As a child, I always wondered how the interesting patterns are formed on the sidewalk. Big circles, small circles, various shades of grey. Now I now: disgusting people dropped their chewing gums there and all of us trampling above. Not very tasty and even less sustainable. Although, there would be a few (zero waste) alternatives to the common chewing gum.
Chewing gum cannot be decomposed easily. Why? It consists mainly of artificial substances, above all crude oil based polymers and partly dubious additives. This means if you are chewing your gum you are wasting oil reserves.
In addition, the packaging isn’t the greatest. Most of the time they are wrapped individually or in a bigger plastic bottle. Waste prevention looks differently.
It’s time to look for a sustainable alternative!
Why we use chewing gum in the first place has different reasons, but just to get this out of the way: it is not a replacement for brushing your teeth. I know, shocking – the ads would suggest otherwise 😉 However, what they can do is to convey a feeling of freshness.
While looking for alternatives, I combed through the internet and various Facebook groups. Who would have thought that there are so many different possibilities out there to get fresh breath?
Alternatives for your conventional chewing gum.
Chewing gum with xylitol.
If you can’t do without the gritting, chewing feeling, you can try chewing gums with xylitol. They are without sugar (or aspartame), healthier and apparently supporting your dental hygiene. However, with xylitol doesn’t mean automatically without oil…
You can find chewing gums with xylitol in every supermarket.
A natural chewable base can be formed by processing the latex of the Chicozapote (also called sapodilla or Manilkara zapota). Chizca is the first organic chewing gum and available e.g. at the Avocadostore. The chewing feeling is strange at first and some might never get used to it.
Peppermint or pastilles.
Take fresh peppermint leaves with you and chew them. Maybe you are happy with infused water.
If you don’t have a problem with the sugar, you can switch to peppermint pastilles. Chewing gum is nothing more than a well-established habit. As a bridging action, these pastilles might help.
Take a fresh ginger tuber with you and cut a piece when needed. If you need it faster, prep little pieces at home and take them with you in a little glass jar or stainless steel container. Might even help with nausea.
Green cardamom or aniseed.
If you like cardamom or anise, you can try to chew the seeds. I think it tastes incredibly intense, but sucking on them is okay 😉
However, they are super easy to take with you and helpful in neutralizing the smell of garlic.
Do not use chewing gum.
Just for the sake of completeness: you could stop using chewing gum. As you started the habit of chewing gum after you ate or just in between, it might be hard to imagine a life without – but it is possible 😛
Do you know any other practical alternatives for conventional chewing gum?