Eco Living, Family Life

Eco Dental Health

My post today was originally posted on   Bookmark this site, Laureanna gives great ideas to make the world a cleaner place.


Not-Forever Toothbrushes

In celebration of dental health month, I thought I’d throw out a couple of ideas for how to reduce your plastic load when taking care of your teeth.  How else are you going to be able to smile brightly about all the positive changes you’re making?

A Facebook ad popped up recently with this jarring thought: All the toothbrushes you’ve EVER used are still here on Earth.  Let’s say three toothbrushes a year, times your age… And then times over 300 million of us probably doing about the same thing just in the USA. Most of us don’t give a second thought to the free toothbrush we get at the dentist’s office, or even another second thought when we toss out our old, somewhat mangled one into the garbage. We certainly don’t think that it will be on Earth FOREVER.

And beyond the toothbrush material, there’s the packaging to consider.  Usually, there’s additional plastic found here too.

In this age of information and innovation, we’re able to make choices that are better for the long term of our planet. Try to avoid all plastic toothbrushes – they’re made from crude oil, and will be around for millions of years, someday breaking down into microplastics that everyone will ingest. Better choices include recycled toothbrushes or ones made from bamboo. This cuts down on our plastic load, and in the case of bamboo, relies on a renewable resource.

My purpose is to educate rather than sell products, so I’ll let you do the research on what might work best for you.  Googling “best toothbrush for the environment” gives a trove of leads. Many also offer recyclable packaging! If you try one, or if you have one that works for you, please leave a comment for others. 🙂 At our house, we love the bamboo ones – especially for backpacking, because they’re so lightweight.

Finally, what about the free toothbrush that you get twice a year from the dentist? Remember, you can always say “No, but thank you” and talk about your efforts if they ask. Or, donate it! Homeless and women’s shelters are often looking for basic toiletries items to share with their clients.

Good luck!

Smile more (brightly),



Eco Living, Family Life, Frugal Living

Eco Friendly Party Ideas

balloons calm clouds colorful
Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on

I know that it is only February, but graduation parties are only a few months away.  I myself will be having a graduation party for my youngest.  As good parents, we want to give our children the best of everything, right?  Even fun, brightly decorated parties.  They worked hard, they deserve it.  Before I go further this rant, I will be the first to admit that with my older children, I had parties and pulled out the stops.  I decorated with balloons, plastic confetti, plastic utensils, paper plates.  The works!  I wanted to enjoy their party, celebrate their accomplishments and make my life easier.  But, in the last couple years, I have become so much more aware of the environmental impact of these disposable items. Parties can be fun without the plastic waste.  Here are some ideas:

  1. Skip the balloons.  They are fun, colorful, beautiful and loved by many.  I love balloons.  I always have.  Sitting on the end of a buffet, they can make the party seem so much better.   But, they are terrible for the environment.  They do not decompose, animals eat them and they get stuck in everything from trees to utility lines.  Instead of balloons, how about a bouquet of flowers at the end of that buffet instead. My daughter’s school colors are red and white, so that leaves us with a lot of options.  Stick with local flowers and that is even better.
    person wearing red sweater and black pants holding bouquet of pink flowers
    Photo by Secret Garden on


  2. Use the paper plates!  The water waste to clean a sink full of regular plates is likely just as detrimental as the paper plates.  But, spend the extra dollars and purchase environmentally friendly plates that are compostable.  A quick google search will give you endless options.
  3. The precut and arranged fruit and vegetable plates from your local grocery store are so tempting.  But, they are sold in huge containers of plastic that will no doubt end up in a landfill.  Instead, create your plates with serving dishes you have at home and cut your own produce.
  4. Choose alternatives to single use plastic water bottles.  Fill a 3 gallon water dispenser with water (you can add citrus to make it pretty) and have paper cups available.  Or, but cans of water.  The aluminum is still better than plastic.

    sliced lemon fruit in glass picher
    Photo by Julia Zolotova on
  5. Instead of purchasing confetti to decorate, use a hole punch and create your own out of leaves that you find on the ground or construction paper.  This another free option and 100% eco friendly.

    assorted colors paper cutouts closeup photo
    Photo by Ylanite Koppens on
  6. Use your everyday utensils instead of plastic utensils.  It will take extra time to clean them, but think about how much more eco friendly that choice will be.  Also, you already own a drawer full of utensils, so you will also save money.
    blur breakfast close up cutlery
    Photo by Pixabay on

    These are just a few of the ideas I have as I already start planning my daughter’s graduation party this summer.  What other ideas are floating around out there to make graduation party season both fun and eco friendly?