Top Five - Personal Care

It's very close to Christmas. Most of your gift shopping is done (unless of course if you are a guy and you haven’t even started!) but there is that elusive special someone, you just can’t find a present for. You’re thinking of falling back on the old standby of something for their bathroom. Something they’ll actually use, rather than stick in a cupboard to gather dust. And boy, we sure do use personal care items. In the US alone, estimates suggest 100 million lbs (45M kg) of municipal waste is made up of just toothbrushes. With about another 2 billion disposable razors joining that lot. Let’s see what can be done to improve such nasty statistics — and get some cool gifts. Read on ... [by WM]Razors:

1. The Preserve Razor Recyclable (pictured above) has all the function of standard razor, yet its innovative one-piece handle is 100% recycled plastic. And 65% of that is being recycled from Stonyfield Farm yogurt cups (they make organic dairy produce from "happy cows", as a friend of mine would say). If your municipality is not yet into recycling Polypropylene (plastic code 5), then you can use a postage paid return mailer. (They also do a toothbrush). ::Recycline

2. Although it unfortunately has never made it to market, this Ross Lovegrove designed prototype is an eminently sound idea. It uses a ceramic blade, which at the time, was claimed to last 40 times longer carbon steel. It’s no pipe dream though - today you can buy ceramic razors for industrial use, that last 100 times longer. If only someone had the balls to make such a razor that didn't go blunt! ::MOMA exhibition on ceramics

Toothbrush:

1. The Terradent lets you keep your handle forever, it's only the bristles you replace when they are worn out, not the whole toothbrush. Like, when did you last wear out a toothbrush handle, huh? And because of how the bristles are affixed to the head, it has been rated as the most hygienic in independent European tests of many toothbrushes. ::Eco-Dent

2. The Monte Bianco Clip is another clever German idea, like the Terradent. The Clip, has in fact been around much longer, so is more widely available. Its slightly larger head is replaceable too and is available with the option of natural, biodegradable boar hair bristles. (The boar is shorn like a sheep). ::ESP Dental

Toothpaste:

1. Miessence note that their Anise Toothpaste is Certified Organic. (To obtain organic certification for a product, a minimum of 95% of all ingredients of agricultural origin must be certified organic. The remaining 5% of ingredients however are also bound by strict guidelines.) Is formed with water, fennel, bicarb soda (baking powder), xanthan, tea tree, stevia, sea salt and aloe vera. Does not contain fluoride, aluminium, artificial sweeteners or detergents. ::Miessence

2. Similary from the UK, we have Organic Lifestyle’s Fennel Toothpaste. In this product we have organic cloves, cinnamon, myrrh and proppolis. They avoid Sodium lauryl/laureth sulphate and other foaming agents, fluoride and artificial sweeteners/flavours. And no hydrocarbon or aluminium contamination, because the non-plastic tube is lined with a food-grade lacquer. Other options include Citrus & Aloe Vera, Mint Toothpaste and Eucalyptus & Aloe Vera. ::Green People

Deodorant:

Aluminium Chlorohydrate, as found is found in 85% or more of deodrants, acts as an anti-perspirant, by clogging the skins pores. Not healthy for our skin, which is designed to sweat and release internal toxins and moisture. An alternative is a topical (sits on top of the skin) treatment that deals directly with the odour. The Crystal Body Deodorant is such a thing. It's a mineral salt really, containing naturally occurring alum. Looking like a small white rock, you simply wet it a little and slide it over your skin. We’re showing a pic of one in a plastic case, with a twist up crystal block but they are available as just a shaped crystal, without the container. And no, these crystals will not predict your future, but they just improve it - by making you smell sweeter. Oh, yeh and they work as long as the rock does - much less waste. ::Crystal Body Deodorant

(Solar) Powered Toothbrush:

No cords, no electricity, no batteries, no water, no toothpaste even! Now, I know this going to sound like the sort of product that gets advertised by spruikers, at 3am on the TV, but here goes. The Soladey-2, from Japan, has a photo-sensitive titanium rod in a clear sleeve on the handle. Expose the rod to light and it converts the light into negative ions, which in turn blend with saliva to attract positive ions from acidic dental plaque, releasing gunk from your teeth. A solar powered toothbrush - believe it or not! It is even claimed to whiten your teeth. And the heads are replaceable as well. What will they think of next? ::Soladey

Yeh, we know we've left out some other great personal care items, that are on the market. But we be happy to look at others later on. Feel free to send us your tips.

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