Leading a charity that promotes sustainability and care for our planet, I’m in a constant state of learning about the harm that everyday products can cause. Armed with this knowledge, it would be hypocritical of me not to heed the warnings of scientists and medical professionals, so I have begun the process of removing perhaps the most harmful substance of all from every part of my life: plastic.

It’s everywhere and it’s dangerous. In its intended form, whether it be a cup or a synthetic fabric, it can take anywhere from 20 – 500 years to break down, and when it does, it will release toxins into the atmosphere. So I’ve started a process of doing a complete overhaul of my lifestyle, one item at a time, to find safer alternatives that accomplish the same thing.

The first: Toothpaste.

It’s something everyone needs and consumes every day, and something that comes in a container that will need to be disposed of when empty. For years, because I love the taste of cinnamon, I’ve been a loyal user of Close-up toothpaste. Many of the leading brands were found to have microplastics in the toothpaste, which is not only harmful to those who consume it, once the user spits it back into the water supply, the plastics travel to pollute other areas. Furthermore, the tubes they are packaged in are plastic.

I began researching to find both a toothpaste that didn’t contain plastic and a container that wasn’t plastic, even if the product was clean. I started testing out different brands for flavor and texture and arrived at my favorite: Bite. Though it’s a bit more expensive than a tube of mainstream paste, it arrives in a reusable glass bottle (these are especially great for travel) and has a variety of flavors including Mint, Berry and Cinnamon (though that one can be harder to find). Furthermore, they’re tablets, so there’s no spilling or wasting any toothpaste because it’s already measured out for each use. It’s been a smooth transition.

I plan on making a series out of my swaps so stay tuned if you want to follow along for tips to un-plastic your own environment!