Friday, August 1, 2008

ToothPaste Extremism: Personal Micro-Ecology

Since becoming more ecologically aware these past years, I have embarked on many experiments in decreasing my personal eco-footprint without suffering. Many are are around energy use or purchasing habits, but others are just being mindful and changing behaviors. One experiment, to my frugal husband's dismay, has been seeing how long a tube of toothpaste can still yield its product, even after it's seemingly squeezed out. The answer is: a week. By simply slicing the toothpaste tube open, yielding lots more, you can stretch it for days and days. No loss of quality of life - slicing open a tube takes a fraction of a second. This of course is just one of hundreds of little ways we are wasteful of resources.
Another, based on a suggestion by my friend and energy-auditor Meenal, is to sit in a brighter room and take advantage of natural light. I now check out my dining room in the mornings. If I wake up early enough, it is flooded with light; my kitchen where I normally camp out for coffee and newspaper always requires a light since it has no direct sunlight. Years of electrical illumination when natural light would have done the trick, just by walking 10 feet. And natural light is so much nicer. Eco-upgrade!
Let's hear your micro-achievements in energy and resource conservation!


meenal said...

Once, when I was stuck for a week without toothpaste, I learned that salt works just as well. Now, the toothpaste tube in our medicine cabinet lasts for years since I regularly slide my toothbrush into a small dish of salt.

My toothbrush has a story too. It's a Terradent that I've had for over 6 years, and just
replace the brush head

SPF said...

It may work, but I have heard that brushing with salt can be very damaging to the enamel on your teeth. I claim no expertise, but this might be worth looking into.

Reid Magney said...

Why bother with the tube? Plain old baking soda works great for tooth brushing. The taste takes a while to get used to, but you'll eventually get used to it.

Unknown said...

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