Friday, January 6, 2012

Don't Waste the Paste

"the origins of the word frugality in Latin are frugalior, meaning useful or worthy, and frux, meaning fruitful or productive. These meanings give the word a nice feeling, but unfortunately, the word has changed over the years, and has come to mean thriftiness, the abstention from luxury and lavishness. In this book, the word will be used in its original make full and 'fruitful' use of all [one's] resources."
~Warren Johnson

In keeping with my theme of abundant frugality for the year (using Warren Johnson's definition of frugality) I thought I'd mention this simple trick I use to make full and fruitful use of my toothpaste resource.

I pay a premium price for an all-natural, locally produced toothpaste. (I used to make my own but I wasn't happy with it and like this toothpaste best.) To make those premium dollars go further, I make my toothpaste last longer by not only squeezing the heck out of it when it starts to run low, but finally, I cut the end of the tube off with a pair scissors and use my toothbrush to scrape out as much paste as possible.

By doing this, I can usually get another three or four brushings out of the tube. Now that doesn't sound like much, but added up over all the tubes I use in a year, I figure stretching my toothpaste out this way keeps pennies in my pocket and excess trash out of the waste stream.


Anonymous said...

a chance to use math in real life. My gradeschool math teacher informed me that such an opportunity would arise!

say 20 brushings a week, two months per tube, 160 brushings per tube, 6 tubes per year, 60+ more years of life left for you (you eat well). 360 tubes in your remaining lifetime.

saving an average of 3.5 brushes worth of paste over 360 tubes is 1296 brushes or 8.1 tubes of paste saved.

I was going to consider attaching a dollar value to this but that means I would have to consider inflation which is important since sixty years ago that $5.00 toothpaste cost $0.50... continuing the trend a single tube may cost $50 sixty years from now.

Also note that if everyone in ottawa did this for one single year (let's say during 2012) there would be 3.5*6*917550/160 = 120,428 fewer tubes of toothpaste purchased & disposed of.

No doubt this would cause our fragile economy to collapse and we would have you to thank.

Anonymous said...

p.s. Thank you!

Anonymous said...


If every Canadian just attempted this trick once with a single tube of toothpaste, it'd save the equivalent of 746,128 tubes of paste.

Amber said...

Ha! This totally made my morning. :)