Smile! – travelling sustainably (the toothy edition)

I’ll be honest, the last few weeks have been insane. Packing up my entire life thus far, deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, paperwork, visiting friends, buying things I hadn’t though I might need (apparently, I don’t own a swimming costume. Who knew?), paperwork, finishing projects that have been sitting waiting for weeks to years, more goddam paperwork – look, I’ve been busy. Life, y’know?

Now I’ve got a spare second to lie on the floor and thing about what I have left to do in the remaining two weeks in the UK, I barely know where to start! I had this whole plan in my head about what I was going to do on each day and, surprising exactly no-one, I have done exactly none of it. Instead, I thought I’d try and catch up on this blog! Head’s up, I’m planning a proper re-vamp of some of the categories/tags before I leave. Make it a bit easier for myself later on…

One of the things I have been doing, in and amongst all the sorting, packing, re-sorting and re-packing, is research and start using items which will enable me to travel more sustainably. I have become a LUSH convert, which I find mildly entertaining. I have already reviewed my Lush Shampoo Bar here! While I’m studiously ignoring everything else I need to do this evening, I thought I’d share some of the sustainability items I have already got, and see if you have any ideas for any other things I need to make my travelling as sustainable and waste free as I can!

The majority of the changes I have made have been to my washbag. It’s been kinda expensive in the initial purchasing of things, but I know it is all completely worth it to try and for the most part, will work out cheaper over time!

Super Shiny Teeth!

Bamboo toothbrush

I did a lot of research before I bought my toothbrush about different kind of brush heads, and the fact that the bristles are not actually recyclable… which seemed wild. I ordered my toothbrush from Earthwise, alongside a reusable sanitary pad starter kit. I confess, I hadn’t twigged that it would be soft bristles, but that’s just me not reading things properly and I’ve found I’ve actually gotten used to it. The weirdest thing to get used to was the toothbrush neck felt a little more flexible than a standard plastic toothbrush. I spent the first few days using it a little afraid it was going to splinter in my mouth! Fears unfounded. The toothbrush is super durable and dries quickly (which is great for when I need to put it in my rucksack about ten minutes after using it because I am running late for the train).

Lush toothy tabs

Prior to my tentative venturing into Lush several weeks ago, I actually hadn’t heard of toothy tabs. I got a tester to see which of the three flavours my local Lush had in stock suited me (I call them minty, super minty and charcoal boom). So, toothy tabs are a solid alterative to squidgy tubes of toothpaste so are a darn good alternative to having to either get those tiny little toothpaste tubes, a big tube in checked luggage, or running the risk of a suspicious looking explosion in your wash bag. Kudos all round.

I have the Miles of Smiles – which is apparently the closest to modern standard toothpaste flavour and tastes nothing like toothpaste. I’m not going to lie, they are Weird with a capital W. It took me a few days to get used to the texture and the most effective way to stop the tabs foam being all grainy and gross. I have a bit of a textures thing so that was the biggest hurdle for me. They’re kinda grainy, but once you start actually brushing your teeth it just foams up and stops being so gunky. One of the benefits of having to brush your teeth twice a day is you get used to them super quick.

There is a bit of a weird aftertaste as well, but I’ve found that drinking water can make it go away fairly ok. Despite how it may appear, I actually really like them. I thought I wasn’t too keen, but I had a few days between my tester pot finishing and being able to get to Lush to buy a full bottle and I found it weird to go back to actual toothpaste. I was in Toothpaste Limbo!

The things I really liked about the tooth tabs is that they are really easy to use (don’t accidently swallow while chewing – it burns), one tab foams up really well and is all you need, and my teeth feel super clean. I think a bottle of toothy tabs is due to last about six weeks to two months, but I have been sharing them like candy so who knows. I’ve already looked up where I can get more tabs one I’m in New Zealand.


While I have had super success with the toothy tabs, I’ve been less successful with the mouthwash tabs from Lush. I’m still trying to work out which flavour I should buy. I had a tester of the Crème de Menthe tabs (which I may or may not have picked because they are teal and glittery!) but they were far too strong (like, they hit my tongue and I spat them out kind of strong) for me. My housemate had testers of ones called “Brave” which are kinda spicy and fruity – they’re made of cloves and citrus fruits – and ones that are awesomely named the Pan Galactic Gargle Blasters – lemony and I want because of the name! I’m still figuring out the best mouthwash tab for me, but I do need to figure out which one I like the best.

In other parts of my rucksack I have also got a stainless steel water bottle from Chilly’s (IT HAS AN OCTOPUS ON IT – I know I didn’t need to go all out and get a Chilly’s but OCTOPUS), a collapsible travel mug, and beeswax wraps. It’s been fun doing all the research and figuring out what I want (I can’t say need because I don’t, for most of it).

Are there any sustainable items you think I should be adding to my inventory?



  1. I have been trying more natural toothpastes, but my sensitive teeth really need the fluoride it seems. Anything low fluoride and my teeth kill me 😦 It sucks, as I use mainly green products for selfcare/beauty.
    I have a menstrual cup that I am about to try, but I am a bit apprehensive! If it works, that would be a great item for travelling. No fuss with sanitary pads! I have tried reusable sanitary pads and haven’t liked them. I use a greener disposible option at the moment (Natracare)

    Liked by 1 person

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