Eco friendly products
11 Eco-Friendly Products That Made Us Say "Why Didn't I Do This Sooner?"
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No one's perfect, but here at BuzzFeed, we're always testing out new things that help us try and change what we can. We decided it was time to start sharing our favorite legitimately great, vaguely virtuous eco-friendly products with you, so enjoy!
1. These silicone teabags, for delicious looseleaf tea drinking.
2. This beeswax wrap that'll end your feud with plastic wrap for good.
Plastic cling wrap is my mortal enemy. It never works like it's supposed to and makes me look like a fool in the process — the plastic is sticking to itself (but NOT the bowl it's supposed to cover??) and I'm bleeding profusely because I've somehow sliced my finger open on the box's EXTREMELY SHARP cutting edge. I normally just reject it and use aluminum foil, but after a few recipes I tried recently explicitly called for plastic cling wrap (curses!!), I decided to look into the beeswax wrap I'd seen going around over the years.
The wrap I bought, Bee's Wrap, is made from organic cotton, sustainably sourced beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. You can use it to cover bowls or dishes, or to wrap up cheese, sandwiches, or bread. To use, you cover or wrap the item, and then sort of press your hands on it gently for a few seconds to warm the wrap; in a few seconds, it'll sort of melt down and stick to itself (or the bowl). The wrap I bought is really beautiful (I love the pale yellow and pretty honeycomb print, but it comes in other colors/patterns) and has a great texture; seeing bread wrapped in it in my lunch bag made me feel genuinely happy. It also smells earthy and amazing (although the scent goes away after a few washes, which is good news if you don't like it). It's way more pleasant to use than plastic wrap, and has the added benefit of making me feel vaguely virtuous.
At $18 for a pack with three pieces in various sizes, it's not super cheap, but it felt like a worthy investment in every way. (You can also DIY it, but I decided to see if I actually liked it/used it before I spent the time and money on the supplies.) —Rachel Wilkerson Miller
3. These stainless steel straws, for all the sippin' with none of the crushing environmental guilt.
Plastic straws are really, really bad for the environment. They're not recyclable, and they're really damaging to marine life (there's a horrifying YouTube video of a plastic straw lodged in a sea turtle's nostril, which... click at your own risk). Not to be glib, but I once got a plastic straw caught in my hair and can attest to the fact that they are easily ensnared. Luckily, these stainless steel straws are a cheap, easy, and ~fancy~ way to do your part to reduce the number of plastic straws clogging the seas. They come in a set of four (I keep two at home, one at work, and one in my purse) with a little cleaning brush.
Honestly, even aside from the smugness that comes from knowing you're helping turtles, I much prefer these straws to plastic ones. The cool metal makes cold drinks that much more refreshing, and they kind of make me feel like I'm at a trendy cocktail bar when I am, in fact, drinking seltzer at my desk while writing about straws. —Jessie Gaynor
Get a pack of four from amazon for $6.95.
4. This bidet attachment, so you can clean everything up after going to the bathroom without using all that toilet paper.
A bidet, to be blunt, is a device that cleans your butt. It can take the form of a separate sink-like fixture in one's bathroom (fancy!) or a simple attachment affixed to one's toilet bowl (cheap!). The rest of the world has been riding the bidet train for quite some time, but for some reason the US has yet to catch up to their enthusiasm for the must-have bathroom accessory, and I honestly can't understand why — because this $35 bidet attachment has, simply and truly, changed my life.
It's easy to set up yourself, and you can read all about the installation process here. Sparing you the gory details, let's just say that it *works*. A quick spray gets the job that wads of toilet paper would normally take to get done — hooray for saving trees! — and never in my life have I felt so clean after doing my biz. To use it, you just turn a knob that adjusts the water pressure, so you can find a setting that's comfortable for you. You might have to adjust your position on the seat to make sure the bidet sprays you in just the right area, but man. What a sensation. So fresh! So clean! There's also second knob to control the self-cleaning nozzle.
Just in case you needed a little more convincing, may I add that this particular product has over 5,500 reviews on amazon and a 4.6-star rating? Note that most bidet attachments are designed to fit on the right side of your toilet (sorry, lefties😟), so if you have a small and cramped bathroom, you'll want to make sure you have enough room for one before you order. Look, I'm calling it now: 2018 is going to be the Year of the Bidet. Get on it and give your booty the hygiene it deserves. —Emmy Favilla
5. The DoneGood app, which helps you find and support ethical companies that have really good stuff.
Everyone has their own ways of Doing Their Bit, but one of mine is trying to be more thoughtful about where I spend my money. DoneGood is an app that helps you a find businesses and brands that are doing good. They might be sustainable, or minority-run, or women-owned, or vegan, or only stock locally sourced goods; whatever you value, they've got recommendations for.
