Living with Less Plastic: Deodorant & Toothbrush

Something I’ve mentioned before is that I’m becoming more conscious of my consumer habits, and I’m trying to produce less waste and decrease my personal demand for plastic. One way I’ve started is by replacing my deodorant and toothbrush with more sustainable options.

As with anything, I know myself well enough to know that I can get caught up in fads. I get really excited about new ideas and plunge all in – and lose interest within a week. I get so invested (emotionally and financially) that I burn out before it’s really integrated into my life. That’s is why I’m trying to ease into my capsule wardrobe (you can read about that here and here) and why I’m easing into more sustainable/zero-waste living.

I decided I wasn’t going to go all in and replace all the stuff I own with healthier, plastic-less options because: throwing away perfectly usable products totally doesn’t fit with the philosophy I’m trying to incorporate, and I knew I’d burn out. Instead I’m trying to replace products as the need arises.

I ran out of deodorant about a week and a half ago, so I went to our Whole Foods in Flagstaff to look for something without aluminum and with as little plastic packaging as possible. I decided to also pick up a toothbrush because my current one is on it’s way out.

After looking through different options, I settled on the Honestly pHresh deodorant cream. The bottle is glass, the packaging is recyclable cardboard, and the applicator is wood. There wasn’t any information about where it was made, but it fit my other requirements pretty well.

I’ve been using it ever since and lemme tell you – I love it! It smells amazing and is way easier to apply that I thought it would be. I haven’t noticed any staining on my clothes either, which I was led to believe was a common problem! Also, I use so little every day that I think it will last me a long time (which is good cause I’m not used to paying $12 for deodorant and that hurt). Now, I have noticed that I smell more than when I was using your average stick deodorant. I don’t smell bad though, there’s just more of a smell than I’m used to. It’s leagues away from that no-deodorant, working-out sweat smell, but I don’t stay fresh all day. The packaging tells me it takes a while for my body’s ph levels to adjust to this new product, so maybe that’s it. Either way, my smell isn’t repellant so I’m gonna keep using this deodorant.

I haven’t used the toothbrush yet, but I’m ideologically happy with my purchase. This toothbrush handle is made in the US from recycled plastic. And inside the container (which doubles as a travel case!) there’s information about how to send this toothbrush off to be recycled when I’m done with it.

Something that I thought was interesting: I was initially drawn to a different toothbrush made from bamboo, and was ready to buy it before I stopped and really thought about it. The aesthetic seemed right, the info on the container said the bamboo was sustainable sourced, but the toothbrush was housed in a bunch of plastic that I had no use for. It seemed so counterproductive to me.

I know that if I had just dove into this zero waste living without dwelling on the idea more and doing more research, I would probably have bought that bamboo toothbrush. Bamboo is super chic in the sustainable community (which is a sentence I had never considered before) but the aesthetic is concealing the wasteful use of plastic in that product. I’m happy with my recycled plastic toothbrush and it’s useful carrying case, and grateful I didn’t get duped into buying a toothbrush that doesn’t fit my desires.

If you have questions or tips about these products, and especially if you’re familiar with zero waste living, leave a comment and we can chat!


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Chicana, feminist, writer slugging through grad school with a job teaching composition.

One thought on “Living with Less Plastic: Deodorant & Toothbrush”

  1. I love your comment “which is a sentence I had never considered before.” I’ve also thought about trying a new deodorant, so I may decide to give yours a whirl. I’ll let you know how it goes! Thanks for the suggestion!


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