These clever products can help you cut your household waste


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Living without: soap, household cleaning products, hygiene/beauty products, water bottles or even kitchen utensils would be tough for a lot of us. And while some of these essential products aren’t exactly great for the environment — especially when you account for all the packaging that comes with them — there’s a growing trend among consumer products to reduce or even eliminate packaging.

Buying these products could have a huge impact on the environment. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, in 2017, Americans produced a total of 267.8 million tons of solid waste — equal to 4.51 pounds of waste per person per day. The biggest contributors to that waste? Paper products (25%) and plastics (13.2%).

Of course, there are a lot of products out there that are more environmentally friendly. But how do you choose? We’ve got you covered. Here are 19 eco-friendly alternatives to your everyday products that can help you reduce your waste.

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1. The Clean Up Kit from Blueland – $29

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Instead of buying a brand new bottle of cleaner every time you run out, what if you could just refill the bottle with a tablet and some water? Well, you can.

Sarah Paiji Yoo, the CEO and co-founder of Blueland explained the mission behind the brand, “I founded Blueland with the belief that we shouldn’t have to sacrifice a clean home for a clean planet,” Yoo said. “Our mission is simple, make being eco easy with innovative products in reusable packaging that are convenient, effective and affordable.”

These cleaning kits come with three shatter-proof, reusable cleaning bottles and three dissolvable cleaning tablets: one multi-surface tablet, one bathroom tablet and one glass/mirror tablet. The packaging used for shipping is also compostable.

This product appeared on Shark Tank, receiving a deal from Kevin O’Leary, a.k.a Mr. Wonderful, for 3% equity in the company and a 50 cent royalty on every bottle sold in exchange for a $270,000 investment.

Image Credit: Blueland.

2. Hippie Haven homemade castile solid dish soap – $12.99

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This solid dish soap comes in plastic-free packaging and the bar itself dissolves, leaving no waste behind. It can be used with a damp sponge or dish scrubber for best results, and it contains no parabens, sulphates, preservatives, artificial colors or fragrances.

According to Hippie Haven’s website, all of their products are natural, vegan, cruelty-free, palm oil free, ethically sourced and have eco-friendly packaging. In addition, over 70% of their vendors are woman-owned, American businesses.

Image Credit: Hippie Haven.

3. Bite toothpaste tablets – $30

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Bite’s mission is to get rid of plastic toothpaste tubes, making brushing your teeth as eco-friendly as possible. Each container is packaged in recyclable materials, uses pre-existing delivery routes to reduce their carbon footprint and contains one glass jar with dissolvable vegan toothpaste “bites.”

When you run out of bites you can re-order more of the bites themselves and reuse your glass jar.

Image Credit: Bite.

4. Ethique unscented shampoo bar “Bar Minimum” – $15.00

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For shampooers with sensitive skin, this unscented shampoo bar is 100% soap-free, pH balanced and safe for color-treated hair. It is also equivalent to three bottles of liquid shampoo and comes in plastic-free packaging.

According to Ethique’s website, they are cruelty-free, vegan, plastic-free and palm oil free, ethically and fairly sourced, make sure to pay their staff a living wage and donate 20% of profits to charity.

Image Credit: Ethique .

5. Bambu biodegradable and compostable bamboo deluxe dinner napkins – $22.00

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These bamboo napkins are made of spun-woven bamboo fibers and are biodegradable, compostable, chemical and pesticide-free, and contain no dyes or bleaches.

According to Bambu’s website, the company is a member of the 1% For The Planet initiative, donating 1% of their profits to environmental protection organizations. They are also a Certified B Corporation, meeting some of the world’s highest standards in verified social and environmental performance, public transparency and legal accountability in balancing purpose and profit.

Image Credit: Bambu.

6. Bee’s Wrap biodegradable food wrap – $18.00 (three pack)

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Want to say goodbye to plastic wrap? These biodegradable, plastic-free food wrappers are reusable, washable and made from ethically sourced ingredients. They’re also naturally antibacterial to keep food fresh and reduce the risk of contamination. And they stick to themselves to itself to avoid using tape.

According to their website, Bee’s Wrap is a Certified B Corporation and a certified Green America company. They are a member of the 1% for the Planet initiative, The Bee Cause the Rozalia Project and National Geographic to contribute to environmental well-being.

Image Credit: Bee’s Wrap .

7. KleanKanteen insulated water bottle – $32.95

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This water bottle is made of chip-resistant, eco-friendly materials and can be used for keeping liquids cold or hot.

According to their website, KleanKanteen donates 1% of their gross sales towards saving the planet through the 1% For The Planet initiative, and has donated more than $3.1 million to nonprofits working on environmental issues.

They also have partnered with Clean Production Action to use the GreenScreen for Safer Chemicals tool to make sure the coating on their water bottles are chemically safe for their consumers and the environment — dubbed “Klean Coat.”

Image Credit: KleanKanteen.

8. WellEarthGoods NotPaper Towels 12 pack – $29.00

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NotPaper Towels are made of reusable, 100% cotton flannel that can be hand or machine washed. And because they’re 100% cotton,  they will completely decompose for zero-waste.

According to the company website, WellEarthGoods strives to use products from sustainable resources while minimizing waste. They also uses plastic-free packaging and intend to create and distribute products that support a minimalist, waste-free lifestyle.

Image Credit: WellEarthGoods.

