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Spare a Toothbrush?

Plastic for Bamboo – toothbrush distribution to local schools in the Sacred Valley

This past April, we decided to kick-start a campaign to visit the local communities that we work with and help assist in prevention of plastic purchases of toothbrushes.

We had noticed on many trips over the years, the wide-spread problem of plastic pollutants, especially in the surrounding farms, lakes and rivers.

A lot of the problem stems maybe from ignorance and lack of government support in helping find solutions to out-side communities around bigger cities.  Other factors such as offering recyclable options or non-plastic options such as plastic bags only offered in stores, the non-existence of bottled water or drinkable water at home and lack of trash collections which are pretty much impossible in the outer-reach communities without having main roads to access them.

But it is also a problem lying at ‘grass-roots’ level.  Children need to be educated on the long-term effects of this kind of waste and teaching what other eco-friendly options there are available, or getting them to be more available.

A small start only, but we distributed over 400 bamboo toothbrushes at 5 local schools to 400 pupils in the area of Amaru and Paro Paro – small villages above the town of Pisac.  We gave some simple lectures about curtailing plastic usage, who to properly brush teeth and why using bamboo brushes was far better than plastic, in Spanish and Quechua through local leaders in the villages and school principals.  Kids specifically liked the Rainbow Colours on the bristles which also is similar to the Cusco regional flag.

In addition we gave out 400 bracelets (in Peruvian colours of Red and white) with the slogan in Quechua ‘Maqchina kusichin!’ something translated to English like ‘Happy brushing!’

We did all of this in just one day.  We especially would like to thanks Bill Hickerson and his partner Naomi D’Abracci from US for taking the first incentive and bringing over the rainbow coloured bamboo brushes and Red and white Peru Coloured bracelets.

But why stop there….?

Our intentions are much larger on the scheme of things.  We would like through the support of our clients to reach out to all of the communities around the area of the Sacred Valley – this of course will take some time – eventually getting to the more remote communities and maybe gradually changing the mind-set of local populous and instead of teaching to them, they teach these ethics within their own communities, local schools, through the local leaders and teachers at the schools.

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