-12 Months- 12 Eco Changes- Making An Eco Swap Of Toothpaste

Month 3 – March It’s Toothpaste


As when I decided to go Vegan back in 2013, I started with the food, gradually as I did the next shop I swapped over the milk and butter and cheese, we obviously stopped eating or buying any meat but finding substitutes didn’t happen over night.

My husband Peter then joined me a few months later as he felt better not eating meat every day, every meal as it was me shopping & cooking the food we all ate.

Our kids were young at the time 3, 5 & 6 so swapping the younger 2 over wasn’t a big deal as they were at the stage of trying different food out all the time anyway. We also found after eating dairy they would throw up later in the day, so it was easier to just look for the V vegan sign on food than to keep checking for non dairy products for them.

Clayton, being Autistic had (and still has) a self limiting diet of dry brown or beige finger foods only so he wasn’t included in our switch, getting him to just eat was a struggle in its self.

Anyway…..my point is, nothing happens over night, going Vegan we started with food, it then progressed onto products, clothing, shoes, coats, linen, furniture, now we chose items without a second thought & focus on what chemicals are going in our body now.

This progressed onto what was happening on our land and led us to permaculture, principles & design. Permaculture principle No6 is: Produce No Waste. This is the overall aim.

Just making 1 swap starts to make a difference to our planet.

What could you do today?

Did you know most Toothpaste tubes cannot be recycled! These are often made of different types of plastics, as well as containing a metal layer. In general they are not recyclable, although there are some recycling options offered by Colgate and Terracyle. Source

On average, it takes 500 years for a toothpaste tube to fully biodegrade in landfill, meaning that every tube you have used in your lifetime could still be out there in a big hole in the ground. Source I mean, this is just an utter disgrace that these are even made, let alone sold, our planet is being destroyed enough without us adding more plastic just to be thrown into a hole in the ground.

What Am I Looking For?

When looking at products I always found that they contained such a load of other harmful chemicals. Watching what food & drink I put into mine and my families body made me really aware of what chemicals we were putting ON our bodies that would still pass through the skin into our bloodstream.

I’ve spent the last 5yrs swapping to non toxic brands, but that doesn’t mean that they are eco friendly too. So here I am making more swaps. This month finding toothpaste.

What Is My Criteria?

My criteria for swapping over Toothpaste are:

1. Vegan & Cruelty Free

2. No Aluminiums, Alcohol, PEG’s, Parabans or Sulphates

3 Remove Single Use Plastic Tubes

4. Cost. I do not want to spend any more than I already do on our products which is £3.50-£3.99 a tube so max of £8 a month for 2 tubes for us 5.

What Did I find?

Going into this I was all like…yep zero waste, doing it, got it set.

This was harder than expected, much like Februarys swap of Shampoo & Conditioner. I thought I would just grab some toothpaste tabs, (little tablets of toothpaste you pop in your mouth & crush in your teeth then start brushing) and that’s my monthly swap done. However what happen was more of……I cannot afford to swap a family of 5 onto toothpaste tabs, prices were £25 upwards per month for us all, so I had to look for a non plastic tube alternative.

BootsTheChemist came up trumps again, not only do they stock the waken range, they had them on offer from £4 down to £2.75, same as Amazon, so really shop around when you find a brand you like to find those offers. I ordered 4 peppermint toothpastes to try at that price. That was a few months worth for UNDER my monthly cost target. I will certainly stock up whenever I see it this price from now on.

Here is what I tried

Waken Toothpaste because this was the only aluminium tube of toothpaste I could find in the UK which was a normal and not overpriced


Our delicious toothpastes are blended with natural mint and other botanical extracts and flavours to help freshen breath. They are wonderfully effective at taking care of your teeth in either gel or tablet form and contain fluoride, which helps protect against cavities. All our toothpastes are made from sustainable materials and look beautiful in any bathroom.

Our Waken Peppermint toothpaste will provide you with the following benefits:

Freshens breath
Fluoride helps to protect against cavities
Delicious natural flavour blended with real peppermint extract
Naturally coloured gel
Sustainable packaging
Vegan friendly
SLS-free and lightly foaming
Beautiful in your bathroom

Taken from their website wakencare.com
5 Different flavours of toothpaste (and matching mouthwashes if you like them)

How Did It Fit My Criteria?

1. Vegan & Cruelty Free

This is my No1 priority before even looking at anything else. Ideally I would prefer to support fully Vegan & Cruelty Free businesses.

Waken state: Waken Peppermint toothpaste is vegan and so is suitable for vegans, vegetarians and anyone else who sees the benefits of plant-based living. Our Peppermint toothpaste gel also does not contain any artificial colours or dyes making the gel naturally coloured.

YES – This works for me!

Vegan approved logo from the vegetarian society

2. No Aluminiums, Alcohol, PEG’s, Parabans or Sulphates

After so many years of reading labels, endless hours looking up chemical names, I am not about to give this up just because it is eco friendly. I need to have both, all, my criteria met to make yet another swap

YES – This works for me!

Bought 4 on offer to try for the next 2months

3 Remove single Use Plastic

In this case these tubes are aluminium so sustainable recycling/reusing loop. Plastic lid, which is annoying (made from fully recycled plastic though, but still annoying). I am going to look into saving them over the year & see about returning them to the company. Box is cardboard.

Waken state: Our sustainable toothpaste packaging includes a tube made from recycled aluminum that can be recycled endlessly when you’re done with it.

If you are interested in the mouthwash, their first product, this is certified carbon neutral. Waken was born from the desire to make a positive impact on the environment. We set ourselves the tall task of creating beautifully sustainable mouthcare as a better alternative to what the oral hygiene category is currently providing.

However, we want to grow in the right way. As a result we’ve taken our very first and most beloved products, our mouthwashes, and made them carbon neutral!

YES – This works for me! (Even though I am still producing recycling from my household, it is sustainable recycling and not plastic non recyclable tubes)

4. Cost. I do not want to spend any more than I already do on our products which is £3.50-£3.99 a tube so max of £8 a month for 2 tubes for us 5.

As mentioned earlier BootsTheChemist & Amazon they had them on offer from £4 down to £2.75, so it is really worth shopping around when you find a brand you like to find those offers.

I ordered 4 peppermint toothpastes to try at that price. That was a few months worth for UNDER my monthly cost target. I will certainly stock up whenever I see it this price from now on.

YES – This works for me!

After 2 weeks use, rolls down really well to get everything out of the tube

Top 5 Reasons To Try This Swap

1. The whole reason is to stop extra waste coming out of the household. This produces ZERO PLASTIC TUBE waste each month!!

2. Aluminium tube & cardboard packaging is recyclable

3. Better on the environment, as plastic toothpaste tubes are not recyclable

4. Can get them from BootsTheChemist so can just pick up easily instore

5. Price is that of a normal tube, so many times swapping to eco brands means it costs more, grab those deals & stock up if you can.

As a household of 5 we each get through 2 tubes of toothpaste a month that would be 24 plastic tubes eliminated per year that we will be reducing from our household

🌳Permaculture Principle No6 – Produce No Waste

🌱Vegan Living- To Do No Harm

👣🌎Small steps is better than none at all! What small change could you make this year?

Could you look into your toothpaste too?

What changes could you make to reduce your plastic waste coming out from your household?

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Published by buildingafoodforestscotland

Building a Food Forest -Scotland Edwardian 1903 Home & Garden in Scotland Planting With Permaculture Design

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