This spring, I led a workshop on zero waste for a group of high school students here in Chicago. In the middle of the table, I unpacked the bag of props I bring with me to share examples of simple changes to make: a reusable coffee thermos, a menstrual cup, a reusable tote bag, a cotton produce bag, a set of travel cutlery, and a bamboo toothbrush.
As we examined them, someone piped up with a question. “What alternatives do you recommend for bamboo things? I’ve wanted to switch to some, but my parents don’t like to use bamboo because of the formaldehyde.”
Well, knock me over with a feather. I’d never heard that before, but turns out its true. Not to be the bearer of bad news, but some conventional bamboo products contain formaldehyde glue to hold them together. It’s prompted me to rethink a few of the things I have in my home, like cutting boards and my bamboo chopsticks.
Luckily my toothbrush, at least, is without reproach. Earlier this year, Brush with Bamboo, the folks whose toothbrushes I’ve been using for years, got their official organic certification. This means that their sustainably grown bamboo is free of pesticides, harmful chemicals, and yes, formaldehyde.
Each toothbrush is hand-carved from a single piece of bamboo, meaning there’s no glue needed. And, they’ve chosen a variety that doesn’t serve as food or habitat for pandas, so that settles another score on the bamboo front, too. You can read more about their new organic certification and the craftsmanship behind their brushes here.
Many thanks to Brush with Bamboo for making an option that gives me so much peace of mind.
Questions about Brush with Bamboo or about brushing with a bamboo that I can answer?
This post is sponsored by Brush with Bamboo, makers of organic and compostable bamboo toothbrushes that help us reduce our plastic waste. Thanks so much for supporting Litterless.