So you have chosen to embrace a more ecologically friendly lifestyle. Congratulations. But you might have questions about which products would work best for you and which are truly helpful to the planet.
It is essential to avoid items that only claim to be eco-friendly when they aren’t and to dodge greenwashed marketing ploys in favor of genuinely sustainable goods.
Marketing firms have caught on to the green wave and are trying to use unsubstantiated claims of green merchandise to sell their wares. Please don’t fall for it. Instead, look for labels like EcoCert Cosmos or Fair Trade Certified from third parties to fairly judge whether or not a product meets the sustainability standards.
But even then, as marketing firms start to recognize the new word sustainability, ensure you stay aware of attempts to sell products through greenwashing.
How To Live Sustainably
One way to live a sustainable lifestyle is by following some easy steps, like choosing reusable products over single-use goods and purchasing merchandise made of recycled materials.
Another is to guarantee that you are getting the truth about how companies produce goods and that they are transparent about their manufacturing process by researching and looking for those third-party labels.
1. The Right to Shower Joy Shampoo Bar and Bar Soap
The shampoo and shower bar makes this list because it lacks extraneous and non-biodegradable packaging. The packaging is recycled paper, and the soap, which you can use to cleanse your whole body rather than using separate cleansers for body and hair, is made of Rainforest Alliance Certified palm oil. This palm oil is produced without damaging or harming rainforests, a valuable resource already under attack.
2. Readystasher Silicone Reusable Food Bag
Instead of disposable snack and sandwich bags, a reusable silicone bag reduces waste and keeps plastic out of landfills. You can find these bags in all sizes, from the smallest size for snacks to a bag that can hold a half gallon of anything.
All of the bags are dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe. The brand also has a line of stacking bowls when you need larger containers.
3. Beautycounter The Clean Deo
Phew, now we can smell good and stay sustainable! Deodorant is tough to avoid breaking with since most brands are single use and no one likes to be smelly.
However, Clean Deo is a refillable deodorant. The company reviews the actions of the mica companies that provide them with that ingredient to verify that their mica production does not cause any humanitarian harm.
4. Nespresso Chocolate Fudge
Nespresso is a coffee company that has made some strides to make single-serve coffee makers more responsible. While their coffee makers use capsules, they make them out of recyclable aluminum rather than plastic. It runs a recycling program where the company pays for UPS shipping of the used pods back to Nespresso for recycling. Nespresso’s coffee is not only convenient but delicious.
5. Vitamix FoodCycler
If the thought of making your compost box makes you despair or if you don’t have enough room, here is a more straightforward solution. Vitamix sells a FoodCycler to compost your food waste on your kitchen counter.
It has two pieces, the inner bucket and a larger unit that does the work. You can gather the food scraps with the inner bucket on the countertop and then place the material and the inner bucket back into the central unit to be processed.
Another plus is that the central unit handles the entire process and keeps smells to a minimum as it dries, cools, and grinds the leftovers. It’s that easy, and when the FoodCycler has finished composting the remains, you can take it out to the garden to fertilize your plants or donate it to a compost site.
6. Bee’s Wrap Beeswax Food Wraps
Bees Wrap made reusable wraps made of beeswax, cotton, jojoba oil, and tree resin to cut down on single-use plastic wrap. While these wraps are not airtight, they are food safe. To clean a wrap, wash it with soap and water; it is ready to be used again.
7. Tide Purclean Plant-Based Laundry Detergent
Even a big brand like Tide is getting into the act with its first thoroughly plant-based product. Purclean is certified by the USDA as a bio-based cleaner. The plant that makes the cleaner uses renewable wind power and has a zero-waste policy, so nothing goes to the landfill.
8. JAWS Glass Cleaner Bottle With 2 Refill Pods
The name of this product has nothing to do with great white sharks and is an acronym for the phrase “just add water system.” It is a reusable bottle where you add a pod of concentrated cleaner and “just add water.” The company also has a line of reusable cleaning products for the kitchen, bathroom, granite, and other needs.
9. Yihong Reusable Stainless Steel Straws
The plastic straws’ damage to the ocean and ocean wildlife is appalling, so this product is a great way to avoid contributing to that tragedy. In one pack from Yihong, you get eight reusable metal straws, four straight and four bendable ones, so that you can be free of plastic straws forever.
10. Green Toys Fire Truck
When thinking about living sustainably, you probably never considered some items on this list. They thought of everything to make a toy that has the future of the children playing with it in mind.
One unlikely product is this fire truck made of one hundred percent recycled milk jugs with no added coatings or paints and comes in a recycled cardboard box printed with soy ink.
11. Grove Collaborative Multi-Purpose Cleaner Concentrate + Twist & Slide Glass Spray Bottle
Grove Collaborative is an online ordering service that sells and ships responsible and sustainable products. This cleaner has a concentrated refill that you put into reusable and recyclable glass bottles with aluminum caps.
Each order comes with a silicone sleeve to make it easier to hold the bottle securely. You can order by the piece or get a subscription for products.
12. Bissell Little Green Portable Cleaner
This tiny but mighty cleaner is made of recycled plastic and packaged in a recycled box, so it is already ahead of the game at the start. You can use it to spot clean areas like stains on carpets and armrests so that your furniture and rugs will stay cleaner and last longer.
13. Seventh Generation 100% Recycled Bath Tissue Paper
Toilet paper is an item we need, but it needs to be more sustainable because it is used with tree pulp. Seventh Generation is one of the top brands that get high marks from such observers as Good Housekeeping because this toilet paper does not create the need for new tree pulp usage. While there are other options, this is a great way to deal with this issue.
14. Burt’s Bees Glossy Lipstick
How is it sustainable? Can lipstick be sustainable? The answer is also yes, as proven by Burt’s Bees lipstick. It is made with fifty-two percent recycled plastic and doesn’t come in a box. Along with a smaller carbon footprint than most other lipsticks, it doesn’t have magnets or metal in its packaging, so it is a great way to look good and be good to the planet.
15. Allbirds Women’s Wool Runners
This women’s shoe is ethically produced and made of natural fiber, merino wool. Ninety percent of the shoe’s packaging is recycled cardboard. In addition, recycled water bottles are the materials used to make the shoe’s laces, so it is truly a responsible and cute shoe.
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Melissa Pino is a biologist, master gardener, and regular contributor for Planet Natural. Melissa's work focuses on promoting environmentally-friendly practices, helping people create healthy gardens and finding ways to achieve overall health and wellness.