Ara the altar
earth-aware adornment for the everyday
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Letters of Ara

An online journal & e-mail newsletter in which to explore areas of interest and influence for Ara the altar.

Plastic Free Pearly Whites

Ara the altar - low waste dental care

As part of Plastic Free July, on Instagram throughout the month I’ve been sharing a few things that help to minimise my daily reliance on plastic.

When it comes to looking after the pearly whites, a bamboo toothbrush has been a solid part of my dental care routine for a good few years now. They’re so handy for me to repurpose in the workshop too.

Finding the right toothpaste fit was bit more of a journey. I really like the Georganics English Peppermint Toothpaste. In attempt to further minimise waste I did have a little a stab at making my own toothpaste. Long story short, it was not for me. I found the required amount of baking soda made it too salty and I couldn’t stick it out. This led me to have a little dabble with toothpaste tablets which I’ve been using for a fair few months now. You pop one in, give it a good chew (which took me a while to get used to), and then brush as normal as it turns to a paste. They create so little waste/mess and I love that you can buy them in bulk and keep in your own container.

I’d also been thinking about making my own mouthwash when the perfectly timed Rachel of The Foraged Life popped up in my Instagram stories with a little DIY recipe (thank you, Rachel!). It’s a really good base that I’ve tweaked just a little along the way to suit my taste etc. It’s so simple I thought I’d share with you what’s now part of my routine in case you want to give it a try. You can also find Rachel’s original recipe here (amongst lots of other helpful info for eco-friendly living).

Ara the altar - Peppermint and Tea Tree Essential Oils
Ara the altar - baking soda and essential oils

DIY Mouthwash


  • peppermint essential oil - the essential oils I use for everything (including cleaning etc.) are from Sacred Soul Holistics - they are organic and the packaging is dreamy

  • tea tree essential oil

  • baking soda - if you don’t have a local bulk store, Zero Waste Club (UK) supply this online, plastic free

  • filtered water (I don’t have a water filter so before using, I boil some water and let it cool)

  • a glass bottle - my spherical bottle is from a local supplier, Wares of Knutsford

  • funnel (this is optional but makes life a little easier, no need to buy one though - I made this from a piece of scrap paper and some washi tape)

Ara the altar - diy funnel

Method (to make approx 400ml)


Step i)

Prep your water & pour into your glass bottle with a little room to spare

Step ii)

Add a few teaspoons of baking soda using the funnel. I have found that too much of this can make the solution taste salty so I’d suggest going slowly with this and see what works for you

Step iii)

Add peppermint oil to taste (the more the merrier for me - I add around 20-25 drops)

Step iv)

Add tea tree oil. Not a huge fan of the taste but it’s worth sneaking in for its antibacterial properties (around 10 drops)

Step v)

Shakey shakey

Are the altar - DIY mouthwash

I hope that you have found this little post of use or at least of mild interest! I feel like I’m mostly there with my plastic free dental care routine but I’m still on the lookout for some biodegradable, vegan floss.

Let me know if you give the recipe or any of the products a go. If you have any other recommendations I’d love to hear them.