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The best eco friendly toothbrush for travel

Was at the dentist’s for a last check-up a few months before heading off on this adventure. At the end of the check-up, as has happened countless times before with every dentist your Guide has ever visited, they gave me a plastic bag with a plastic container of dental floss and a plastic toothbrush. It got me thinking: there must be a better type of toothbrush than this. And it turns out that around 1 billion plastic toothbrushes get thrown in the trash in the US alone each year. So I went in search of the best eco friendly toothbrush for travel. I compared three sustainable toothbrushes alongside the typical plastic one the dentist gave me. I actually found my favorite toothbrush ever.

Preserve's Recycled Plastic Toothbrush

There’s a ton of plastic in the world so maybe a toothbrush that recycles plastic is the way to go. There has been some research showing that a circular system of recycling plastic toothbrushes again and again could be the most environmentally friendly approach.

Preserve recycles plastic into useful household items, like toothbrushes. You can learn more about their products here: Preserve Product Overview

There’s a strong curve to the Preserve brush that I never got accustomed to. While brushing with it, I tried to find the purpose to the curve, but just felt like I was miming how to brush teeth.

I’d also tested the bamboo toothbrushes first. Picking up a plastic one again was noticeable. It felt like plastic. If I’d tried the Preserve before the bamboo brushes, I might’ve had a different experience. It’s pleasant to hold something that feels natural at the end of the day. 

So which bamboo toothbrush was my favorite?

Two blue and white plastic toothbrushes in front of a mirror.
A generic new plastic toothbrush on the left, from my dentist, and the Preserve recycled plastic brush on the right.
Two bamboo toothbrushes in a holder, in front of a brick wall. The brushes are very similar but the one on the right has a white set of bristles, and the one on the left has bristles the same beige color as the bamboo handle.
A show-down between the f.e.t.e brush on the left and the Brush With Bamboo brush on the right.

Reviewing the f.e.t.e. toothbrush vs Brush With Bamboo

I think Brush With Bamboo (by CleanPlaneterra) were trying to mimic a traditional plastic toothbrush with the curves and angles they added to their brush. But for my hands, the angles were in all the wrong places. I don’t know if this would be a comfortable design for another hand, but for me, the edges of the toothbrush were always in the wrong places. Brushing became an experiment in finding ways to hold the brush that could be more comfortable but still allow me to polish my teeth. 

The bristles also seemed to hold toothpaste residue in a way that the f.e.t.e. didn’t. 

So let’s talk about f.e.t.e.’s bamboo toothbrush:

From Earth to Earth (f.e.t.e.) manufactures a range of eco-friendly personal care products. Their toothbrushes have a simple design and come in an array of fun colors. I went for the Natural Beauty brush, but next time I’ll probably grab the Cha-cha-charcoal or the Morning Sunshine. 

By simple design, I mean: the brush is a round stick. But that’s all we need! It’s comfortable to hold. II wanted to grab it. It was the most comfortable toothbrush out of all the ones I tested. It was also incredibly durable. The bristles looked brand new for months. I’m still using it, several months after purchasing it, and only now are the bristles beginning to curve and there is some discoloration on the bamboo. 

As I’m moving around the world, I don’t know what I’ll find for more sustainable, environmentally friendly toothbrushes. But for now, f.e.t.e.’s bamboo toothbrush is what I’ll measure others against.

A bamboo toothbrush in front of a mirror. We can see Mark holding the toothbrush in the mirror reflection.
The f.e.t.e. Natural Beauty. It just felt nice to hold something that wasn't plastic while I was brushing my teeth.

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  1. Pingback: La Calera: An ideal digital nomad Airbnb in Oaxaca, Mexico • The Mindful Field Guide

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