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I Tried It: Toothpaste Tabs

By now, you likely know that I am the less eco-evolved out of Hannah and me. When I talk about our GreenLifeNH work and team, I like to explain that Hannah is the paragon of all things “green,” while I am the average person who cares and is working towards small but collective changes. As the world slowly returns to normal, I am venturing out a bit more and recently found myself inside of my local bulk store after a year away. (Before, I had been doing a lot of this type of shopping via curbside assistance.) I had planned to just buy some laundry detergent, but, unsurprisingly, walked away with more. Hannah had just posted a picture of toothpaste tabs, and I decided to give them a try. I wasn’t really sure how to use them, so the shop owner also gave me short tutorial. I am a little picky about toothpaste- I prefer fluoride and whitening powers – and was happy to find tabs with both of these ingredients. In that sense, I didn’t feel like I was depriving myself of any benefits that I normally would get from a regular tube of Colgate.

I was excited to try the tabs that night (odd, I know), but also a little nervous. I put one into my mouth and thought “wow, this is weird and I’m not sure what I think about it.” After a few times of using them, I made some adjustments, including almost breaking my pill cuter to divide them into smaller pieces. These tabs were pretty big and I didn’t think I needed so much. That helped a bit.

Like my old green tile? My bathroom is quite a few decades old

To be honest, after a days of use, I was about to abandon ship and return to my tube of Tom’s. I decided that this switch was too uncomfortable and perhaps not worth amount of plastic I would consequently save from the landfill. Plus, they are more expensive and budget is a factor. But then I read this statement from last’s week Friday round-up:

Think about it this way – does toothpaste really need to be packaged in both a tube and a box? Let’s get rid of the box and save the cost and resources needed to make it. Better yet, we can redesign toothpaste so that it doesn’t even need that toxic plastic tube – which will inevitably be buried or burned.

Enter guilt. Is my discomfort worth more than the Earth? Obviously not. Is my toothpaste regimen forever changed? Not sure. For now, I am going between regular toothpaste and tabs as I continue to get used to them. As I like to say, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. Even switching to half-time will reduce my trash production. I’m going to keep going, and I’m kind of interested to see if my dentist notices. Have you tried toothpaste tabs? What have you thought?Maybe there are some that you really recommend. – Rachel

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