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Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon

5 Eco-Friendly Essentials You Should Buy to Reduce Waste

It’s a known fact that climate change is destroying our planet. Unfortunately, the devastating effects of global warming have become quite obvious― now more than ever. There is so much trash piling up on our beaches, homes, and streets that it seems nothing that we do will ever be enough to aid our planet.


How can we help? How can we reduce the amount of trash we produce on a daily basis? The perfect solution doesn’t exist, but you have to start somewhere! 


Here are five items you can get to lower your consumption of non-biodegradable pollutants, and where to purchase these essential products. Not only are they useful, but they’re reusable!

Bamboo Toothbrushes

Did you know that the toothbrush you had two years ago is probably still out there? 

Toothbrushes are made entirely of plastic. On top of that, think about how your dentist tells you that you have to change your toothbrush every three months… Guess what? They pile up. However, bamboo toothbrushes can save the day! They’re biodegradable, which means that once you discard them after the three months of use, they won’t take 300+ years to decompose. One recommended brand is Grin Natural’s toothbrush line! Their bristles are charcoal-infused and very soft.

Menstrual Cups

According to Alejandra Borunda, “...Over the course of a lifetime, a single menstruator will use somewhere between 5 and 15 thousand pads and tampons...” Imagine all that waste! Fortunately, in the last few years, a new invention has hit the market: the menstrual cup, a reusable alternative for menstruators everywhere. They can hold more blood than tampons and pads, they're easy to clean, and they’re eco-friendly as well! If you’re interested in getting one, check OrganiCup out! The packaging is minimalistic to prevent more waste, and one cup can last you years.

Cotton Rounds

If you love makeup, you know that removing it is a must. The issue is, if you use wipes or even paper towels, you create waste. Wipes are so harmful to our environment, which is why you should consider using cotton rounds! They’re reusable and, when they get dirty, you can just wash them. You can buy them on Etsy. Not only are they cheap, but you're helping both the planet and small businesses when you choose to invest in these little miracle workers!

Reusable Bottles

VSCO girls knew what they were doing when they made Hydro Flasks a thing. Not only do they keep your water cold, but they’re great for the environment! Plastic bottles take 700 years to decompose. Using a thermos might have seemed like a joke at first, but reusable water bottles really do help. There’s an added plus, too: you can decorate them with stickers! Yes, while some might seem expensive, you’re definitely getting more bang for your buck than you would by constantly buying plastic water bottles. If you can’t find them online, check your local T.J Maxx or Marshalls, where you can always find them around the exercise section.

Tote Bags

Paper or plastic? How about neither! 

Plastic bags are dangerous. Not only are they harmful to our environment, but lots of animals can get hurt when they encounter these pollutants. That’s why tote bags are the way to go. You can use them for everything, and you don’t have to throw them out. Not only that, but they can be cute and fashionable as well! 

You can check @totesbyari’s store if you want your own tote. Even better, Ari’s totes are made with 100% recycled cotton! So, make sure to check their store out on IG and tell them that HC at UPR sent you!

The battle against climate change isn’t easy; the hill is pretty steep, but we all have to start somewhere, be it big or small. Hopefully, this gives you some ideas about where to start!

A sour patch kid raised in the small town of Villalba, Puerto Rico (she'll argue that she's from Ponce though). She's a total geek who takes everything one fandom at a time. Her major is Creative Writing.
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