Bloomberg BusinessWeek - November 2005

Bloomberg Business Week

by Evelyn Hafferty

November 22nd, 2005

Is it possible to make a toothbrush that does the job without contributing to landfill waste?

Another eco-friendly toothbrush on the market is the Radius Intelligent Toothbrush. The brush beeps when the user has brushed for two minutes; this is the recommended brushing time, as determined by dentists. An indicator light turns red after 90 days to inform the user that it's time to change the toothbrush head. A replaceable head reduces the waste of buying a whole new toothbrush every 90 days. Consumers can purchase a 3-pack of replaceable toothbrush heads for US$ 6.95.

The handle of the Intelligent Toothbrush is very ergonomic; it has a curved bump-out at the bottom of the handle for comfortable gripping in the palm of the hand. Another nice feature: the toothbrush handle curve is available for both right- and left-handed users. Paradoxically, Radius has several other designs of toothbrushes, which are not so clever. One of them is the aforementioned $8 clunker with the head that looks like a hairbrush.

The mantra in eco-friendly circles is well known: recycle, reuse, and reduce. This can be followed by designers as well, even if not as literally. The reduction of over-designed products can help reduce the amount of waste, while using eco-friendly material is even better.