Saturday, March 12, 2011

Natural Tootbrushes

Have you ever given a thought to all the plastic toothbrushes that are thrown away each and every year around the world?  How about all those people in developing countries who don't have access to toothbrushes and suffer from subsequent tooth decay and disease? Well, a brilliant student from the School of Visual Arts, Leen Sadder, has created a product (as well as a related ad campaign) that could actually solve both problems at the same time.

The Miswak is a natural branch, that when the bark is pulled off reveals soft bristles that are similar to a toothbrush (who knew?!).  A big challenge Leen faced was packaging and marketing this to the American market who won't easily be convinced to put a twig in their mouth.  Even with the beautiful packaging, this will likely still be a tough sell.  But I love the related ad campaign that uses the Tom's shoes model of buy-one/give-one THIS toothbrush.

I have to admit that I likely won't be ditching my electric toothbrush for a twig, but I would gladly purchase refill bristles for my toothbrush made from a natural material such as this. Are you listening, Sonicare?

Excellent work, Leen.  I wish more students would explore innovative ways to solve sustainability and social problems in school.  Just proves that you can change the world, even with something as small as a toothbrush.