Take a few minutes to think about all the trash you produce in one week. It’s probably...more than you’d like to admit. Single-use items are common in everyday life, especially when it comes to all things plastic. (We’re looking at you, water bottles, utensils, and cleaning sprays.)
The good news? There are so many ways to reduce how much waste you create. So we rounded up some of our favorite household items and must-have products that can be reused, refilled, and composted. Getting greener in three...two...one...
Instead of buying bottles or cans every week, invest in a SodaStream. Thanks to the carbonating cylinder, you’ll be able to turn regular water into bubbly water in just a few seconds. You can even add different flavors like lemon, watermelon, or cola. Give your wallet (and recycling bin) a break. ($149.95, Amazon)
No more foil, plastic wrap, or plastic baggies. These silicone bags can go in the microwave, dishwasher, fridge, and freezer. Use ‘em to store chopped veggies, fruit, or grains. They can even be used for items like makeup, pens, and paper clips. Two of the bags stand up, so you can marinate meat or fish in them. ($60.80/5 pack, W&P)
You can use them for hot or cold beverages. The pack includes 10 straws, a carrying bag, and a cleaning brush. Or you can stick them directly into the dishwasher so they get a really good rinse. If they’re too long for your travel mug, just snip them with a scissor to the right length. ($8.94/10 pack, Amazon)
They’re great for travel, but can be used for everyday essentials you wanna keep in one place. You can customize your set and create your own labels. The containers are designed with a wide opening so you can get product out without missing a drop. You can also use them for daily vitamins and medication. Each container is magnetic so they’ll stick together if you throw them in a suitcase or bag. ($70/6 pack, Cadence)
This set has two spoons, a fork, knife, pair of chopsticks, straw, straw cleaning brush, and carrying case. We recommend using them while on-the-go, for picnics, or when you’re back working in an office. They’re made from stainless steel, so they won’t corrode or get damaged. ($12.29+, Amazon)
The pack comes without plastic packaging, the actual swabs can be composted, and the recycled paper tube holder can (once again) be recycled when you run out. Aka wayyy more eco-friendly than the cotton swabs you’re used to buying. Time to make the swap. ($8+, By Humankind)
The first package will include the spray bottle and cleaning pack. All you have to do is add water. Once you’re out of solution, you can buy refill packs. The nontoxic spray can be used in every room, and is Green Seal Certified, cruelty-free, and dye-free. ($6, Brandless)
Instead of buying new bottles over and over again, switch to a refillable bottle that won’t have to be tossed in the trash. The starter set comes with one bottle and three tablets. Once the tablet is mixed with water, you’ll have a dirt- and grime-fighting formula to use on your hands. Plus it’s made without parabens, ammonia, bleach, or phosphates. Psst...when you’ve used up all three tablets, buy more here. ($16, Blueland)
The average home can go through over 300 dishwasher tablets in a year. Which means you’ll also have to deal with the plastic tubs they come in. These tablets come in compostable paper pouches with a tin. (We’re really into things that come in tablet form if you didn’t catch on.) So once you’re through ‘em, you can keep the tin, but keep buying tablets. ($18, Blueland)
We all know those produce bags. You use them for fruits and veggies, but once you get home you just throw them in the trash. With these cotton bags, you won’t need to create unnecessary waste when you buy apples and broccoli. You can also use them for grains, nuts, and breads. ($12.74/6 pack, Loosewarp on Etsy)
Composting is not as difficult as it sounds. And it has huge benefits. Lots of emissions can come from landfills, especially from the food waste that sits there. Methane gets released into the atmosphere, which in time can cause raising atmospheric temperatures. When you compost, those food scraps are disposed of differently, and can instead become nutritious organic material to add to soil to help plants grow. This compost bin has a ventilated design to dilute odors and stop moisture buildup. You can also use carbon filters to combat any smells. And if you’re looking for bin liners, we’ve got you covered too. ($32.95, Amazon)
Depending on the size of the bottle, it can keep drinks cold for up to 48 hours or hot for up to 24. But more importantly, it’ll become your go-to hydration station so you won’t need to buy packs of plastic water bottles. It’s got a condensation-free exterior and wide opening to fit ice cubes. Get sipping. ($25+, S’well)
Or even egg cups. Whatever your taste buds are craving. They won’t burn in the oven or stick to the pan. Or to your precious baked goods. Since they’re flexible, you can peel them right off. They’re also safe to stick in the microwave, dishwasher, or freezer. And just flip ‘em inside out and they’ll be a breeze to clean. ($9.48+/12 pack, Amazon)
PS: These are editorially selected, but if you purchase, theSkimm may get something in return. PPS: If something’s out of stock, oops, it was there when we published. Thanks.
We’re bringing you products, recs, and suggestions that’ll make your life just a liiittle easier. It all starts with adding us to your inbox.
Skimm'd by Alexandra Napoli, Emmy Favilla
Mother's Day gifts that'll make her day easier. Like a sleep mask and cold brew maker.
Like when you’ve got fur everywhere. Or unexpected stains on your carpets. It doesn’t have to be a ruff life if you have the right tools. Check ‘em out.
We’ve got a self-watering planter, a veggie chopper, and a laundry tool so you never lose a sock again. More time to enjoy that extra hour of daylight.