Earth Day began in 1970 as an event to raise awareness of our environment. What began as a single day in April is now recognized worldwide to encourage people to “think green” and promote the importance of being environmentally friendly.
In celebration of Earth Day, Neighborhood Dental would like to share a few simple eco-friendly tips that will help keep your teeth clean and healthy, all while helping to save the environment – and your finances!
It may be hard to believe, but water is not an unlimited resource. Only 1% of the Earth’s water can be safely used. Therefore, it’s important to use water efficiently. By turning off the faucet while you are brushing your teeth, you can save up to 8 gallons of water per day. That’s over 200 gallons a month! Turning the water off while you brush will greatly reduce wasted water.
It’s estimated that 50 million pounds of toothbrushes are thrown into U.S. landfills each year. Since toothbrushes and flossing sticks are made primarily of plastic, many are considered recyclable. Using a toothbrush with a replaceable head or one that is biodegradable or made of recycled materials also reduces the amount of waste when it needs to be replaced. Once your toothbrush has reached its life expectancy (3-4 months), reuse it for cleaning around the house, jewelry–even your shoes.
Non-biodegradable nylon floss cannot dissolve in water and will not break down like other disposable products. When floss is flushed down the toilet, it works its way through the water system, polluting the water and potentially killing birds, animals and fish through accidental indigestion. This is avoidable by simply throwing the floss into the garbage.
We spend a lot of time in the bathroom getting ready. So, switch out old bulbs for LED ones or, if you can, just use natural light. Turn off the bathroom fan as soon as the moisture from the shower has dissipated. Since bathroom fans suck air outside, they suck out air you’ve paid to heat or cool. Unplug your electric toothbrush charger. It isn’t necessary to charge your electric toothbrush every day, all day – or to leave the charger plugged in. Even though it’s turned off, it is still very likely consuming electricity.
Not only will this tip cut down on water waste, it will also help make sure everyone in your family is staying on top of their oral health. Instead of having the entire family brush their teeth separately, make it a family event. This works great with young children as well, because it helps promote the importance of oral care as they age.
One of the easiest ways to participate in Earth Day is by simply reducing the amount of refuse that ends up in landfills. Many communities have recycling programs for paper, plastic and metal refuse. Doing so reduces the need for new disposal space, the amount of energy needed to burn refuse and helps conserve the resources used to make new products. Additionally, many products can be repurposed to create a new item. Old furniture can be remade into a new piece. Old clothing can be used for craft items. If you can’t find ways to reuse your old items, donate them to a charity.
Using these eco-friendly toothbrushing tips every time you brush your teeth can help dramatically decrease your environmental footprint. If you’d like to learn more about how to maintain a healthy smile, contact Neighborhood Dental to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced dentists.