We’re such a mixed bag here at SpinachHQ: one day, we’re talking about multimillion dollar corporations and energy subsidies. The next, we’re talking about….toothbrushes? Yup.
After my post about all the plastics that we consume – and don’t recycle – I was chatting with an awesome friend (hi, Emily!!) who told me about this sweet toothbrush that she just got. OK, so it’s not really the toothbrush itself that’s sweet, but the company. I’m not actually doing a promotion here – seriously – but I think this business model (and overall philosophy) is really innovative and really nifty, so I thought I’d talk about it a bit. Plus, after my anti-plastic rant, I can’t leave everyone without some suggestions, right?
Have you ever noticed that your plastics are numbered? And certain numbers can be recycled, while certain ones can’t? Well, one company did. Preserve Products specializes in plastic products for your house that are made entirely of recycled #5 plastic – the kind that most municipalities won’t accept. From often-these rejected plastics, they make toothbrushes, razors, kitchen goods, plates, bowls, and other stuff for around your house.
They don’t just churn out products, either. (This is the really cool part.) When you buy a toothbrush (or razor) from preserve, you get a “mail back pack” so that you can send your old one back to them – and they’ll re-use the plastic. There are also drop-off locations where they accept used Preserve products, #5 plastics, and….Brita filters. Yup. According to the website, the drop off locations are at Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and probably a bunch of other hippie stores. Best of all, even if you don’t live near one of those stores (or want to go into one – hey, to each their own) you can actually just box up your #5 plastics and mail them to Preserve, who will send you a thank-you card and turn them into household goods. It’s easy, it’s simple, and unlike with municipal recycling, you know for sure that your used plastic is going to be taken care of in a responsible way. Best of all, it’s really a two-way street here – the company depends on customer buy-in and isn’t just slapping the words “green and natural” on their label. Think about how many toothbrushes – and how many OTHER household items – could be kept out of landfills if there were more companies like this out there.
So: I’m not saying you should all rush out and buy a Preserve toothbrush. (Although, I certainly might next time I go to replace mine!) But it’s great to see new – and better – ways to do things really put into practice. Let’s hope that more companies start to get on board with this kind of thinking.