26 August 2011

Getting off the Plastic Wagon

I'm a little obsessed with plastic, as I might have mentioned once or twice.

In recent months, I've made some progress at getting plastic out of my life, but there's still work to be done.

On the down side, Tom's of Maine made the switch from an aluminum toothpaste tube to plastic this year, and I've been looking for an alternative. For one thing, the tube is made out of plastic, and for another thing, the fact that it's made out of plastic makes is more difficult to get all the toothpaste out of the tube.

Ideally, I want tooth powder (no need to ship water), and fluoride is important* because I want to keep The Offspring's teeth healthy, and so far I've struck out. I bought a package of toothpaste from Burt's Bees today, in the hopes that it would be aluminum (the box was glued shut, so I couldn't check) but no dice.

On the up side, Burt's makes a deodorant to which I'm now devoted. Powered by sage, so no potentially toxic chemicals; totally works even if I ride my bike around with layers of clothing on; packaged in an aluminum can.** Only the pump mechanism is plastic.

Also on the up side, I've gotten more in the habit of putting food leftovers in glass instead of plastic containers. I looked at some lovely stainless steel lunch containers at Whole Foods, but the price put me off. Maybe next year on those.

I'm washing dishes with bar soap, specifically Dr. Bronner's citrus-flavored one. I keep it next to the sink in a metal soap dish. Nice soapy water collects under the drain section, and this is handy, though I can also just rub the bar of soap on a sponge or directly on a dirty dish, if I need more power.

I haven't yet persuaded The Mate to make the switch from liquid soap packaged in a plastic bottle; I'll keep working at that one. Maybe when we run out of the liquid he'll give it a try.

* I know, I know, there are those who think fluoride is irrelevant, harmful, or a liberal conspiracy. I would welcome comments, however, from anyone who knows where I can get toothbrushing powder.

** In case you're wondering, here's the full list of ingredients: alcohol, sage extract, lavender oil, lemon oil. Yes, that's it. Full stop.