10 sustainable household products you can switch to today
When it comes to environmental responsibility, small changes can make a big difference. Regardless of how you want to effect change, one of the best places to start is in your own home. And sustainability is no exception to this. There are innumerable ways to move toward living in a more sustainable way. In fact, it can feel overwhelming. It can also feel like the changes you’re making aren’t big enough to matter. But this is not the case, and it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. It can be easy and fun, and every little bit makes a difference. We can help you get started by discussing 10 of the best sustainable household products you can switch to today and start making a difference.
Shampoo and conditioner bars
Shampoo and conditioner bars are a good and easy products to switch up for sustainable alternatives. Not only are shampoo and conditioner bars better for the planet, they’re better for your hair. They’re plastic-free and more sustainable than the plastic bottles liquid products come in. High-quality shampoo bars like those from Whiff Botanicals or Ethique are also free of harsh sulfates and detergents. They use natural oils that make for healthier, more nourished hair and a happier scalp.
Reusable cotton pads
Reusable cotton pads are another easy switch. Single-use cotton pads come in nonrecyclable plastic packaging. You use them to remove makeup and apply toners or other products, then toss them in the trash. That makes for a lot of waste. But there are better, more sustainable options. Companies like the Net Zero Co. and Marley’s Monsters make the switch easy and fun. After using their cotton pads, hand-wash them with soap and water. Or toss the rounds in with your regular wash.
Dental floss is something most of use every day and don’t even think about, but it is also a product that has a high negative impact on the environment. Typical flosses are plastic, nonrecyclable and take centuries to biodegrade. They are also coated in PFAs which can be harmful to both your body and the environment. Switching to a silk dental floss like this one from etee or a bamboo floss like this zero waste floss from Lucky Teeth is good because both products use no-waste packaging, and the flosses themselves are compostable and biodegradable.
Beeswax wraps can replace disposable cling wraps to cover and wrap food. You can wash them and use them over and over. In fact, they get better the more you use them. The beeswax coating makes the wraps water resistant and airtight, and beeswax acts as a natural barrier while remaining breathable so the wraps keep your food fresh for longer. You can get various sized wraps like these from abeego or opt for a roll like this on from Bee’s Wrap that allows you to cut the wrap to any size and shape that you need and includes a convenient rack to dry them on after washing.
Reusable silicone storage bags
Reusable silicone storage bags are a sustainable replacement for disposable plastic food storage bags. They are waste free and you can use them in the pantry, fridge or freezer for safe and easy storage of any food you need. Stasher reusable silicone bags are a great choice as they come in a variety of sizes for a variety of uses, pinch closed for secure food storage, and can go in the dishwasher, microwave, fridge, freezer or even the oven. We also like (re)zip bags, which come in a variety of sizes and are leakproof so you can use them to store whatever you need to wherever you need.
Reusable produce bags
You can bring reusable produce bags to the grocery store and cut down on the disposable plastic produce bags the store offers. Wash the bags at home and reuse them every time you shop. They also keep your food fresher for longer in the fridge than plastic bags.
Mesh produce bags like these from Ecowaare are great because they are see-through, so you always know what’s inside. And they come in a variety of sizes allowing easy carry of anything from small fruits to bundles of lettuce. They are breathable, keeping your produce fresh for longer, and their drawstrings make them easy to open and close. You can either rinse them between uses or wash them with the rest of your laundry.
Reusable muslin bags like these from the Net Zero Co. are another great option. While they are not see-through like the mesh bags, you can get these muslin bags damp before putting your leafy greens in them to keep them fresh and hydrated in the fridge for longer. You can also use these bags to store bulk dried goods, and they are easy to wash and reuse.
Reusable straws are an easy way to cut down on waste from single-use plastics. Also, as more and more venues move away from offering straws, this is a good way to ensure you always have one when you need one, and in a sustainable way. Stainless steel straws like these from Kleen Kanteen are great for drinking smoothies, iced coffee or any drink you need on the go. They have silicone tips and are dishwasher safe and easy to clean. If you want something that’s easy to carry with you, the FinalStraw is great. It’s stainless steel on the outside, silicone on the inside and folds up into a convenient carrying case small enough to carry in any bag or even attach to your keychain. The set also includes a cleaning brush so you can keep it clean wherever you are.
Biodegradable cutlery can replace high waste, nonrecyclable plastic silverware for picnics, sack lunches or food in the office. They reduce waste, are non-toxic, and their natural elements don’t harm the planet. Bamboo cutlery like this from Bamboodlers is 100% natural and non-toxic so you can toss it in the trash after using it and know you’re not creating waste like you would with plastic. Many are also made from cornstarch like this Ecopack Compostable Cutlery. They are all natural, sturdy and designed for both hot and cold food.
Reusable coffee mugs
Reusable coffee mugs are a great way to reduce waste since you can take them to any coffee shop and use them in place of single-use plastic or paper cups that create waste and harm the environment. The KeepCup is a great reusable mug designed with barista standards in mind. Its internal volumes match those of single-use cups making it easy for baristas to get the correct ratios for specialty coffees. The Yeti Rambler is a great insulated reusable coffee mug. Its durable stainless steel and double-wall vacuum insulation that keeps hot beverages hot and cold beverages cold.
Biodegradable trash bags
Biodegradable trash bags can replace your regular bags. The conversation around single-use plastics includes the trash we create, but the bags we put it in are often not included in this conversation. Biodegradable bags are of plant-based or recyclable materials, and switching to them is an easy way to reduce your plastic waste. Green Paper Products and Aircover both make heavy duty trash bags ideal for use in most kitchen garbage cans.