Big brands helping consumers take small steps towards sustainability

By Angeliz Venter
Editor: Marcelle Jordaan

Sustainability is not a one size fits all. Each person’s journey looks different and different individuals feel differently about the subject of Iiving sustainably, but I believe that if every person on earth just makes one small change in their daily lives, it will have a BIG impact!

If you are anything like me, you try to make sustainable changes in your day-to-day life, but must revert to small local brands or a DIY option at home. Don’t get me wrong, I love supporting local brands that are striving for sustainability. These brands indirectly contributed to big companies taking these steps, but I have always wondered why the big role players in these industries did not also strive to be more sustainable.

As bigger brands and companies realized the impact of their choices on the environment, and the loss of profit that came with not catering to consumers’ needs to be eco-friendly, they jumped on our sustainability bandwagon, and we finally have one of the biggest role players in the industry joining our mission… COLGATE!

When I first heard about their new campaign and efforts toward sustainability, I was ecstatic, because this is what we have all been waiting for. A big company caring, understanding and making the changes that consumers want to see. Colgate introduced their Colgate Naturals products and their #sustainablesmiles campaign a few weeks ago and the response to it has been overwhelmingly positive. The aim was to show consumers different ways to be sustainable, ranging from recycling, growing your own fruit and vegetables, making sustainable swops in your personal care routine, like using a menstrual cup, bamboo earbuds, changing from one use plastic containers for shower gel, shampoo, and conditioner to bar soaps and ultimately just switching from your normal Colgate product to their natural product, with natural ingredients, recyclable tube and 100% biodegradable packaging.

So, what is part of the Colgate Naturals range? Firstly, they created a bamboo toothbrush, that is 100% biodegradable. The slim tip bristles are infused with charcoal, which delivers a deep, yet gentle cleaning, which means there is no compromise on the efficiency of the brush. The bamboo handle is naturally water resistant, but also coated with natural beeswax to minimize the absorption of water. With dentists suggesting that you replace your toothbrush every 3 months, this was an URGENT sustainable swop for me, as plastic toothbrushes are not biodegradable, cannot be sufficiently recycled, reused, and ultimately just end up in our oceans and coral reefs.

Next up is the Colgate Naturals toothpaste range. I absolutely love all three flavors and switch between them quite regularly, as each product has different qualities and problems that it focuses on. Colgate Naturals toothpaste with Aloe Vera is the one I use the most as it gives a cool, refreshing, and clean feeling afterwards. It focuses on gum care and consists of 97% natural ingredients. It is formulated with carefully selected minerals and 100% natural origin Aloe Vera and Green Tea extract. The Colgate Naturals toothpaste with Hemp-Seed Oil gives a soothing sensation, while it refreshes your breath with a 100% natural herbal Anise flavoring. The hemp seed oil is also of 100% natural origin and the product has 97% natural ingredients. Lastly, the Colgate Naturals Charcoal toothpaste assists teeth whitening in an affordable manner, and it is a healthy yet sustainable alternative to conventional teeth whitening at a dentist. It is filled with 93% natural ingredients and the activated charcoal is 100% natural from the origin. Furthermore, all three variants are vegan, gluten free, sugar free and comes in a 75ml recyclable tube which lasts a few months depending on your daily usage.

Being sustainable can sometimes seem like a “hippie” concept and something you can only be a part of by starting everything from scratch. But making sustainable changes in your day-to-day life does not have to be intimidating. I started my journey of sustainability without even wanting to, my mother-in-law gave me reusable make-up remover wipes for Christmas a few years ago that she made herself and only through that act did I start to consider my impact of using one use wipes and cotton balls multiple times a day. This concept rolled over into other aspects of my life. My journey was not a once off thing that I did perfectly and never looked back- I am continuously learning and choosing to change. By taking the first step- which could just be you, changing from a plastic toothbrush to bamboo, and switching out your non-recyclable toothpaste tube for the Colgate Naturals range- you are already having an impact on our environment and the future of the next generations to come. Just start by taking the first step.

The Colgate Naturals range are available at all major retailers worldwide.

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