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Go Green in 2021 With These Eco-Friendly Products

We use single-use products everyday, from Ziploc bags, straws, paper towels; even when we clean up after our pets. Therein lies a problem as many of these products are not biodegradable and often contain toxic chemicals, meaning that they end up in landfills or polluting our waters and subsequently harming wildlife. Earth is on the brink of a climate crisis and drastic measures need to be taken to protect our planet. While many believe that more needs to be done to protect the environment and deal with climate change, it still tends to be a partisan issue; meaning that our individual actions even more important until global changes to protect the earth are implemented from world leaders. If we all are more conscious of the products we purchase and the impact they have on the environment around us, we can work to slow down climate change until large-scale changes are made. There are so many biodegradable and reusable options when it comes to what we commonly think of as single-use products. I’ve highlighted some of my favorite eco-friendly products down below!

Reusable Unpaper Towels

While paper towels have a small carbon footprint, they still contribute to deforestation. Unpaper towels can be washed and reused, preventing waste in landfills & deforestation.

Photo via @zerowastestore

Safety Razor

It’s estimated that over two million razors end up in landfills each year (Rabbit, 2014). Safety razors are an eco-friendly alternative to traditional razors with plastic handles that end up in landfills or our water systems. Safety razors cost more initially but will save you money in the long run. They also are less likely to cause ingrown hairs than traditional razors.    

Photo via @animaliashopslc (Photographer : Colton Morgan)

Reusable Storage Bags
Silicon Reusable Storage Bags
Original photo by Natasha Jacobson

I swear by these bags! I bought a back over a year ago as an attempt to reduce my plastic waste, and I have been using them ever since. They are heavy duty and don’t leak like many plastic bags do. You can use them for food storage, snacks on the go, and even when organizing makeup or other items. I got mine on Amazon but they can also be found in-store and online at various retailers.

Photo via : Natasha Jacobson

Bamboo Toothbrush

Bamboo toothbrushes are an amazing alternative to traditional plastic toothbrushes. With Bamboo being biodegradable, the toothbrushes can be composted after you are done using it. Although, if your bristles are nylon be sure to remove them before disposing of your toothbrush.

Photo via @zerowastestore

Shampoo & Conditioner Bars

If you’re looking for a zero-waste form of shampoo and conditioner, try shampoo and conditioner bars! There are so many brands to choose from, with bars created specifically for different hair needs. 

Photo via @zerowastestore  

Biodegradable Pet Waste Bags

We are also contributing to plastic waste each time we pick up after our pets, but luckily there are biodegradable bags! Not all biodegradable pet waste bags are made the same as some are not compostable. The ones I have linked are biodegradable & compostable! 

Photo via @zerowastestore

Reusable Collapsible Straw
Collapsible Reusable Straw
Original photo by Natasha Jacobson

I take my collapsible straw everywhere I go! I keep it stashed in my purse for when I’m out and need a straw. It’s easy to clean and mine has lasted over two years. I found mine in a twin pack on amazon, but many stores carry reusable straws now.

Photo via : Natasha Jacobson

Reusable Cotton Facial Rounds

These reusable cotton facial rounds are a great option when aiming to replace single-use facial rounds!

Photo via @plasticfreepursuit

Biodegradable Hair Accessories

Traditional hair ties are typically not eco-friendly as they contain plastic. These hair ties are biodegradable!

Photo via @plasticfreepursuit

Reusable Produce Bags

Reusable produce bags are an amazing alternative to traditional produce bags as they can last years and reduce our plastic waste.

Photo via @animaliashopslc (Photographer : Colton Morgan)  

Reusable Menstrual Products

While we’re used to single-use menstrual products, there are now many options that help to reduce the waste in our landfills. Reusable products like these menstrual cups & pads don’t contain toxic chemicals that many single-use pads and tampons do.

Photo via @animaliashopslc (Photographer : Colton Morgan)  

 

Mouthwash & Toothpaste Tablets

Mouthwash and toothpaste are traditionally found in plastic bottles and tubes. These are a great option as they are natural, sustainable, and zero-waste!

Photo via : @plasticfreepursuit  

Eco-Friendly Dishwasher and Laundry Pods

While traditional pods are not environmentally-friendly, these are plastic and dye free! Traditional pods often contain a toxic monomer- vinyl acetate, that can harm aquatic life forms and causes tumours in rats (Magan, 2019).   

Photo via @animaliashopslc (Photographer : Colton Morgan)  

Reusable Coffee Bag

Buying in bulk will typically save you money & you can reduce your plastic waste by opting for reusable coffee bags like these! I’ve also seen reusable bags for the bulk section at Sprouts! 

Photo via : @plasticfreepursuit

It’s critical for us to take it upon ourselves to implement small changes in our lives to protect the world around us. Humans have created an unsustainable way of living and it’s important for us to be conscious of what we can do individually to reduce our carbon footprint & waste. Reusable products are key as we will be creating less waste over time. Additionally, biodegradable and compostable products are also important as they will not take years to break down as other materials do. If swapping out all single-use products seems difficult, start with one to two products and do it over time. We can all work to be more eco-friendly, even small changes make a big difference!

References: 

Magan, M. (2019, December 16). Which detergent is better for the environment – powder, liquid or sachets? Retrieved February 03, 2021, from https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/which-detergent-is-better-for-…

Rabbitt, E., Moore, M., & Hill, A. (n.d.). 2 billion Tossed per Year: What’s the most Wasteful BATHROOM PRODUCT? Retrieved February 03, 2021, from https://groundswell.org/2-billion-tossed-per-year-whats-the-most-wastefu…

Natasha is currently working towards her Bachelor's of Science in Psychology. She plans to return to the U after graduating to obtain a second bachelor's degree in Community Health. She adores animals, music, nature, art, and spending time with her friends and family.
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