One of the statements I am never quite sure how to take, when talking to people about our rubbish free challenge, is “…you guys just seem so normal.” Without getting into a psychoanalytic discussion of ‘what is normal’, we have intuitively felt that we are relatively normal, a feeling that has been reinforced recently with a large number of international connections being made with other ‘normal’ people trying to reduce their rubbish footprint. It began with being contacted by Karen in the UK who has a website www.therubbishdiet.co.uk From her I learnt that we are ‘garbloggers’, and that there are many such people in the world. I’m not sure who decides, but there is a list of the top ten at takepart.com. She wrote a blog highlighting some garbloggers and we subsequently have connected with a few of them. A woman that I found particularly interesting is in Oakland, California and can be found at www.fakeplasticfish.com. She is trying to reduce the amount of plastic she consumes and what I particularly liked about her is that she has made a long term commitment to do so. She has not gone down the road of ‘no plastic for a year challenge’ or similar, rather she simply tries everyday to remove more plastic from her life. Her site has some great suggestions for plastic free alternative products.
I was keen to find out what she does about oral hygiene. Although a relatively low contributer to the rubbish bag, we are keen to get our landfill waste as close to zero as possible so everything is under scrutiny. We still have not found a great solution to toothbrushes, having ordered a wooden one with natural fibre bristles that is compostable, but with it arriving in a sturdy plastic container. From the fakeplasticfish site I found that she is using Preserve toothbrushes which are made out of recycled yoghurt containers in the States. When you have finished with the brush you send it back in a postage paid envelope for it to be recycled into picnic tables. I’ve ordered one and look forward to seeing what it is like. Although it appears that there is no way of getting around nylon dental floss, there is an alternative to the 700 million plastic floss containers discarded each year. We have discovered ‘Gentle Floss’ which is contained in a cleverly designed cardboard box which is recyclable when finished, and in addition the floss is ‘vegan waxed’ as opposed to waxed with beeswax. We have been given permission to distribute the product in New Zealand so now have a page on our website which you can check out if interested. Who would have thought this challenge would have led to us being distributors as well!