The Lazy Person’s Guide to Going Green

Published on: Apr 21, 2021fb-roundtwitter-roundemail-round
eco-friendly products to start usingDesign: Lindsay Lange, Credit: By Humankind

You’ve probably heard the word “sustainability” thrown around a lot. Especially in recent years. But we know that figuring out how to reduce waste and choose only eco-friendly products can be overwhelming. Where do you start? How do you start?

That’s why we’re here. To skimm it all and find products that work. While also being kind to Mother Nature. So you can make small changes to live a greener life (minus all the research). 

leak-proof period underwear to replace tampons and pads
A leakproof bikini that can replace pads and tampons…

No more money spent on products every time a period rolls around. This pair of underwear is absorbent and can hold up to eight tampons’ worth of liquid. Once you’ve worn them, just toss them in the washing machine. If you’re a bit skeptical, fear not. The material is made from triple-layer technology. The first layer blocks odors and keeps you dry, the second layer traps the liquid, and the third layer covers you from any leaks. Goodbye, unwanted spots on your pants when you stand up. Phew. ($30, Knix)

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silicone flexible menstrual cup
Or a menstrual cup for those who’ve never used one before…

Aka one that’s easy to insert and remove via the little loop at the bottom. It’s durable, flexible, and made from medical-grade silicone. You’ll be covered for up to eight hours, no matter your flow. When you’re not using it, the cup folds flat and can be stored in its protective case. ($19.96, Intimina)

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colorful checkered compostable sponge cloths
Compostable sponge cloths that can sub in for paper towels…

They’re made from plant fibers and printed with water-based ink. So once they’re worn out, you can compost them and they’ll decompose within six weeks. They’re designed to hold 16 times their weight in water, can last up to 300 uses, and can survive the dishwasher, microwave, and washing machine. ($29+/set of 10, Food52)

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chewable toothpaste tablets
Toothpaste tablets so you don’t have to deal with tubes…

FDA-approved, these tablets work to power away stains and strengthen enamel. The actual tablets arrive in a compostable pouch, but you can store them in the glass container between refills. No more awkwardly squeezing tubes to get the last bit out. When you’re due for more tablets, you can order your next pack. The toothpaste formula doesn’t contain any preservatives or artificial colors too. ($15+, By Humankind)

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compostable hair ties
Compostable hair ties that won’t be a pain to take out…

They’re stretchy, strong, and won’t immediately rip out your hair when you go to take your ponytail down. But best of all? They’re made without plastic. Just natural rubber and cotton. When the hair tie has run its course, you can toss it in the compost. Aka an easy way to make your life a bit more green. ($14.95/27 pack, Amazon)

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makeup eraser cloth that can get rid of makeup with just water
MakeUp Eraser pads that only need water to get the job done…

And in just a couple minutes, your face will be free of mascara, foundation, eyeliner, and more. The cloth is double-sided and can be washed and reused. It’s great for sensitive skin since you won’t need to use any solutions. ($25, Ulta Beauty)

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delicious nut butter snack bars in a variety of flavors like apple ginger, fig, and lemon blueberry
A nut-butter bar variety pack made from whole ingredients…

The bars are handmade in a roastery in Durham, North Carolina, with a nearly waste-free production process. Ingredients are sourced from ecologically sustainable and organic farmers, with packaging that uses nontoxic materials and is 60% lighter than the industry standard. The bars are gluten-, soy-, and palm-free. A delicious snack that’s also good for planet Earth? Yes, please. ($29/12 pack, Big Spoon Roasters)

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produce savers that regulate air flow and keep fruit and veggies fresh for longer
A set of containers that’ll keep your produce fresh for more than a few days…

Seriously. Lettuce won’t wilt. Blueberries won’t mold. These containers regulate oxygen and carbon dioxide flow, so they keep your precious produce from spoiling. Plus, the built-in filter never needs to be replaced. For the best results, don’t wash your produce before adding it to the containers. ($76.47/5 pack, Amazon)

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laundry detergent powder
A laundry powder that’s gentle on skin, clothes, and the planet…

Nontoxic, fragrance-free, and biodegradable, it’s safe to use on sensitive skin. Plus, the cardboard/steel canister is recyclable and the label is compostable. The powder mixture includes baking soda, washing soda, and vegetable soap. Laundry day just got even cleaner. ($20, Celsious)

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insulated reusable mug
An insulated mug you can refill over and over again…

Now when you go to your local coffee shop, you can hand this over. No more single-use cups. The mug has double-wall vacuum technology. Meaning your beverage will stay hot (or cold) for hours. It’s sweat-proof, rust-free, and won’t shatter if you drop it. ($13.99+, Amazon)

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glass and stainless steel french press for freshly brewed coffee
A French press so you can brew a cup of coffee every morning…

Without relying on K-cups. So you can save a bit of cash and reduce waste. It’s simple to use: add your ground beans to the bottom, pour in your hot water, set your timer (we usually wait five minutes), and then press the lever down once it’s ready. The filter works to collect the grinds at the bottom, making sure you have a delicious, smooth pour every single time. Psst...we’ve used this French press before and find it very reliable and sturdy. ($23.95, Amazon)

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tree-free disposable napkins
Tree-free napkins that’ll clean up life’s everyday messes…

From greasy fingers to spilled drinks. Except unlike traditional napkins, these are dye-free and made from sugarcane fibers and bamboo grass. So you can live life without relying on paper products that cause deforestation. Little moves, big impact. ($4, Brandless)

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home cleaning kit with refillable bottles to reduce waste
A cleaning kit that uses refillable bottles…

You’ll get a hand soap, bathroom spray, multi-surface cleaner, and a glass + mirror spray. They’re made without phthalates, ammonia, bleach, and parabens. Plus everything is Leaping Bunny Certified (aka cruelty-free). To create the solutions, you just need to fill each bottle with water and drop a tablet in. When you’re running low, you only need to reorder the tablets. The containers can stay, so you’ll save space in your cabinet (and stop throwing out plastic bottles). ($39, Blueland)

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white bidet
A bidet that’s self-cleaning and easy to install…

See ya later, toilet paper. This bidet can be set up in under 10 minutes and doesn’t require any electricity or a plumber’s help. You’ll be able to avoid using excess toilet paper, reducing the amount of trees cut down during the production process. If you’re on the fence, this one has over 7,500 five-star reviews. And it’s adjustable. So the strength of the spray is up to you. Feeling clean. ($99, Tushy)

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compostable phone case available in multiple designs
A phone case that’s compostable…

You graduate phone models pretty quickly. And with every new device comes a new case. So why not switch to one that doesn’t contribute to plastic waste? The production of Pela’s cases results in 25% fewer carbon emissions, 35% less water usage, and 70% less waste than standard cases. They fit on iPhones, Samsungs, Pixels, and more. ($39.95+, Pela)

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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.

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Skimm'd by Alexandra Napoli, Emmy Favilla