As the main buyer of household stuff for the family, I’m often shocked and dismayed at how much waste we’re producing in a given week and how many things I need to re-buy since they’re not reusable. It seems like every week I need to add things to my shopping list that could easily be in reusable format, so I decided to start the year off right and find some ways to be more eco-friendly while saving a few bucks.
Some of the items I found were initially more expensive than the disposable ones, but easily paid for themselves quickly since they can be reused so many times and still be good as new. I was surprised at some of the products, but it definitely shows that a little innovation goes a long way! From reusable paper towels to refillable coffee pods, here are a bunch of ways to save big on things you use everyday while reducing your footprint on the planet, too.
These Reusable Paper Towels Will Save You Big
These reusable paper towels are pretty much genius – just wipe up your spills, throw ’em in the wash then they’re ready to go again without requiring another trip to the store! We go through a million paper towels a week here, it seems like, between the kids and the new puppy. I’d really like to start reducing how much waste we create. These organic cotton ones will be just as absorbent as the paper version and a lot friendlier to the planet.
This Sippy Cup Is Better Than Juice Boxes
You know how every time you’re out with your kids, they suddenly get parched and need a juice box ASAP? Come prepared with this recycled sippy cup pre-filled with their beverage of choice, so you don’t get stuck paying the big markup when thirst strikes. These come in a set, so you’re sure to have one on hand wherever you venture.
This Travel Mug Gets Incredible Reviews
Making coffee at home will save you a ton, as you’re well aware, but you’re gonna need a travel mug for your favorite joe. This one has thousands of amazing reviews – it’s leakproof thanks to the vacuum seal and keeps your beverage hot for a long time (7 hours) until you get around to drinking it. It can also keep drinks cold for up to eighteen hours if you’re an iced tea or cold brew person such as myself.
This Lighter Is Rechargeable
How neat is this rechargeable lighter? I prefer to use lighters over matches, so I don’t burn my fingers, but we usually get the plastic disposable ones with the long neck since they’re so convenient for lighting candles. Trouble is, they run out of juice pretty fast, and then you’re contributing more plastic waste when you toss it. This USB rechargeable one is such a smarter idea – it’ll not only save you money in the long run, but it has a child safety feature, is windproof, and splash-proof if you decide to take it camping with you. I’ll be inside with my cozy candles, though!
Use These Face Masks Over And Over
Every time I go for a walk I see discarded disposable paper face masks on the side of the road. And they couldn’t be more wasteful as a one-and-done product. These reusable face masks are a much more wallet and environmentally friendly option since you can wear them again and again when you toss them in the wash. And the go-with-everything black won’t clash with whatever outfit you choose.
This French Press Is Better Than A Barista
My husband hasn’t been frequenting the coffee shop near his work since it’s in a high-risk COVID area, so he’s been brewing his own at home in the mornings using a French press just like this one. It’s saved us a LOT of money on expensive fancy coffee prices, and it makes a superb quality cuppa just like you’d expect from your barista! French presses are inherently eco-friendly because you don’t need to use a paper filter; all the pieces are washable and reusable.
These Reusable Zip Bags Make A Huge Difference
My husband and kids take lots of sandwiches and snacks to work and school most days, and I hated how many plastic sandwich and snack bags we were going through. So I gifted my husband with this set of reusable zip bags for the holidays, and we haven’t looked back since! They’re so easy to wash and dry, and there are plenty in the set for everyone to use.
These Reusable Pouches Are Genius For Kids
When my kids were little, we’d go through tons of these food pouches a week, and at over a dollar each, the cost really started to add up. I really wish I’d had these refillable ones a few years ago! You can fill them up with smoothies, pureed fruit, and veggie mixes, applesauce, yogurt, whatever your kids love to eat, but that’s way too messy to take on the go. These keep the mess contained and offer the perfect snack kids can enjoy anytime, anywhere.
These Dryer Balls Save On Electricity
The reason these wool dryer balls are so awesome is twofold – first, they’ll save you money on wasteful disposable fabric softener sheets since they naturally make the clothes soft. They’ll also help save on electricity since the clothes dry so much faster when using them. They even reduce wrinkles, so you may not have to iron as much, either! They have tons of glowing reviews since they actually work incredibly well.
These Silicone Straws Are Fun To Use
I love drinking out of straws, but I don’t love the paper options supplied by restaurants or the cold mouth-feel of the reusable metal ones. These silicone straws are better since they’re comfortable in your mouth, easy to clean, and come in a set big enough that you’ll have one for every bag you carry, plus some for home. They’re also long enough to fit in 30-40 oz tumblers, so you don’t have to buy specialty ones from expensive brands.
These Reusable K-Cup Pods Are A Great Investment
Drinking at least three to four cups of coffee a day using disposable K-Cups really adds up over time. My husband discovered these reusable coffee pods and now uses them daily at work – we’ve seen big cost savings, and it hasn’t even been that long so far. They’re cool because you can use your own coffee with them, which saves a lot, with the added benefit of not adding all that plastic waste to the environment.
