How is Bamboo Brush Society changing the world?
One toothbrush at a time. [Laughs.] First, five-billion toothbrushes are produced each year, so if we can already replace a portion of that with bamboo toothbrushes, that will already save a lot of CO2 and plastics. Second, we hope that when someone starts using a bamboo toothbrush, they will also start to replace all sorts of products in his life. Lots of people say “It’s just a toothbrush. People use so many different plastics in their lives.” But for me, when somebody switches to a bamboo toothbrush, their mindset starts to change.
How do you inspire change?
One of our company values is that we’re dealing with a serious problem but we want to have fun along the way. I know I just sounded like, “You have to do this, this and this”, but you need to have fun. If we can change the minds of people who are not very eco-conscious with some humour and by not being too preachy, we’ll really start to make an impact, because it’s time that not just a small group of people are living zero-waste, but everyone starts doing there part.
‘DO I ALWAYS NEED TO
BUY SOMETHING NEW?’”
Other than our toothbrushes, what are little steps we can all take to change the world?
Every day, you decide where to spend your money: your groceries, your clothing, your banking, everything. If you start rethinking these decisions a little bit more, that makes a difference. For example, you can decide to not always go to the convenient supermarket and instead go to your friendly small grocer on the corner who has everything without plastics and probably at a higher quality. There are so many cool companies out there who really have a story to tell. Also, ask yourself: “Do I always need to buy something new?” There are so many nice secondhand things. Also, bring your own water bottle and bring your own coffee cup. Sometimes people think they really have to do everything right, but if you start with small steps, you’re already making a big change.
Is there one big positive sustainability-related change you’ve noticed?
One big change would be water bottles. Two years ago, when you went to a café and asked for a refill on your water bottle, it wasn’t really done. You had to buy a bottle. And now it’s normal.
Is there one resource you’d recommend to learn more about this subject?
In Holland, ASN Bank has a platform called Voor de Wereld van Morgen. They support all the small emerging brands and give them a platform. They provide so many tips, from shampoo to toothbrushes.