16 products to reduce the amount of garbage in your life

Kick your garbage habit.

garbage can on foggy street
Why does this garbage can look like it's on an emo-core album cover from 1998?Shane Rounce via Unsplash

The average American generates about 4.5 pounds of trash every single day. What's more, only 9 percent of plastics ever get recycled. Our world makes it incredibly easy to produce trash, but there are still plenty of ways to radically reduce your inorganic waste.

A list of products is not going to change the world, but a radical shift in behavior and a few low-waste essentials can seriously change the way you impact the planet. Below, 14 products that, when paired with a lot of planning and determination, can start you on a path of environmental righteousness.

Reusable Grocery Bags

CarryGreen reusable bags

Reusable totes are always your best bet.Amazon

If you're opting for paper—cool! It would be so much better, though, if you brought your own reusable bags. You can start by reusing the plastic ones you got with your Oreos and eggs yesterday. When you're ready, buy your own reusable shopping bags to bring to the grocery store. This pack comes with two jute burlap and cotton tote bags.

Reusable produce bags

BahrEco produce bags

Throw some reusable produce bags in your eco-friendly tote to cut down more on waste.Amazon

Next up: the plastic produce bags for your freshly-misted broccoli heads. These reusable produce bags can replace those bags, as well as act as a long-lasting swap for your favorite zip-to-seal bags. The five mesh bags have a drawstring on top to keep them closed, are washable, and are color-coded so you always know what's in them.

Shampoo bar

Sammysoap shampoo bar

You don't need the plastic bottle to shampoo your hair.Amazon

Limit how many products—if not cut out altogether—you purchases that come in plastic bottles. This seems like a no-brainer, but it's difficult. You can't bring your empty shampoo container to a store and say fill-er-up. Instead, try a handmade natural shampoo bar.

Reusable Coffee filter

Reusable Coffee filter

A hemp coffee filter will allow you to cut down on single-use, paper filters.Amazon

Say you make coffee every morning of the year. That is 365 paper filters you will end up throw away in the trash. These organic, hemp coffee filters are made for pour-over machines like a Chemex, are mildew- and bacteria-resistant, and are cleaned with hot water.

Reusable K Cup

Reusable K Cup

Not only can you make better coffee, but these reusable Keurig K Cups will also significantly cut down on plastic waste.Amazon

Yeah, your Keurig days are over. But good news! You can totally grind up your coffee the night before and fill one of these reusable K-Cups. This set comes with four.

Keep Cup

Keep Cup

Keep Cups come in four sizes, will keep your fingers safe with its cork ring, and will let you cut down on plastic or paper cups.Amazon

Bring a KeepCup with you to work. If you purchase coffee every morning at the shop around the corner, you'll want to bring your own reusable vessel. These KeepCups are glass, have a BPA-free plastic lid, and cork ring around the cup to keep your fingers safe from the hot liquid. They come in 8 ounces, 12 ounces, and 16 ounces.

Composting Bin

Composting Bin

Turn leftover food scraps into nutrient-rich compost to feed your garden and make plants grow.Amazon

Turn your food scraps into nutrient-rich compost that reduces your waste and provides your garden important nutrients and microorganisms to promote healthy plant growth. The 11-inch-tall Vremi composting bin holds 1.2 gallons of waste, is made of a leakproof stainless steel, and uses a reusable charcoal filter to control odor. It's dishwasher-safe.

Reusable Diapers

Reusable Diapers

For the hard-core folks, reusable diapers will cut down on a tremendous amount of waste. Think about how many diapers a baby goes through in a week.Amazon

The exterior material for these diapers is made of PUL—Polyurethane Laminate—which is waterproof, breathable, and stretchy. The inside is made of a comfortable, moisture-wicking suede cloth that lets wet waste through to the absorbent microfiber cloth underneath. This set comes with six elastic-waist diapers and inserts. To clean, knock solid matter into the toilet and then pre-rinse and soak them in the sink. Then, place the diapers in the washing machine with an all-purpose laundry detergent and run it as normal.

Simple Solution dog pads

Simple Solution dog pads

Similar to babies with their diapers, dogs go through a lot of pee pads. Get some washable ones.Amazon

Simple Solution washable pee pads come in packs of two and are 30 x 32-inches. Two might not sound like a lot, but if you've got a washing machine in your building, you can just throw one in at night and rotate them out. The absorbent pads feature a moisture-wicking top to help prevent your pet from tracking pee all over the house after they've gone to the bathroom. The materials also boast that they help control odors. They also look much nicer than the white and blue disposable brands.

Mason Jars

Mason Jars

An eco-friendly option to save food or take some on the go.Amazon

You can use glass jars to store dry or wet goods, preserve fruits and vegetables for another season, or take your lunch to work.

Metal Straw

Metal Straws

The U.S. uses up to 500 million plastic straws every day. Just buy some metal ones instead.Amazon

You could always just go without a straw, but if you're super into smoothies and super not into smoothie 'staches, these stainless steel straws are a decent purchase.

Reusable Pads

Wegreeco pads

These reusable pads are machine washable and super-absorbent.Amazon

These Wegreeco menstrual pads are reusable and washable. The bamboo inner layers are absorbent and help neutralize odors, while the outer shell is made of a waterproof fabric—again, PUL—that prevents leaking. This set comes with five, and there are three sizes to choose from. To clean, rinse the pads in cold water and then place them in a washing machine with an all-natural detergent. Dry on low heat or hang dry to prevent damage.

Ecotank printer

Epson Ecotank printer

Epson's EcoTank printers will save you money on buying cartridges and keep you from wasting a ton of plastic.Amazon

With Epson's EcoTank cartridge-free printers, you purchase cheaper bottles of ink that squirt into the printer's larger ink wells. When the tanks are full, they hold the equivalent of around 20 cartridges. That's a lot of plastic you no longer have to toss.

Bevel Razor

Bevel Razor

Disposable, plastic razors are pretty awful in the first place. Invest in a nicer, metal one.Amazon

A Bevel safety razor—brass-weighted with a double-edge razor that prevents irritation and razor bumps—will cut down on how many disposable plastic razors you use.

Plant-Based Toothbrush

Plant-Based Toothbrush

As long as the bristles and handle are sturdy, why would you care what your toothbrush is made of?Amazon

Again, we're avoiding plastic for things you regularly throw away. This plant-based toothbrush comes in plastic-free packaging and boasts soft, natural bristles and a handle made from organic bamboo.

wegreeco Reusable Makeup Remover

wegreeco Reusable Makeup Remover

A soft bamboo makeup remover pad.Amazon

This pack of reusable 16 face wipes will cut down on buying disposable ones. The 2.7-inch diameter bamboo cloth pads are hypoallergenic, soft, and comes with three colors in the pack. The set also comes with a cotton mesh fabric laundry bag.