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5 Reusable Products You Should Start Using

I recently wrote an article bringing light to the topic of climate changes and ways you personally could make an impactful change. I provided an overview of different ways you could reduce, reuse and recycle efficiently, as well as provide impactful statistics along the way. Since the start of the year, I have tried to reduce my carbon footprint by using more reusable products and recycling more efficiently. I think one of the best ways (and the most fun) to start reducing your carbon footprint is to slowly implement reusable products into your life. Here are 5 of my favorite reusable products I think everyone should start using!

Reusable Storage Bags

Whether you use ziplock bags for lunch, leftovers, or storage, these reusable storage bags can take their place! Often, especially if you are storing something liquidy, a plastic bag can easily be punctured, and it makes a mess. But these reusable storage bags are durable and leakproof. While it might feel weird to clean your storage bags after each use, it is straightforward. Just hand wash them with soap and water and make sure they are open when drying. I personally use the Forid brand, which I got off of Amazon. I got a 12 pack (2-gallon bags, 5 sandwich bags, and 5 snack bags) for only $10.94. These bags are fantastic and an easy way to start your move to using more reusable products.

Reusable Cotton Rounds

A while back, I stopped using facial wipes as my makeup remover and started using Garnier’s Micellar Cleansing Water. While this product is so much better for my skin and reduces my waste from the makeup wipes, I was still using cotton pads every day to remove my makeup with cleansing water. I instead started using reusable makeup remover pads! These pads are extremely easy to use and mimic the same functionality as regular cotton pads. I personally use the Saie brand, but unfortunately, these are sold out. However, there are tons of different brands on Amazon ranging from $9.99 to ~$15! I have been using mine for almost a month now and have not had any issues so far. Mine came in a pack of 4, and I use two at a time, one for makeup removal and the other for apply toner. I have not had any issues cleaning or getting makeup off. I just throw them in with my towels! I think these reusable cotton rounds are a great way to reduce waste from your daily skincare routine!

Sea Sponge

I am a big believer in using a loofah for exfoliating and washing my body. However, I realized that while they last a decent amount of time, they eventually get tossed. And because they are made of plastic, they aren’t the best product to use if you are trying to be more environmentally conscious. Thus, I did some research and found the sea sponge! It is a natural product and mimics a lot of what a loofah offers. Unfortunately, it does not exfoliate as efficiently as a loofah, but other environmentally friendly products can. I purchased my sea sponge off of Amazon for $12.99 for a pack of three. I have not been using this product long, but so far, it has worked great! 

Reusable Grocery and Mesh Produce Bags

I decided to group these two products together because they are often used in the same setting. Reusable grocery bags are fantastic and, frankly, more practical than plastic bags. Reusable grocery bags are less likely to rip open on you while carrying in your groceries, and you can put more products into the bag, so you do not need to have as many. These bags can be used outside of grocery shopping too! I use mine to carry my cat’s stuff while traveling or for any other use I can think of. The reusable mesh produce bags are great because they can be used to bag produce at the grocery store or at a farmers’ market. Another great way to reduce plastic waste! I have been using my mesh bags for a while now and have found that my produce does not last as long as it would in the plastic bags. I got my reusable grocery bags from Aldis because that is where I grocery shop the most often, but most grocery stores will have their own options. I purchased my reusable mesh produce bags on Amazon for a set of 15 (3 different sizes) for $10. These products are a great way to start using reusable products but can be hard to remember every time you go to the grocery store. I try to keep at least one reusable bag in my car for those spontaneous trips to the grocery store!

Reusable Water Bottle and Straws

These are the most common types of reusable products people use and for a good reason! They are straightforward to use, and there are tons of different styles and designs available. When possible, using a reusable water bottle is so vital because plastic water bottles make up 75% of all plastic. By purchasing a reusable water bottle, you are significantly reducing this number and your own plastic waste.  Straws are very similar! They are terrible for the environment and often are made of single-use plastic. The majority of plastic bottles and straws end up in landfills and oceans. Reusable water bottles and straws can be purchased at Target, Walmart, Amazon and much more. Prices vary based on the material used for the products and much more. I highly recommend that you make the switch and start using a reusable water bottle and straws.

There are thousands of reusable products out there. It is just a matter of finding what works best for you! I recommend taking some time and browsing through all the options available. While buying new products is always fun (at least for me), it is essential to make sure you purchase reusable products you know you will use. If you buy a reusable product and then never use it and end up tossing it out, there's more damage done than good.   

Taylor Sheffield

Virginia Tech '21

I am passionate about traveling, learning about the world, hanging out with my friends, and being outdoors! I love being a Human Nutrition Food and Exercise major as well as Political Science and Psychology minors. Hoping that once I graduate, I can travel the world for a year, and then apply to Physical Therapy school and go on to work as a Women's Health Physical Therapist or for a military hospital.
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