My Plastic Free Life blogs…

My Plastic Free Life this week blogged the story of the mugs and water bottles of Restaurant Praia Arrifana in Portugal. 

Beth Terry has created the number one blog in living plastic free. It was her blog that kept me sane and encouraged all those years ago. She´d learnt about plastic pollution a year before me.  She started blogging straight away, honestly documenting her transformation.

She went on to write a book.  My Plastic Free Life. How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and How You Can Too. Which I highly recommend, with a new addition out in April.

What João Pedro and Restaurant Praia Arrifana  has achieved deserved to be recognised far and wide. Beth Terry blogging this story can do just that, and can inspire many others.

This is the post, which will also lead you to her site.

Arrifana Resturant in Portugal is saving 5000-6000 single use plastic cups a year!

The post is in Portuguese and English.  I´d like to thank my friend Jane for making what I wrote sound great! and Claudia for translating. It´s been a team effort all round!

This is the restaurant’s website if you would like to check them out.

Resturant Praia Arrifana

Talking teeth

Like the majority of people I want to look after my teeth.  My teeth are rather large…  I´m lucky, as kids we didn´t have many sweets and our Mum cooked everything fresh for us, so I don´t have any fillings. I don´t fancy undoing that now and having big rotting teeth!

When you start reading about plastic pollution it can be overwhelming. Ahhhh!  What to change first for a plastic free alternative?

That of course is up to you. One of the areas I changed first was my bathroom. Why?  Because it was easy! All I had to do was go online and order a few things to replace what I already had, so once they ran out I was prepared.

One such thing was my toothbrush and toothpaste. Toothbrushes are a regular find during our beach cleans. How do they make their way from landfill to the ocean…?  Who knows, but they do!

Of course, daily we´re not getting through the amount of toothbrushes we are plastic bags for example, but we´re still getting though a lot. We use to be told to change them every 6 months. Now, for some reason it´s every 3 months.

I´ve been Being PALL 6 years. That´s 12 toothbrushes.  If I´d started when I was a kid, that be about 100.

Doesn´t seam that much, but when you think, I have 200 odd “friends” on facebook. Say they all change their toothbrush every 6 months, that´s 400 toothbrushes a year. If they do as they´re told, and change them 4 times a year, that´s 800. If they have kids, you can double that again… Collectively the numbers add up.

Then there´s the toothpaste tubes and lids, which is consumed more rapidly than the toothbrushes. Some toothpaste actually contain plastic. Nice!  Apparently they are going to change this, as dentists are finding plastic in peoples gums and aren´t happy about it. Which ones? I don´t buy it, I´m not sure, I´ll let you do the research on that.

So what can you do to PALL – Plastic A Lot Less – your dental care?

For toothpaste, I swopped to tooth-tabs by LUSH* (if you´re not near a store, or are one of the people that can´t handle the smell in store, you can shop online). You can of course make your own tooth cleaner. Many bloggers do. I´ve often found it hard to find ingredients without plastic, maybe I move around to much, maybe I´m just a bit lazy…

LUSH tooth-tabs are great. They come in all kind of flavors, and I find breaking them in half is more than enough (so you can half the price of a box) I keep mine in a metal tin, so they don´t get damp in the bathroom. (They´re not a fan of damp I´ve learnt).

For toothbrushes I shop online, I´ve yet to see them in any shop (let me know if you have!)  I shop in bulk, and have them on hand as & when I need them.

The toothbrushes I admit was a bit of a dilemma. I came to the conclusion that if I was nifty with a saw and sandpaper the best thing would be to make my own. I´m not. So, I went for the next best thing, a fair trade, Panda friendly MOSO bamboo one.

Made in China shipped from Australia… not ideal. Then I thought, plastic toothbrushes are all made in China anyway, unless like I say I make my own I don´t see what the choice is? At least these are also fair trade, I can´t imagine they all are…

I order from this company as they do not individually wrap the toothbrushes in plastic (others do, weird I know!) the minimum you can order is 12 pieces. So you can stock up, you could also get together with friends and order a load, saving on the postage.

This is their website. Environmental Toothbrush  if you order from here please let them know I sent you, and they may send me a toothbrush or two!

They have two sizes, adults and small children. I´ve given a few away to friends kids, who loved them!

OK, so there isn´t different colours, and you may need to find a way of working out who´s who´s in the bathroom. It´s that or we have toothbrushes hanging around the oceans for 1000s of years… Grown ups and kids are creative.  I trust we can find a way of identifying them. 

It´ll be fun to see how you identify yours!

James got in touch, these are his tips:

Nail polish.
Small colored rubber bands.
We have a family of 9 what we do is simply use a pen and put an initial or name on the inside of the brush handle ( where the ENVIRONMENTAL TOOTHBRUSH name is).
Why the inside – because if you put it on the back and your small child leaves it on a wet vanity unit it will run and stain the vanity (speaking from experience).

The bristles are made from nylon, a kind of plastic. So they´re not plastic free, but they are PALL. It´s that or Boars hair, another issues.   They went with nylon type 4 which they say:

It has been reported that nylon 4 was degraded in the soil and in the activated sludge. The results confirmed that Nylon 4 is readily degradable in the environment. The nylon 4 in the blend was completely degraded in 4 months.

If you do decided to make your own, from bamboo in your garden and have a living happy boar or dog with tough hair you might try as bristles, get in touch I´ll happily try one!  Until then, for me at least, these companies have the answers for PALL-ing my tooth care.

Happy Brushing. Happy PALL-ing!

* LUSH do not test on animals. They do not use palm oil. They don´t add plastic to their tooth-tabs. They do a load of other good shit. The overpowering smell of the stores can be forgiven! Also, it often doesn´t smell as strong inside, as it does walking past. So get in there, the PALL options they have are quite incredible.