The bathroom may very well be the last place we think of reducing waste. Plastic floss, plastic toothpaste tubes, plastic in beauty products… it’s a small but important component of the plastic we use in our households. To tackle part of this problem, Kathryn Hogan developed a plastic-free solution to dental floss so we can take care of our gums guilt-free. Plastic-Free YYC asked Kathryn some questions about the product and her view on sustainable living.
KMH Touches Eco Dental Innovation
Location: Health food stores across Canada, supplied by PLHP
Instagram: @kmhtouches // @KMHelaine
Can you please tell us a little bit about yourself, your products and how your company came about?
KMH touches Inc began in March of 2015. We distributed an on-the-wall dental floss dispenser for hotels.
Quickly realizing the entire device was plastic…we were sent this video:
Which changed everything.
My best friend of 25 years was quickly asked to come help with the demands of Health Canada and their requirements…and the journey began seeking out alternatives to plastic. We began with toothbrushes, and continued on our search to find floss with a zero footprint. There was only one on the market but it was housed in a hard plastic package. We ordered what became our prototype as seen here.
Which eventually became this:
It’s the same thing in a package that makes sense in today’s world. Sized like a lip balm, they are elegant and thought provoking… which is always the goal. Now found in over a thousand health food stores, including the U.S.
What is your biggest driver for being sustainable?
Because it’s time. If we do not do it now it will be too late. The word plastic contains the word past-exactly where it belongs!
What are the biggest sustainability challenges you face personally and professionally?
Personally, it’s paper towels, because I raise parrots. Professionally, we do not want our products near plastic; this can be a real challenge to communicate this to our suppliers.
What is one thing you have done at your company to drive sustainability that other businesses could replicate as best practice?
We changed production of dental floss from plastic to biodegradable options at the factory level.
What have you done outside of work to live a more sustainable life?
We do live a zero-waste life style the best we can. Learning each and every day.
- Shopping local and going to bulk food stores and markets, using our own containers.
- Introducing more sustainable options into our lifestyles, such as biodegradable dental floss, bamboo toothbrushes, bulk tooth tablets, shampoo/conditioner bars, no more plastic containers of body wash, returning to bar soap
- Make our own cleaning products using vinegars, baking soda and citrus peels
- Switched to laundry magnet system and dryer balls/with essential oils
- When eating out, saying no to straws and carrying our own
- Trying to eat more at home
- Taking our own take out food containers if we get a meal out
- Using our own straws, cups, cutlery and containers as well as reusable napkins.
- Making our own travel size kits, from product we already have, when traveling
- Walking everywhere when possible.
- Telling everyone in our lives, about our experiences with going zero waste and share ideas
- More importantly – lead by exapmple!
- Installation of an RO machine is key – 11,680 plastic bottles of water averted so far.
- Hair dye gone, acrylic nails gone
- Talk to every breathing human about blueberries! In other words spread awareness on consumption, of both nutrition and plastic
Which sustainable action or change you’ve made in your life are you most proud of?
Easy answer here. We began to think so far outside the box, we no longer can see the box. The box, like plastic, belongs in the past.
What is your “guilty” habit that just isn’t very sustainable?
As I said before, paper towel for pet waste. Being handy with a sewing machine myself, I plan on creating reusable ones.
In one phrase, what does sustainability mean to you?
Let’s learn from the mistakes of the past, so history does not repeat itself.
Can you provide three top tips for others trying to lead more sustainable lives and reduce their waste?
Plant seeds. Do not use one use none. Protect our waters.
Bonus: Share the love – Which businesses besides your wonderful company would you recommend to help people reduce their waste?
Brush with Bamboo , Nelson Naturals