Did you know that you are supposed to replace your toothbrush every three to four months? Yes, that’s right. Just like your quarterly reports, you need to turn in your old toothbrush four times a year.
But, what to do with the old one? Just because you should not use the toothbrush on your teeth anymore doesn’t mean it should be in a landfill. If every American purchased a new toothbrush about four times a year that is roughly 50 million pounds of toothbrushes that are being discarded.
Where are they going? Most are heading straight into your local landfill. But, there are plenty of ways you can recycle (or reuse) your old toothbrush.
Here’s a step-by-step guide on your best options.
#1 – Reduce: The best way to cut your carbon footprint is to reduce your use. Today there are a couple great options on sticking to the 3-4 new toothbrushes a year but still reducing your use. Consider an automatic toothbrush where you just replace the head. Today, there are even biodegradable and bamboo toothbrushes that help reduce use, too.
#2 – Reuse: If you don’t have a couple of toothbrushes in your cleaning bin, then start there. In fact, toothbrushes are invaluable cleaning tools in every room of your house. Bathroom grout, crevices in the kitchen, stains in the laundry room and even rims in the garage can all be cleaned by the handy-dandy toothbrush. But there are many other things you can use old toothbrushes for, too.
For a fun craft project for you and your kids, old toothbrushes can be made into children’s bracelets by boiling them in water, removing the bristles and shaping them. You can find complete instruction on how to do this here. For more reuse ideas, visit our Pinterest Arts and Crafts Board.
#3 – Recycle: Once you have sufficiently reused your toothbrush, it will eventually be time to get rid of it. If your community offers #5 plastic recycling, there are toothbrushes you can purchase that are ok to throw in your recycle bin.
Do you have any other suggestions for going green with your oral routine? Leave them in the comments below.