When you first open the app on your phone, you're given a number of different values to choose from. And yes, you can select them all if you want. After the app knows what you care about, what you're shopping for, and where you live (if you're looking for local stores), it gives you a whole load of recommendations. A lot of these stores also offer discount codes to DoneGood users, which can be anything from $10 to 25% off your purchase.
Since using DoneGood, I've been legitimately surprised by the number of cool new brands and sites I've found and actually loved. If you're looking for more eco-friendly, vegan, or minority-owned brands to support, this app is going to be a game-changer. —Gyan Yankovich
6. These reusable sandwich bags that'll help you save money and reduce waste.
So, uh, not to ruin your day, but there will be 12 billion metric tons of plastic in landfills by 2050 if we continue at the rate we're going. If that freaks you out (and, like, how could it not?) and you want to do your part to help the planet, an easy thing to do is switching to these reusable silicone storage bags like I did!
Rather than buy and waste thousands of plastic baggies, you can get a four-pack of these cute and colorful reusable ones and use them over and over and over. Trust me, it doesn't take long for them to pay themselves off. They can hold up to four cups of everything from fruits and veggies to meat and fish, and, according to the company, could last you up to 30 YEARS.
The bags stay closed thanks to a lock bar, which is oddly satisfying to slide on and off, and I haven't had any issues with leakage of liquids or smells. As for cleaning, they're super easy to wash by hand, or you can just toss them right in the dishwasher. Storage bags may seem like a tiny thing, but if you use them every day to pack lunches or freeze leftovers, switching to silicone can have a major impact over time — on the planet and your bank account. —Tom Vellner
Get them from amazon for $17.89.
7. This packaging-free shampoo and conditioner that limit single-use packaging and maximize hair niceness.
Lush is not tested on animals and limits single-use packaging across the board, which is a mission I want to support. This bar smells great and makes my hair feel unbelievably soft and clean. This is actually some of the best shampoo I've ever used. It lasts a really, really long time too! The conditioner doesn't lather like the shampoo does, so you have less of an immediate "I'm getting clean!" feeling. However, with some vigorous rubbing of the bar directly on your hair, you can definitely see results after. —Eric Larson
8. This natural deodorant, which cuts out the aluminum and the bad smells.
9. This reusable bamboo utensil set, perfect for eco-friendly dining on the go.
Since one of my goals this year was to create less waste and to seriously limit my use of plastic, I decided to get myself a set of To Go Ware utensils. I didn't want to just stick some silverware in my bag because a) I know I'd end up losing it, and b) my bag is a wasteland and sticking a spoon in there just sounds super gross. The To Go Ware utensils come in a pouch made from recycled plastic (you can choose from a variety of colors), and the set is made up of a bamboo spoon, a fork, a knife, and chopsticks. They're lightweight and easy to carry — there's a carabiner attached to the back of the pouch so you can easily attach it to the strap of a purse/backpack), and the bamboo utensils are also heat- and stain-resistant (they're coated with food-safe wood oil to ensure durability).
Honestly, I cannot recommend this product enough and I really, really wish more people knew about it! I keep these in my bag all the time. They've served me well, and helped me reduce my plastic waste. Win-win! —Lillian Zhou
Get the set from amazon for $11.25+ (available in six colors).
10. This high-quality stainless steel water bottle that's way more sustainable than a case of plastic ones.
OK, look, let me say this: I know that this bottle is expensive. There is no need to @ me. I know.
Now that that's out of the way, hear me out. I bought this water bottle months before a big, multi-country backpacking trip and I still have it. It's a little dinged up, but it has never leaked or failed me. I also love the shit out of it, so I keep an eye on it. I appreciate it, so I won't ever lose it, making the cost per use more than reasonable. —Gyan Yankovich
11. And this compost bin, for a cheap and cute way to help you save the planet.
You might think composting is a complex practice reserved for hipster farmers of the Pacific Northwest — but I, a lowly New York City rat, am here to tell you that it is NOT! A measly $19.99 (basically the price of a single movie ticket in NYC) will get you this cute OXO compost bin that helps reduce the waste you send to landfills, while taking up barely any room on your counter or in your fridge. It's 7"x7"x7", so it's easy to store in the back of my fridge, which, if I'm being honest, is never that full anyway.
All I do is keep this bin handy and toss in banana peels, coffee grounds, and food scraps from meal prep — things I normally would've thrown in the trash. Then, once my bin is full (usually after a week, depending on how often I cook), I drop off the scraps at a farmers market near my subway stop, where they're sent to one of NYC's compost sites to be ~transformed~ into soil for urban farming and gardening projects.
It's really easy to clean, too, since the lid is removable and the bin is dishwasher-safe. Plus, the inside is smooth and doesn't have any crevices, to prevent buildup of mold and bacteria. So, yeah, doing your part to help save the planet is easy as hell thanks to this lil' bin. All aboard the compost train, y'all. —Tom Vellner
Get it from amazon for $19.95+ (available in white and gray).