Friday, January 23, 2009

7 million miles of toothpaste wasted!

There's a web site that deals exclusively with toothpaste, if you're interested in picking up a lot of trivia about a very common household commodity: Toothpasteworld - World's Largest Toothpaste Collection. Also see Toothpaste in Wikipedia

Colgate, Proctor and Gamble, GlaxoSmithKline, and Unilever, which manufacture the major brands sold around the world, are among the largest companies on the globe today.

If you stop to think about it, there is an incredible about of toothpaste consumed every day.

I don't know if anyone has ever tried to calculate the actual consumption but let's make a rough attempt. In almost every ad and photo you see of toothpaste in use, a strip of about 1inch is spread on the brush. At this moment, the world population is somewhere over 6.8 billion people. If we suppose that only 25% of the people in the world use toothpaste, and that they only brush one time per day, the world consumption of toothpaste is a strip which measures some 26, 830 miles EVERY DAY!

That's more than one complete circumference of the globe.

What's the point of this?

From my own experience, I've discovered that you don't need 1" of toothpaste to effectively brush your teeth. In fact, I even have my doubts if you really need it at all, so long as you do brush your teeth regularly. But, in my own case I have found that just 1/4" of toothpaste does a very nice and refreshing job of cleaning in my mouth.

So, if the world's population were to reduce their use of this product to the level I have found effective, we could conserve all the resources and energy which is needed to make 20,123 miles of toothpaste each day. The annual savings would me more than 7 million miles of toothpaste.

Just one simple, small change which is within the capacity of everyone without any cost or inconvenience could add up to significant impact.

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