These 10 eco-friendly products will you swap out single-use plastics for good!
Did you know that only a small percentage of our planet’s plastics are actually recycled? Can you believe that?! Here’s how to not be a part of this ever-growing problem.
It's no surprise to say that our single-use plastic consumption has gotten completely out of control. About half of the world's plastic manufactured from 1950 to 2015 was only made in the last 13 years, and alarmingly, only 9% of all plastic discarded has actually been recycled.
Much of the rest of our plastic is buried in ever-growing landfills and littering waterways and oceans. There is sobering evidence of its effect on our world's ecosystems and the environment which is not hard to find. It's difficult to fight with one's own impact on the environment. Small changes can seem pointless in the face of the hundreds of millions of metric tons of plastic thrown away each year. Change has to start on an individual level! Thinking about all the disposable products that we use in our everyday lives can help us make better choices as consumers. Here are 10 eco-friendly products that we picked out to replace throwaway items that would otherwise remain buried on this planet for hundreds of years, if not longer. It's time to make the switch.
1. Zero Waste Toothpaste Tablets
Though toothpaste tubes are technically recyclable, we'd assume that most people might still chuck them in the trash without a second thought. That's why toothpaste tablets feel like such a revelation. These minty little tablets are meant to be chewed up first and then moistened with water from your toothbrush. They contain no superfluous dyes or preservatives, and they don't foam, but the clean feeling tends to last longer than traditional toothpaste. We recommend trying out Unpaste's Toothpaste Tablets and Bite Toothpaste Bits. Great news! Their packaging is all recyclable and compostable, with no plastic hidden anywhere!
2. Silicone Reusable Food Storage Bag
Your plastic food-storage bag use stops here! Available in a variety of sizes, these silicone reusable food storage bags are great for packing up sandwiches and snacks on the go.
We're not going to lie but we are obsessed with this eco-friendly product because of its durability, and because the bags are completely washable. They're great for holding munchies and cold foods, but they can even handle hot temperatures as well. We recommend checking out Stasher.
3. Bamboo Travel Cutlery Set
According to the Plastic Pollution Coalition, “more than 100 million pieces of plastic utensils are used by Americans every day.” Disposable flatware is often a double whammy of single-use plastic wrapped up in even more plastic. It goes without saying that they are a huge part of our plastics problem. While you can always combat this by packing your own silverware with you from home, we like this wooden utensil set’s neat packaging and lightweight, yet long-lasting build. We recommend checking out Earth Sider.
4. Stainless Steel Metal or Silicone Straws
We're pretty sure that by now, you are probably well aware that plastic straws are canceled. While there is some momentum for states and cities across the country to institute their own bans, opting to forgo the disposable straw in your daily sipping is a good first step. Stainless steel straws are much better to use and they also come in both straight and bent straw shapes, and even include cleaning brushes (one for home, and one for work!) to keep them squeaky-clean. You can easily find these stainless steel straws anywhere like Amazon. If you prefer a more flexible alternative to stainless steel, you can also check out the silicone straws.
5. Stainless Steel Water Bottles
Keep your emergency supply of water bottles somewhere out of sight and out of mind. A durable, non-disposable water bottle is what you should be using on the daily. We recommend the Hydro Flask, it is a reviewer-favorite brand that makes exceptional insulated drinking vessels, and this one is touted for keeping drinks ice-cold all day long.
6. Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent Pods
It's no secret that we're obsessed with the Dropps detergent pods! But how can you not be excited for an cleaning product that makes laundry way less of a backbreaking chore? Plus it's EPA-certified! These dissolvable, dye-free pacs can be popped right into your laundry load, and they're packed with the same stain- and odor-fighting potency as regular detergents just without any of the mystery ingredients.
7. Wool Dryer Balls
There's simply no need to buy polyester, fragrance-coated, single-use dryer sheets anymore! Especially when making the switch to using wool balls to break up your laundry loads couldn't be easier. It can be used in countless dryer cycles for upwards of a year, these softball-sized, 100% New Zealand wool dryer balls are touted by users for their effectiveness at reducing the drying time and the number of wrinkles in each load. You can use these balls in the dryer for extra-large loads, or just pop in two or three for a smaller cycle.
8. Wooden Dish Brush
Using a Wood Dish Brush is a perfect plastic-free alternative for your kitchen. Great for brushing, cleaning dishes, pots, and sinks. We recommend Eco Root's wooden dish brush because it is absolutely amazing, plus the head is replaceable so you can save the handle and reduce your waste when the brush wears out. Shop our replacement head here.
9. Bamboo Dish Cloth & Kitchen Wipes
This is scary but true but did you know that microfiber cloths are non-recyclable microplastics, and throwing them in the washing machine to clean may be harmful to our water supply. It’s just not worth the considerable carbon impact to keep buying these types of materials. In lieu of microfiber towels, or disposable cloths that you may use for cleaning surfaces and floors in your home, bamboo-fiber cloths are a much eco-friendlier option. Not only are these eco-friendly products made from the fast-growing, self-generating bamboo plant, but the cloths are also long-lasting and able to be safely washed after each use.
10. Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
Since most cleaning products are comprised mostly of water, it seems silly to pay money for something that comes out of any faucet. That's one of the reasons we love eco-friendly products like Blueland or Clean Cult. The eco-friendly brand streamlines green cleaning, for example, with Blueland, you can use reusable bottles and dissolvable tablets. Or with Clean Cult, you can use their refill with the starter kit bundle and use your own bottles that you have at home which is easy on the earth and your wallet. In our experience with using green products, we've found the three respective formulas for glass, surface, and bathroom cleaning to be very effective and great smelling to boot. And best of all, no part of the kit ever needs to end up in a landfill.