Ready to stock up on zero waste products but don’t know where to start? We’ve pulled together 14 of our favorites. Here are some reasons why you should consider making the switch to zero products, as well as some of the best for your home and personal care routines.
Why Fill Your Home with Zero Waste Products?
Before we dive into the best ones for your lifestyle, let’s answer the question: what is a zero waste product? Put simply, a zero waste product eliminates or minimizes the amount of waste produced. This means that after a product reaches the end of its life, it can either be reused, composted, or recycled. Many of these are designed to replace single-use products, or those commonly made with plastic.
Quite often, packaging is also taken into consideration, meaning that the best zero waste products will come without packaging, or are packaged in recycled and recyclable or compostable materials. Or, the product may be packaged in something designed to be reused, like an amber glass jar or cute aluminum tin.
But why should we make the switch to zero waste products—is it cheaper to be zero waste? While shoppers may be quick to take note of more expensive price tags, it’s important to realize that, in the long run, the vast majority of zero waste products are more affordable than their conventional alternatives.
Take, for example a stainless steel safety razor. While the initial cost is higher than that of disposable razors, it can be used indefinitely! All it needs are blades, which are extremely cheap. This means that you can expect to cut your cost of shaving by about 90%, and experience less stubble and irritation, too.
Zero waste products are good for the planet and your pocket. Let’s take a look at 14 more affordable zero waste products you should consider bringing into your life.
14 of the Best Zero Waste Products
Zero Waste Personal Care Products
You might use it everyday, but have you ever thought about what your hair brush is made with? Quite often, they’re made with plastic—cheap plastic. This makes them prone to breaking, which means additional waste in our landfills and microplastics that leach into our environment.
Bamboo is a far better alternative. Bamboo hair brushes are more durable and just as effective as their plastic-based counterparts when it comes to detangling hair. As a truly zero waste product, a bamboo hair brush made with natural rubber bristles can be composted at the end of its life!
Hair ties are one of those things we often need—and just as often lose. While they’re cheap and easy to replace, quickly running through a pack can really take a toll on our planet. This is because, like many other goods, hair ties are often made with plastic and other non-biodegradable materials. While the rubber component may naturally biodegrade, what’s wrapped around it could take hundreds—or thousands of years to decompose.
Zero waste hair ties, like those from Kooshoo, are free of plastic and instead use fully biodegradable materials. Not only is the cotton and rubber organically and fairly produced, but it means that the hair ties will decompose naturally at the end of their life.
Loofahs are notoriously plastic laden. Commonly, we use them for a few months until the brightly-colored poofs become mildewy or start to unravel, then we quickly replace them with another. They're not recyclable, so an average bather may send several loofahs every year to landfill.
Fortunately, there’s something in nature that is a far better alternative. Natural sea sponges can be sustainably harvested, meaning that a small portion is reserved so that the sea sponge can naturally regenerate. They’re plastic-free, anti-bacterial, and will last a long time as they help to exfoliate and cleanse. Once they’ve reached the end of their life, they can be composted, too.
In the US alone, roughly 12 billion pads and 7 bullion tampons are disposed of every year. Plastic-based, these end up taking up precious space in landfills—or worse, making their way into waterways and oceans where they pollute ecosystems and can be mistaken for food by marine life.
Reusable is the way to go for menstruators. Not only are organic pads free of plastic and toxic chemicals, but they’re also a far more economical choice. Made from organic cotton, they can be composted, too!
Makeup removal typically involves three steps: wet - wipe - dispose. While they’re small in size, disposing these non-biodegradable, synthetic-based wipes away at least once daily can really add up over time.
As one of the best zero waste beauty products around, reusable facial rounds provide a much better alternative. Made from organic cotton, you can be sure that they’re sustainably produced. They can simply be tossed in the washer and reused time and time again. Once you can use them no longer, they can be composted.
Just think of landfills as graveyards for toothbrushes, because every year we send over one billion there—and that’s in the US alone! Toothbrushes aren’t recyclable and will take hundreds of years to decompose in landfills. Worse, many of the microplastics they break down into will end up in the ocean and ultimately back in our food chain.
