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Eco-Friendly Products You Already Have at Home

March 5, 2024

Eco-Friendly Products You Already Have at Home

Introduction

Going green doesn’t have to mean spending a lot of money on new products. There are likely many items in your home right now that are eco-friendly without you even realizing it! In this article, I’ll highlight some of the most common eco-friendly products you may already have and explain why they are better for the environment.

Reusable Bags

Reusable shopping bags are one of the most popular eco-friendly swaps people make. Plastic bags are terrible for the environment – it’s estimated that over 1 trillion are used globally each year! When plastic bags end up in landfills or the ocean, they can take hundreds of years to break down.

Reusable bags, on the other hand, can be used over and over again. I always keep a stash of canvas and nylon reusable bags in my car and purse so I never have to use plastic bags at the store. Using reusables prevents thousands of single-use plastic bags from entering circulation each year.

Reusable Water Bottles

Plastic water bottles create a shocking amount of waste – only about 30% actually get recycled in the US. I try to avoid buying disposable bottles as much as possible.

Instead, I carry a reusable water bottle with me everywhere. At home, I have a Brita filter pitcher to refill my bottle from the tap. Not only does this prevent plastic waste, but it also saves me money since bottled water can be expensive. Stainless steel and glass reusable bottles are durable, safe choices.

Beeswax Wrap

Plastic wrap and storage bags also create lots of unnecessary waste. An eco-friendly alternative is beeswax wrap! It provides an airtight seal just like plastic wrap, but it’s made of cotton infused with beeswax.

Beeswax wraps can be washed and reused over and over – some even last for years! I use them to pack lunches, cover bowls, and wrap produce from the grocery store. They are a simple plastic-free swap that helps cut down on single-use plastics.

Rechargeable Batteries

Americans throw away over 3 billion disposable batteries every year! All those single-use batteries contain toxic chemicals and metals that are harmful if they leak into landfills.

That’s why I exclusively use rechargeable batteries now. Although they are more expensive upfront, they pay for themselves within a few months since they can be reused hundreds of times. I use rechargeable AA and AAA batteries in all our flashlights, toys, and wireless electronics. It’s an easy change that keeps disposables out of landfills.

Reusable Pads/Menstrual Cups

Between 12 and 15 billion sanitary pads and tampons are dumped into landfills every year in North America alone. All those feminine hygiene products contain plastic and take centuries to break down.

I’ve switched to more eco-friendly options like reusable cloth pads and a menstrual cup. Although there is a learning curve to using them, I’ve gotten the hang of it. Now I don’t have to run to the store for disposables every month! These reusable options prevent tons of plastic waste over their lifespan.

Cloth Napkins

Paper napkins are something many people use every day without thinking about the waste generated. The average American uses over 2,000 paper napkins annually.

My family has switched over to reusable cloth napkins instead. Although they require more washing, we’ve drastically cut down on paper waste. Cloth napkins can last for years if cared for properly. We have some simple cotton ones for everyday use along with some fancy linen ones for special occasions. It’s an easy eco-swap with big waste reduction benefits.

Metal Straws

Between 500 million and 1 billion plastic straws are used in the US every day – many ending up in the ocean where they can harm marine wildlife. That’s why I switched over to reusable metal straws in our home.

They take some getting used to, but metal straws get the job done without generating any plastic waste. I make sure to bring mine along when going out to eat so I never have to use wasteful plastic straws. I love that I can use my metal straws for years to come. It’s one of the simplest ways to cut back on single-use plastic!

Reusable Sandwich/Snack Bags

In my family, we go through a lot of disposable plastic sandwich and snack bags. But most of those end up in the trash after just one use.

To cut back on waste, I purchased some reusable sandwich and snack bags made of washable fabric. They provide the same convenience as disposable baggies, except they can be used over and over again for years.

My kids love picking out fun designs and it teaches them about reducing waste. While there is some upfront investment, reusable bags save money and hassle in the long run by cutting out wasteful one-time-use plastic.

Conclusion

Going green doesn’t have to mean radically changing your lifestyle. As you can see, there are many eco-friendly versions of everyday products you likely already have in your home. With some simple swaps to reusable and sustainable options, we can all cut down on plastic waste and help take better care of our planet. Small changes add up, so consider what green swaps make the most sense for your life. Our planet will thank you!

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