Give up polluting chewing gum, to ensure that our beautiful countryside is safe for all creatures. Chewing gum is mostly made from plastic (with pet-toxic sweeteners like xylitol). It’s also packed in plastic. So when it drops on the ground, it can harm dogs who eat it (because it tastes sweet). Or it can harm cows in fields or whales in the sea, as it never biodegrades. Gum actually costs more to clean up, than to buy. And pressure-hosing pavements leads to slipping hazards.
If you chew gum, ask yourself why. If you need to freshen your breath – drink more water, clean up your diet and visit the dentist. Doctors say that chewing gum long-term leads to jaw problems and headaches (it’s also a choking hazard). And if you chew gum to give up smoking, read Finally Free (a pretty illustrated guide using the effective Allen Carr method).
If you get gum stuck on your clothes, place the item in a bag and freeze for 15 minutes, the remove with a knife (for carpets, chill with ice-cubes, then use a stiff toothbrush (or tweezers) to remove final bits. If gum gets stuck in your hair, cover with olive oil or peanut butter (not near dogs, or they will lick your head!) Wait a few minutes, and the gum should slide out.
If you run a school or council, buy a bright pink Gumdrop Bin. Made from recycled gum, when it’s full, you can get it emptied and it’s made into new items (including promotional goodies that you receive for free). Installation reduces gum litter by almost half in 12 weeks, saving £2000.
Natural Alternatives to Gum
Never buy gum with sweetener, as it contains xylitol, which is lethal to pets (if found or discarded to pets – it has a sweet taste to tempt them).
- Chicza is from the Mayan rainforest, to help native tribes. They cool the sap into a chewable rubber. Sold in mint, cinnamon, lime or berry.
- Simply Gum (US) is sold in Iceland. It’s also from South American tree sap. The company also makes caffeine mints in a tin.
- Vermints (US) is another brand sold here. These are the old-fashioned mints your grandpa used to carry around. Organic and Kosher, they are made from mint and cane sugar: Gingermint or Cafe Express.