A story of a toilet brush

By Lauren Kaszubski

It’s a week into August, post my Plastic Free July challenge, and I have begun to reflect on my experience. Overall, I really enjoyed my plastic-free month; although, it wasn’t entirely plastic-free – there were some slip-ups, a ski holiday, and visiting guests that brought some plastic into the month of July. I tried not to agonize too much as I decided July was all about learning, growth, forming new habits and becoming more conscience in my every day routine. However, one thing I have been agonizing over is this blog post. There is so much to reflect on, so many learnings to share, so many emotions. Finally, after several drafts, I decided to share with you a funny story about a toilet brush and two determined people.

My partner and I moved into our new rental home at the beginning of the month and endeavoured to set up our house so we could live plastic-free all year around. We also worked really hard to purchase second-hand for house furnishings. It was a lot of fun doing the research and finding unique, affordable gems. The big challenge however was to avoid bringing non-recyclable plastic bristles into the house. Ultimately, these bristles have nowhere to go but landfill (to my knowledge). This includes of course, toilet brushes, something neither of us had brought with us from our previous properties. I’d never really thought about it until I was faced with the challenge of going entirely plastic-free. Happily, after some hunting I found a brand that used coconut fibre for its bristles, however everywhere I searched they were out of stock – in shops, on the internet, EVERYWHERE! The process was taking some time and too much research for my liking and the pressure began to mount as my partner’s family was due to visit any day and the toilet was in a state. We found ourselves desperately leaving a post on the company’s social media page at midnight one night, pleading for a way to get our hands on this glorious, miracle, compostable, plastic-free toilet brush! After a sleepless night, the representative wrote back the next morning assuring us that after three months of being out of stock they were resupplying the next week. Perfect timing for the arrival of the visiting family!

The following week I went to the shop to pick up the brush and…it still wasn’t there. On to the next shop, also not there! At a loose end, and with the pressure of a murky toilet bowl mounting, I started looking for secondhand toilet brushes on the internet (to my surprise there were a few but a little too far away for collection!). After three weeks, I began to believe it was all too hard and I would have to cave. But I steeled myself and remembered that three weeks is nothing compared to the long-lasting effect those bristles will have on the environment. I held out. Guests had already come and gone – dirty toilet and all.

Finally, on the very last day of July I went back to the shop and there it was…hanging on its precious hook, glistening in all its glory – my plastic-free toilet brush! I went home with the toilet brush, high-fived my partner, and went straight to the toilet for a test clean. It did the trick just fine – coconut fibre does the same job as any plastic bristle brush and as far as I can tell, the brush is durable and will be treasured for many years to come.

This story may seem a little silly but it exemplifies how difficult some of these plastic-free challenges are, and how dedicated my partner and I are to the cause – (messaging the retailer at midnight)! It also allowed us to truly reflect on the whole life cycle of each object we bring into our home. Where did the materials come from, where was it manufactured, is it durable? Where will it go when it’s reached the end of its use? And so on. We also learned that if we were going to live this way, planning is crucial. We are still working on this!

By | 2018-08-13T15:27:05+00:00 August 10th, 2018|Plastic Free July|1 Comment

One Comment

  1. Becjy August 16, 2018 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    Ahh the toilet brush has been one thing I just haven’t been able to find a solution too mostly because how do you clean or sanitizer a toilet brush? I replace ours more often then I’d like to admit

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