Meet the Kumars & Brush With Bamboo
It’s a little thing, the toothbrush. It doesn’t create a whole lot of noticeable waste, and it’s never been blamed for stripping a rainforest. But over at Brush With Bamboo, they’re using little toothbrushes to spread a mighty message.
The Kumar family reside at The Growing Home, their house and suburban farm, where their organic permaculture garden produces over 5000 pounds of food per year. Additionally, they manage a second organic farm nearby. Now they’ve added this toothbrush to their portfolio. While the farming keeps them local, the toothbrush allows them to discuss their mission with a much wider audience.
Bamboo: A Mighty Message
Bamboo has a sustainable rap sheet a mile long. Its use in construction and textiles is flourishing. Unfortunately, the processing of bamboo into a textile fiber is problematic and needs a lot of work before it can be truly considered sustainable. However, in place of wood, for certain applications, it is an amazingly green option! Here are just a few of the reasons why people are turning to this material more and more often:
- Bamboo grows incredibly quickly but requires ⅓ of the water needed to grow cotton
- Bamboo is naturally anti-microbial and growing it does not require pesticides or insecticides
- The strength, flexibility, and durability inherent in bamboo lends itself well to construction (think scaffolding and flooring)
Though the most important part of bamboo is the discussion it invokes. Is it sustainable? Does transport from China actually diminish its carbon footprint when we can obtain similar materials more locally? When debating bamboo, how much weight do we give to issues like VOC use, when those same harmful chemicals are used in much of what we buy? Can we demand better production, or are the capabilities not quite there? What do you think?
By having this conversation, we are then better equipped to make responsible purchases.
While almost all of the toothbrush and its packaging are biodegradable, my favorite part comes when you finish using it on your teeth…Just pull out the bristles and upcycle the handle! Hot tip from Brush with Bamboo: a toothbrush handle and sharpie make an excellent plant ID post!
I recently used this brush myself and found the experience just a little different, though not uncomfortable, and easy to adapt to. The head of the bamboo brush was slightly too large for my mouth (gosh darn my small jaw!), but my teeth always felt fresh after brushing and it lasted over 3 months, comfortably. Now that I know they also offer a children’s size, I’m going back for more!