These Bamboo Makeup Remover Pads Are So Soft
I don’t like using a washcloth on my face, but disposable cotton rounds create so much waste when you need to use a handful each time to get off stubborn eye makeup. Enter these bamboo makeup remover pads, which you can use with your favorite remover or micellar water, then just toss them in the wash, and you’ve got a good-as-new set to work with again! These even come with a wash bag, so you don’t lose them among all your clothes in the wash or dryer.
These Silicone Lids Mean No More Plastic Wrap
Every time I go to store leftovers or anything that needs covering in the fridge, I’m reminded how much plastic wrap we’re using (and that it’s always time to buy a new roll)! I was psyched to find these silicone lids, which stretch to fit over many sizes of food containers and even the food itself, like a watermelon half! They come in multiple sizes, so they’ll work for jobs large or small, and they really eliminate the need for plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
These Reusable Grocery Bags Are So Stylish
Reusable grocery bags are always a good idea, and even more so that many stores are now charging for paper or plastic bags! This set will keep you stocked up so you’ll always have one on hand when you go shopping. I keep mine in the trunk of my car; the trick is that I have to remember to actually take them in! I like to use them at other stores besides grocery, too, which really cuts down on the plastic bags I have to find a place to store at home.
These Produce Bags Save On Plastic
If you buy a lot of fruit and veg like we do, those thin plastic bags in the produce section soon start to take over your life and create a ton of unnecessary waste. This set of mesh produce bags is a much smarter idea – you can even use them to store produce in the fridge after you get home. And they’re washable!
These Water Bottles Are Gorgeous
Bottled water is delicious, yes, but gets really expensive if you drink it on the daily! Try one of these gorgeous water bottles instead. They’ll keep your water colder than it would be in the regular plastic bottle, and they’re easy to refill anywhere. These ones get excellent ratings because they’re leakproof, vacuum insulated, and keep your drink cold for hours.
This Eco Floss Is A Pleasure To Use
You might think silk eco floss would be weird to use, but you’d be wrong! This natural floss is waxed so it’ll easily clean between teeth, and when you’re done, it’s compostable. And you just refill the pretty glass container instead of buying wasteful plastic containers of floss every time you run out!
These Bamboo Toothbrushes Are So Pretty
I read somewhere that every toothbrush ever made still lives on in a landfill somewhere. That’s a scary thought, especially because everyone uses them and tosses them out every few months. These bamboo toothbrushes are a much more attractive way to be eco-friendly, and you may even save by buying in bulk!
These Swedish Dishcloths Do It All
If you need a kitchen workhorse, Swedish dishcloths are the answer. They can act as dish cleaning sponges, paper towels to soak up messes, towels to dry dishes since they’re so absorbent, and lint-free cleaning cloths for windows, mirrors, and more. They’re more than you’d pay for paper towels, but since they can do so many jobs around the house, they pay for themselves in no time!
This Shampoo Bar Eliminates Packaging Waste
We go through so much shampoo here with two long-haired little girls, and I hate to see how many plastic bottles we have to trash every month. I was super excited to find this shampoo bar, which eliminates the need for excess packaging but also contains a lot more uses per bar than a bottle does. They also come in conditioner form for a matched set!
These Reusable Sanitary Pads Are Super Absorbent
Some women use those cup thingies to cut down on menstrual product waste, but they just seem messy and a little scary to use. For those wanting to be a little more eco-friendly at that time of the month, these fabric reusable menstrual pads are a cool alternative. They’re super absorbent and wash up well, according to the many glowing reviews!
These Sticky Notes Are Dry-Erase
My daughter is going through sticky notes like water on remote school days; I seriously cannot keep up. These dry-erase sticky notes are such a genius idea – they work just the same as their paper counterparts but don’t create so much waste. And seriously, for little squares of paper, those babies cost more than they should! I’m snagging these for my daughter to live out her note-taking dreams while being earth-friendlier.
These Cotton Breastfeeding Pads Are Baby Soft
When I was nursing my kids, I went through so many disposable breastfeeding pads, and those are NOT cheap at the rate new moms use them! These cotton ones are washable, so you’ll always have clean ones on hand since you can throw ’em in with all the spit-up stained tiny onesies that you have to wash every couple of days. These are much more comfortable than the scratchy disposable kind since they’re made with soft, absorbent cotton.
This Pooper Scooper Saves On Poop Bags
We just got a puppy last week, and frankly, I’m shocked at the amount of dog poop bags we go through – I’ve had to refill the dispenser twice already! Even though we use eco-friendly bags, we’re still creating a lot of waste, and the refills add up quickly. This pooper scooper is a bargain compared to the army of bags you need to have at the ready, and it’s better for the environment, too – just scoop and dump it in the trash!