Bamboo is a quick-growing grass that makes for a much better toothbrush material. It works just like a plastic one, but is a greener choice. With 100% bio-based bristles, the entire thing can be composted post-use.
It’s estimated that around 25 billion disposable swabs are used and thrown away by Americans every year. But there’s a better way to tackle blocked ears.
The Reusable Ear Swab from Last Object has been tested to withstand at least 1,000 uses. It’s made from medical-grade and recycled materials, some of which are compostable and/or biodegradable. But the best news is that it can easily be washed between uses, giving you unobstructed ears and our planet a little less waste to deal with.
Zero Waste Products for the Home
Plastic cooking utensils aren’t just hazardous for our planet, they can also be pretty bad for humans, too. Exposed to high heat, they can release toxic byproducts that may be poisonous to humans. Some of these have even been linked to infertility, cancer, liver and thyroid disease, and high cholesterol.
Fortunately, bamboo makes for a far better—and safer—alternative. Combined with a food-grade, organic flax oil finish, you’ll have something that won’t scratch cooking surfaces, will keep you and your family safe, and will last a long time until it can safely be composted.
9. GOpure Pod
When you need zero waste on the go, a GOpure Pod Water Filter can eliminate the need for single-use plastic bottles, while providing you with perfectly filtered water. It takes care of toxins, impurities, and contaminants and is portable enough to bring with you anywhere. Each pod can eliminate up to 2,000 plastic water bottles!
While the pod is recyclable, it might not be accepted through your city’s curbside program. Fortunately, you can send it back to GOpure, and they’ll take care of recycling for you.
Of the 2.5 million plastic bottles used every hour in America, many are laundry bottles. This means roughly 900 million laundry jugs are disposed of every year, and only 30% are recycled. Our planet hates laundry day as much as you do.
Fortunately, there are zero waste laundry detergent options, Tru Earth’s detergent strips do away with the need for bulky plastic bottles. The ultra-concentrated, hypoallergenic strips are made with vegan, biodegradable, and palm oil-free ingredients. They’re shipped in compostable packaging for a truly zero waste load of laundry.
Providing an easy place to store all of your zero waste cleaning products, a space-saving sink organizer helps you to maximize counter space and store soap dispensers, scrubbers, scouring pads, and more.
Made with recycled plastic and sustainable ceramic, it can be refreshed in the dishwasher for decades of use.
Contrary to what you may believe, conventional snack, sandwich, and freezer bags are NOT recyclable. Considering the average family uses about 500 of them every year, this means a lot of plastic is ending up in landfills.
A safer, more sustainable alternative exists. Stasher bags easily replace ZipLoc ones. Made from silicone, they can even be used in the oven, freezer and microwave. Toss them in the dishwasher, and you can use them for decades—all without having to worry about dangerous BPA and phthalates. Send them back to Stasher once you’re through with them, and they’ll responsibly recycle them into playground pebbles.
How about we take out the trash without trashing our planet? This is where a washable pail liner can come in handy. When it comes to zero waste household cleaning products, this is one of the best.
It’s used just like a conventional, single-use trash bag—but it’s not single-use! After you toss the trash, you can rinse out the bin liner and reuse to your heart’s content. For a more thorough clean, it can also be machine washed.
While paper coffee filters can, for the most part, be composted, they still require paper! Quite often, they’re also bleached with chlorine. This makes them environmentally problematic on a few levels.
For a better cup of coffee, without the negative environmental impact of the single-use filters, a reusable coffee filter is a must-have product for caffeine addicts following a zero waste lifestyle. It helps to retain more of the crisp, rich flavor of the coffee without imparting the flavor of the paper. Handmade from organic cotton, the reusable coffee filter will withstand many cups o’ joe, and can ultimately be composted after years of use.
To help you with your zero waste journey, you can shop with the code BLOG10 and save 10% on your first order!
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