What are the qualifications of an environmentally-friendly floss? These days, the floss market is becoming increasingly saturated with products marketed as “sustainable,” “green,” and “environmentally friendly.” Yet, even the Federal Trade Commission has acknowledged that these terms are too “broad” and general to actually substantiate.
In an effort to avoid our use of these phrases being mistaken as trendy buzzwords, we decided to share some essential components of Instafloss that make it an actually environmentally friendly floss. Let’s give those buzzwords some meaning!
The purpose of this article is to bring awareness to the wasteful habits of the flossing industry and discuss the measures we’re taking to become more sustainable: preventing overconsumption, biodegradable packaging, recyclable mouthpieces, and a commitment to real-deal carbon offsetting.
Remember: we’re not advocates of wasteful overconsumption in the name of sustainability. Don’t go throwing away your already-purchased nylon floss without even using it, sending extra-wasted waste to the oceans and landfills! The hope is that you’ll commit to our long-term, lower-waste water flosser before buying your next pack of nylon floss.
Greenified Floss vs. Sustainable Floss Options
Before we begin, let’s explore what makes a truly environmentally friendly floss vs. a “greenified” but not-quite-sustainable floss. Some examples of a “greenified” floss product are reusable string floss containers and refillable floss picks. While reusability is an environmental virtue, saving landfills from even more plastics taking up space for 500+ years, these products still create dangerous waste from the floss itself.
Most floss is made from nylon, a non-biodegradable material so small it may not even make it to a landfill. It’s just as, if not more easily able to end up in the ocean. Nylon floss is designed to not tear, and by remaining intact underwater, it poses a potential threat to the health of marine plants and nearly 800 species of animals.
It’s clear that even with a refillable container, string floss is not the most environmentally friendly floss. There are certain “greener” variations of nylon floss, including bamboo floss from trees and silk floss from silkworms. Still, we should ask ourselves, are these viable mainstream floss replacements? What about the environmental implications of mass-scale bamboo and silkworm farming? It looks to us like string floss will remain subpar both in efficiency and sustainability.
How is Instafloss an Environmentally Friendly Floss?
Instafloss is an alternative, paradigm-shifting floss that aims to actually cut down on environmental waste, rather than merely neutralize it. Water flossing cuts down on plastic waste and doesn’t call for as-frequent purchases. There’s no zero-waste floss yet, but we’re trying to get as close as possible. Here’s the actions we’re currently taking to become an environmentally friendly floss:
It might seem paradoxical for a brand to claim to prevent overconsumption, but it’s true in our case. The Instafloss product is reusable, and will last for multiple years and many uses. This is a massive improvement in the face of single-use string floss, even with the reusable container!
The reusable nature of a water flosser will help you get closer to a zero-waste life than string floss ever will. Continue reading to see how Instafloss is an especially sustainable water flosser.
The Instafloss mouthpiece is the only part of the device that requires replacement. In an effort to be the most environmentally-friendly floss brand we can be, we’re opting for recyclable materials here. This way, as few Instafloss materials as possible will end up in a landfill.
The mouthpiece requires replacement to keep the jets free and clear of buildup from minerals in hard water. If this buildup occurs, the Instafloss won’t be as effective at plaque removal. Most tap water should allow for a replacement every three months, but you can look up the hardness of your local water using a site like this one.
If you find the mineral levels are especially high in your area, you can opt for distilled water to get the maximum lifespan for your mouthpiece. We’d recommend investing the small, average price of around $13 for a refillable jug for your distilled water, to avoid plastic waste.
However you choose to use your Instafloss mouthpiece, you can rest assured that once it’s no longer usable, it can be recycled.
We’ve also taken measures to ensure our packaging doesn’t wind up sitting for hundreds of years in an ocean or landfill. We package the Instafloss device in starch-based dissolvable foam instead of expanded polystyrene (styrofoam) or other non-biodegradable plastic foams.
The packing foam we plan on using is by the shipping company Uline. These starch sheets will hold the Instafloss and keep it protected.
Because these sheets are completely dissolvable in water and non-toxic, they’ll also be helping to keep the planet protected. If you choose not to dissolve this packaging at home, it’ll have broken down and returned to nature within a year of disposal.
Carbon Offsetting & Plastic Recovery
Our goal is that each Instafloss created will leave the planet a little greener than before.
After the initial production run and delivery of the Instafloss devices, we’ll be working with programs that aim to offset carbon production. We’ll calculate our own carbon output. While that output can’t be undone, we can at least make an effort to protect and restore ecosystems in response to the carbon pollution that comes from shipping and delivering packages.
An example of one of the carbon offsetting projects we'd be interested in is this reforestation project in India. This particular project aims to protect and replenish 14,969 hectares of land, previously wasteland due to topsoil erosion and a lack of vegetation. Projects like these also generate massive employment opportunities: they’re of benefit to local communities, their land, and our atmosphere.
Besides becoming a net-zero carbon company, we also seek to contribute to plastic recovery programs that help clean our oceans. A 2009-2014 study indicated that plastics make up a vast majority of marine litter. The complete effects of this pollution aren’t completely clear, but plastic consumption by marine animals is certainly one we want to help reduce.
We’re constantly keeping our eyes and ears open for more ways to successfully reduce our carbon emissions. As these opportunities remain grimly minimal, we commit wholeheartedly to giving back through environmental cleanup programs like these.
Not to toot our own horn…
But why wouldn’t we celebrate any action that helps the health of our planet? Especially if we’re able to help the health of your teeth as well!
In all seriousness, ecological sustainability is as important to us as the oral health crisis. Avoiding excessive plastic waste with our reusable apparatus, committing to becoming a net-zero carbon company, and contributing to programs that reduce our oceans’ plastic waste are some of the steps we’re currently taking to act on the ecological aspect of our mission. Instafloss should create smiles, something impossible to do if we’re poisoning the planet with our product. An environmentally-friendly floss that also makes the flossing experience enjoyable? It’s not too good to be true.