We only have one planet Earth, making Earth Day the official reminder to treat our planet well. Though this environmentally friendly holiday is celebrated once a year – April 22 marks the event’s 50th anniversary – these eco-friendly products for your home will help make every day a little greener.
With many brands using buzzwords like sustainable, natural and zero-waste, it can be hard to decipher what’s truly good for the planet and what’s hype. Start by reading the label and looking for products that have green certifications, like GreenGuard Certified. It can take a little more planning and searching for the right goods, but in the long run you can save a lot of money by supporting Mother Nature (just a bonus!).
So whether you’re going zero-waste and stopping the use of single-use plastic products or you just want to start by shopping with a reusable bag, this green guide will help you adjust your carbon footprint. Remember, every small change makes a difference.
Kitchen waste accounts for much of the trash that comes from the common household – from eggshells and coffee grinds to copious amounts of single-use plastics. Start by thinking about where most of your kitchen waste comes from and find eco-friendly products to tackle those items.
Bee’s Wrap is reusable wrap made from cotton and beeswax that can replace plastic wrap and aluminum foil. You can swap out plastic containers with reusable containers made from more sustainable materials (look for glass or steel) like Klean Kanteen, Nummy, U-Konserve and LunchBots. Replace kitchen paper towels and sponges with things like NotPaper Towels, which can be washed and reused, or Swedish dishcloths, which are made from wood and cotton.
Another simple way to care for the planet is by composting your food waste. Start by simply collecting any food waste on your counter in a compost bin (there are simple steel bins or chic wooden containers like this one). Set up a compost bin in your yard or bring your food scraps to a local farmers market.
When making a trip to the grocery store, bring your own reusable shopping bags. Several states – including New York and Connecticut – ban plastic bags in stores. Envirosax and Baggu are two sustainable brands that offer a variety of stylish reusable bags. Boon Supply, another eco-conscious brand, has products like these farmer’s market totes – made famous by the French – that are perfect for carrying fruit and veggies. Store smaller produce like berries or peas in these mesh drawstring bags. Bye-bye plastic bags!
The second-largest culprit for creating households waste is the bathroom. Between toothpaste containers, disposable razors and beauty and grooming products, your trash can fill up in a pinch. Instead of plastic and single-use products, look for brands with sustainable packaging that sell in bulk (less packaging) or have a refill program. This is a simple way to save a lot of money.
Think how many disposable razors you buy in one year. Swap this with a reusable razor from Leaf Shave that has a lifetime warranty. You’ll then only have to replace the razor blades. David’s is a green toothpaste brand with a recyclable metal tube and Georganics makes a variety of sustainable oral care products, including bamboo toothbrushes and mouthwash tablets with refills.
Deodorant, skin care, hair care? Opt for personal care products that have natural ingredients, recyclable packing or are reusable. Support brands that have a mission to care for the planet like Weleda, which makes plant-rich skincare products, and Meow Meow Tweet, a small-batch vegan skin care company. LastSwab makes reusable cotton swabs (you just wash with soap and water after using), while By Human+kind features a refillable packaging program for everything from shampoo to hand soap.
When thinking eco-friendly products, you may not necessarily think about things like a greener shower curtain or toilet paper, but there are greener options available. Coyuchi makes items like organic cotton shower curtains (no plastic liners needed) and bathroom towels made with practices that limit harm to the environment. Did you know that global toilet paper production consumes 27,000 trees daily? Save the trees and use toilet paper made from bamboo or skip toilet paper and go the European route by attaching a bidet toilet seat.
Most people spend about one third of their lives sleeping, so it makes sense to ensure your sleeping materials are green. Sleep and Beyond makes organic and natural bedding like sheets, pillows, comforters and mattress pads that are made in sustainable and fair-trade factories. Don’t forget your mattress! The Avocado Green mattress sounds as green as you think and is made from natural materials.
Set the mood with solar lighting! Whether you’re camping or at home, Biolite makes a solar lighting starter kit to ease you into the world of renewable energy.
Consider cleaning with eco-friendly products made without harsh chemicals. Supernatural is a cleaning line that uses essential oils and offers refillable bottles. Win, win. Dr. Bronner has been a pioneer in natural products and saving the planet for years: its castile soap has 18 recommended uses for cleaning – face, body, hair, dishes, laundry, mopping, pets and more.
What about your dishwasher? Try Dropps, natural detergent pods that can be purchased as a subscription or in bulk. Need sponges? Sqwishful makes a plant-based compostable pop-up sponge and if you’re looking for reusable cleaning tools like brushes, Redecker has got your covered.
Tons of wrapping paper goes to landfills each year. Combat this by buying sustainable paper or by supporting a reusable solution like Lilywrap, reusable fabric gift wrap with bows that can be used more than 50 times.
Not sure how to recycle an item? Visit TerraCycle.com, a resource that gives more information, tips and a list of brands that partner with the site to help recycle packaging.
What are your favorite eco-friendly products for the home? Share them with us in the comments below.