I went to the dentist yesterday and as I was making my way there, I kept thinking about the plastic bag of “goodies” they give out to all their patients. Usually this involves a toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, and special floss for those with permanent retainers, all in a nice plastic bag. There may even be some coupons in there.
So after my cleaning, the dental hygienist started to pack up my “goodie bag,” and I quickly stopped her with some combination of the following arguments:
- No, I do not need another toothbrush. We have approximately 5,000 in our bathroom cabinet from you guys already. Also my mom shops at Costco, and I am going to invest in a bamboo toothbrush anyway.
- Toothbrushes are extremely difficult to recycle. Every single toothbrush I have ever used is sitting in a landfill! If I replaced my toothbrush every 3 months like the dentist recommends, that means I would have tossed 104 toothbrushes into the trash in my lifetime.
- No, I don’t want tiny toothpaste. As with the toothbrushes, we have approximately 5,000 of them already.
- I only want the floss if it is the good kind. If it is not, put it back in the drawer.
- I also do not need your dentist-themed plastic bag, I will just toss my floss in my purse and I am good to go.
To accumulate less stuff, we have to learn the art of refusal and saying no to things we do not want pretty much anywhere we go.
***Cover photo credit: Greenpeace