Top 5 Surprisingly Recyclable Items - No. 5: Your Toothbrush

Allison Loudermilk

No doubt you recycle assiduously, fishing out aluminum soda cans mixed with regular trash and rescuing them, like a demented George Costanza saving that tasty chocolate éclair resting on top of the garbage. This week, I'll be sharing with you five everyday objects that will have you scrambling among the trash even more, but only one a day, you greedy green people. Here's the first: your toothbrush.

Ewwww. Who wants to recycle a toothbrush? I can barely stand to borrow my husband's toothbrush when mine can't be found. I'd rather just do that toothpaste-on-the-finger trick. But no, if you buy the "toothbrush made from yogurt cups" sold by Preserve, you can practice good dental hygiene and good stewardship of the Earth.

When you're done with the toothbrush, you pack it up with the handy postage-paid label and send it back to be turned into reprocessed plastic lumber. Purchase a toothbrush subscription of four for the low price of $11. If you want to get crazy, add some toothpicks, tongue cleaners and kids' toothbrushes. Your teeth will never have been greener! Or whiter or whatever. I'm guessing your average toothbrush doesn't make the recycling cut because of either the bristles, the rubber handle or the type of plastic that it's made from.

If Preserve's product doesn't appeal to you, other companies are vying for your business, too. Along similar lines, you can buy recycled plastic travel toothbrush cases for $3.25 each, available from Radius. Or toothbrushes made of recycled wood or ones that allow you to just change out the head like you do for an electric toothbrush, as opposed to replacing the whole thing. By the way, did you guys know there's vegan dental floss, too? Don't say I never taught you anything.

If you're seriously considering buying one of these things, here's a video product review of one from Green Gear:

Check back tomorrow for the next surprisingly recyclable item. I promise I won't let you or your sparkling teeth down.

See the rest of this week's surprisingly recyclable series here:No. 4: Your Mattress No. 3: Your Meds No. 2: Your Mac No. 1: Your Stilettos