9. Otherware reusable utensils – $59.00

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If you’re the type of person who finds yourself eating out a lot, the “Pebble” by Otherware is a great eco-friendly alternative to takeout cutlery. Each “Pebble” comes with a reusable knife, fork, spoon, straw and chopsticks.

The Pebble case is made out of recycled CD’s, and the products are all made out of recycled polypropylene, polycarbonate and steel. When you’ve finished using your Pebble cutlery, you can disassemble and recycle it, or send it back to Otherware so they can manufacture more eco-friendly products.

Image Credit: Otherware.

10. EnaecoGoods compostable plates made from plant fiber – $9.99

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Having a party and need disposable plates? Enaeco Goods has you covered. Their gluten-free, compostable plates, similar to paper plates, are made from unbleached, chlorine-free, pesticide-free, dye-free, natural bamboo and sugarcane fiber.

They are also microwave safe and liquid/oil resistant, and can be used for both hot and cold foods

According to their website, Enaeco’s products are made from annually renewable plant fibers, leaving no harmful residue in the environment. They also have a hypo-allergenic tissue line that is not harmful to marine life.

Image Credit: EnaecoGoods.

11. Reel bamboo toilet paper – $29.99 (24 rolls)

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Each roll of Reel bamboo toilet paper is made of 100% bamboo paper. It also contains zero plastic packaging.

According to their website, Reel’s mission is to eliminate illness threats caused by a lack of access to toilets, while also promoting earth-friendly and sustainable paper products. By having a partnership with SOIL, an organization out of Haiti that provides toilets and removes waste from communities to prevent waterborne diseases, they want to bring dignity, heath and safety back to those who need it most.

Image Credit: Reel.

12. Avocado vegan/organic pillow – $89.00

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Avocado’s pillows are non-toxic, hand-made, vegan and made exclusively with organic certified materials. They are also shipped for free via FedEx to reduce carbon emissions and have a one-year warranty.

According to their website, Avocado gives 1% of all revenues to environmental nonprofits per their membership in the 1% For The Planet organization. They also have factories powered by renewable energy, take care of more than 200,000 sheep, grow and produce their own natural latex, and remain carbon negative across their manufacturing.

Image Credit: Avocado.

13. Wild Minimalist biodegradable deodorant stick – $15.99

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This deodorant comes in a compostable tube and is made of essential oils, plant powders and mineral powders. You can also choose baking-soda-free options for sensitive skin. They have a full list of ingredients on their product page.

According to their website, Wild Minimalist aims to make the journey to waste-free living easier for people getting started. All products are shipped in recyclable or compostable packaging.

Image Credit: Wild Minimalist.

14. Unearth Malee tinted vegan organic lip balm – $8.99

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Tiny Yellow Bungalow was initially a blog founded in 2015 and focused on eco-friendly living. Now it’s a one-stop-shop where you can find natural, earth-friendly and healthful products and reviews.

One of the products you’ll find is Unearth Malee‘s tinted vegan organic lip balm, which comes in a biodegradable tube with plastic-free packaging, while also being made with organic oils, organic butters and natural botanical pigments. Their formula does not contain additives and is free of synthetic fragrances, artificial sweeteners and artificial flavorings.

Image Credit: Tiny Yellow Bungalow.

15. Simple Ecology reusable tea bag with organic cotton – $5.00

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These muslin reusable tea bags are made from ingredients that are natural, sustainable, organic, biodegradable, recyclable and zero-waste.

They meet Global Organic Textile Standards in organic cotton muslin fabric for ecology and social responsibility, and they will last for years. All packaging comes in a reusable paper clasp envelope made of recycled paper.

Image Credit: WellEarthGoods.

16. Stasher silicone sandwich bag set – $59.99

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These reusable silicone bags are meant to replace everyday plastic bags used for food and storage. They come in a variety of sizes and are safe to store, freeze, and use to cook in the oven and microwave.

According to their website, Stasher is a member of the 1% For the Planet initiative, and a portion of every Stasher sale goes to nonprofits like Surfrider and 5 Gyres, that work to preserve and heal our oceans.

To date, Stasher has sold millions of bags, preventing over one billion single-use plastic bags from ending up in oceans and landfills.

Image Credit: Stasher.

17. Wrappily recycled newspaper wrapping paper – $10.00 (three sheets)

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Most conventional wrapping paper cannot be recycled because it is dyed, laminated, or contains non-paper additives. Wrappily, however, uses newsprint because it can be recycled up to seven times. The printing uses less energy and soy-based inks that are more environmentally friendly.

Image Credit: Wrappily .

18. If You Care compostable bleach-free coffee filters – $3.99 (100 filters)

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These coffee filters are unbleached and made with chlorine-free (TCF) paper. Their cone filters feature a strong “never break” patented wave seam, assuring strength.

According to their website, If You Care was a pioneer for unbleached coffee filters.They were the first company to manufacture them in the United States starting in 1990. Their packaging is made from unbleached recycled cardboard or paper.

Image Credit: If You Care.

20. A Drop in the Ocean homemade dishwasher pods – $12.25 (18 pods)

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These handmade dishwasher pods are plastic-free, zero-waste, palm-oil-free and vegan. Orders come in a reusable glass jar, or you can buy pods without the jar for refills.

According to their website, this Washington-based, zero-waste and sustainable living boutique is dedicated to giving back to the community and environment. They donate at least 1% of profits to ocean conservation, and source their products from small, minority- and women-owned businesses.

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Image Credit: A Drop in the Ocean.

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