss option uses two incredible natural ingredients: organic tea tree oil and organic peppermint essential oil. Tea tree oil is antiviral and kills the bacteria that causes gum disease.
Peppermint essential oil is an anti-inflammatory. It also helps eliminate germs that are known to hover on the gums. There you have it – your new zero waste dental hygiene routine!
Health Benefits of Using Natural and Organic Ingredients
We’ve mentioned tons of health benefits that are associated with zero-waste products. Using natural and organic ingredients is something that we always recommend. But since the benefits are scattered throughout the different sections, let’s do a quick recap. Our ingredients naturally:
- Reduce inflammation
- Eliminate germs, microbes, and bacteria
- Freshen breath
- Neutralize the pH balance of the oral cavity
- Promote healthy teeth and gums
- Fight plaque
- Whiten teeth
And they do all of this, and more, without damaging the environment. That’s pretty impressive.
How Our Zero Waste Toothpaste Helps You Reduce Your Environmental Impact
Our zero-waste packaging helps you reduce your environmental impact in a few different ways. First, shipping in recyclable and compostable materials creates less waste. Second, since the products are enclosed in glass and metal instead of plastic, you’re creating less waste this way, too. Both the products and the packaging are better for the environment.
Third, with more natural ingredients, you don’t have to worry about chemicals and other unwanted materials bleeding into the ground after disposal. And if we’re concerned about that, shouldn’t we be worried about ingesting these things, too? Zero waste is the better choice all the way around.
Creating New Shopping Habits and Health Routines with Eco Roots
At EcoRoots, we care about our customers and our one and only Mother Earth. We choose happy, healthy ingredients, plastic-free packaging, and good-for-you creations to ensure that we’re doing our part. We hope that you’re ready to join us.
From zero-waste dental routines through eco-friendly bath and beauty, we make it easy to find the sustainable products you’re looking for. Follow the links listed above to get to your new zero waste dental products, or start browsing our new arrivals. We look forward to supporting your eco-friendly journey!