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, products that, when paired with a lot of planning and determination, can start you on a path of environmental righteousness.
Cut down more on waste. Amazon
First 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.
These will allow you to cut down on single-use, paper ones . 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.
Use better beans. 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.
Come in multiple sizes. 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.
Turn leftover food scraps into nutrient-rich gold. 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.
For the hard-core folks. 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.
Good doggy. And good owner. 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.
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.
The U.S. uses up to 500 million plastic ones every day. 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.
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.
Disposable, plastic choices are pretty awful in the first place. Invest in a nicer 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.
As long as the bristles and handle are sturdy, why would you care what it’s 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.
A soft choice. Amazon
This pack of reusable 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.