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    TO DO LIST: Get a New Toothpaste

    To build a sustainable, non-toxic economy – one that doesn’t poison us and our environment in order to support us economically – we need three key players: business (environmentally sound products), government (environmental regulations), and consumers (you and me).

    You and I can be the most powerful link in this chain. When we change what we buy, business will produce the products we want, and the result can be a more sustainable economy and a healthier world.

    Many toothpastes contain plastic microbeads, which are toxic to fish (the beads survive wastewater treatment, are flushed into our waterways, and consumed by fish). They’re not good for us, either. For an alarming look at the plastic that dental hygienists are digging out of our gums, see this article from one of my favorite resources, Treehugger.com.

    Illinois passed a law this year that will prohibit the sale of products containing microbeads … in five years! A few other states are considering a similar ban, but this is where you and I come in.

    We don’t have to wait five years. We can create a cleaner personal-care industry right now by changing the toothpaste we buy. When we stop buying products that damage our environment and start buying environmentally friendly products from sustainably managed companies, we show business that it’s worth the effort to change what it sells and how it operates.

    Believe me, business will follow our lead, and we’ll be supporting entrepreneurs who already make environmentally sustainable products. Personally, I’m sticking with toothpaste from Tom’s of Maine, which is widely available in stores (or online here).

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