This Ear Swab Is The Last You’ll Ever Need
At first, I was a little grossed out at the thought of a reusable ear swab, but it totally makes sense. It’s made of a silicone material that’s super easy to wash off and gets your ears just as clean as the cotton kind with no waste! Since it’s an item we use weekly, if not daily, the savings add up quickly while the landfills don’t.
This Beeswax Food Wrap Works So Well
Have you tried this beeswax food wrap yet? It’s amazing stuff and has totally eliminated the need to wrap or store food in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. It’s pliable, so you can bend it to any shape you need, whether you’re covering a bowl or wrapping a sandwich. And it couldn’t be easier to clean, just wipe off with warm, soapy water!
This Bidet Beats Out Toilet Paper Every Time
Everyone remembers that helpless feeling of seeing empty toilet paper shelves for weeks when the pandemic hit, and I, for one, never wish to be in that position again. We go through so much toilet paper as a family that it’s kind of obscene, and even if you try to get the recycled stuff, it still gets pretty pricey to stay stocked. This bidet is a game-changer since it all but eliminates the need for tons of toilet paper use and gets you cleaner using just water. I’ve heard once you use one, it’s hard to ever go back to regular toilet paper, so I’m beyond excited to get one this year!
This Drain Snake Has No Plumber Fees
With two long-haired little girls in residence, our drains get clogged at the drop of a hat around here. It used to be totally frustrating to use chemical products that didn’t work and expensive every time we had to call a plumber. Until I found these drain snakes that easily pull up all the gross hairball and soaps cum clogs in one go. They’re so easy to use the girls can even DIY whenever things start to back up!
These Biodegradable Plates Are Made Of Wheat Straw
Sometimes I’m too lazy to do the dishes, especially if we’re having a party or have extra paper plates around, I’ll use those. But a much better and cost-effective option to doing that is using these biodegradable plates made of wheat straw. They’re unbreakable, so great for kids or clumsy adults like me, and so much better for the environment than packages of paper plates.
These Food Huggers Are So Handy
For some reason, recipes I find never use a whole lemon, so I’ve got a naked half hanging out in my fridge and drying out quickly. These food huggers are a better way to save veggie and fruit halves if you’ve got a small appetite or are cooking for one or two people. They pop over the food to create an airtight seal, which means you don’t need to use any plastic wrap to keep things fresh!
These Bamboo Charcoal Deodorizers Really Work
Since we got the aforementioned puppy, I’ve been less than happy about how the place smells a bit like doggo wherever she roams. I picked up these bamboo charcoal deodorizers and love the way they work to remove tough odors and keep things fresh. Especially since my kids are sensitive to artificial smells like in the disposable air fresheners, and we’re using less plastic this way, too.
This Compost Bin Helps Your Garden Grow
Where I live, there’s a town-wide compost program where you leave your scraps out each week, then receive your share of compost for your garden sometime later. The only downside? The price to join made my eyes water. Why not DIY when you can do so for a lot cheaper? All you need is a compost bin like this one to keep your veggie and fruit scraps in, then transfer to an outside pile when it’s full. Come spring, your garden’s going to get a huge boost from stuff you were going to throw out anyway!
These Silicone Tea Bags Are So Easy To Use
Tea is definitely cheaper when you buy it in bulk, but it’s so convenient in those disposable bags. Here’s a way to keep the convenience but save money when you get these reusable silicone tea bags. They’re super easy to fill since the bottom removes, and they couldn’t be easier to clean since you just have to rinse them!
These Cloth Napkins Really Last
In this house, we usually use paper towels as napkins since we’re fancy like that, and save the cloth napkins for holiday dinner or when company comes over. I do so much laundry anyways that it’d be just as easy to use cloth napkins every week instead of investing in huge packages of paper towels. Sure, there’s a higher upfront cost, but these napkins will stay looking great for a long time to come, and you’ll be putting less paper waste into the environment.
These Reusable Mop Pads Deep Clean Your Floors
I go through so many disposable mop pads since I use them on every floor surface in the house every week, which adds up to a ton of waste and cost. These reusable mop pads are genius because you can use them over and over again by just tossing them in the wash after a few uses. They really do a much better job than the disposable ones since they’re made of grippy microfiber, so you’ll end up using less cleaning product, too.
This Popcorn Popper Makes A Healthy Snack
Popcorn is definitely cheaper to buy in bulk, and who the heck knows what’s in those microwaveable bags either? It’s much better to use just quality kernels and a little salt and oil rather than ingest a chemical factory’s worth of products then toss out the bag. This silicone popcorn popper bowl simply goes in the microwave so it’s just as easy to make your favorite snack without the health risks and waste!
These Glass Food Storage Containers Come Highly Rated
I loathe meal planning, but I’m sure it would be less of an odious task if I had glass food storage containers as nice as these. I’d be much less tempted to order take-out if I had healthy, ready to go food already in the fridge. My husband can even use these for work lunches, so he’s less tempted to order out also!