Because of the advancements we’ve made, we are lucky enough to be able to purchase almost anything we need to make our day-to-day tasks feel more convenient. We have plastic sandwich bags for our lunches, paper towels to clean up after making dinner, 100 different types of shampoo that all come in different scents, plastic bags for our produce at the grocery store, q-tips to swipe up small messes, plastic straws to sip our drinks—the list goes on and on. Unfortunately, all of those “little things” that create convenience for us can do serious damage to the earth.
Now, don’t get me wrong, here at SWE, we love convenience just as much as anyone else. We are grateful for the things that can make our lives a little bit easier at the end of a long day. But, we also try to do as much as we can to reduce our impact on the earth. Thankfully several brands and companies are creating products that allow us to have that same convenience that we crave, without hurting our planet. Believe it or not, but nearly every kitchen and bathroom item you can think of has a more eco-friendly solution.
Some simple things to ask yourself when looking to purchase more earth-friendly products are:
Does this product use plastic?
Products that use plastic can usually be replaced with something more sustainable. Plastic packaging can be eliminated by buying products that are refillable or don’t use plastic to package their products.
For example, using bar soap lasts longer and uses zero plastic packaging, you can even make it yourself!
Does this product have the option to be refilled?
Some companies offer soaps, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, etc. that can be refilled. Instead of buying multiple plastic bottles, you can use one container and refill it when you run out!
The Good Fill is one company that offers refillable products.
Is this product reusable?
If it’s a single-use product, such as a cotton pad or paper towel, there is likely a substitute for it. Try to find reusable products to reduce waste and save money!
Will this product biodegrade/is it compostable?
Plastic does not biodegrade, so it’s better to replace plastic household items with products made from bamboo or other natural materials that will break down over time.
We spent some time searching for more eco-friendly alternatives to some of the everyday household products we use. Check out our list of replacement products below.
Eco-friendly products for the Bathroom:
Reusable Makeup Removers
Wood Q-Tips versus Plastic Q-tips
Toilet Paper with No Plastic Packaging
DIY Projects (fun for the whole family!)
For the Kitchen:
Reusable Paper Towels
Dish Brushes & Soaps
Reusable Sandwich Bags
Biodegradable Sandwich Bags (comes in different sizes)
Reusable Bamboo Cutlery
Pet Waste Bags
Some sunscreens contain chemical ingredients that can bleach and damage coral reefs. It’s important to find a sunscreen that doesn’t contain oxybenzone and octinoxate and to substitute a chemical sunscreen with a mineral sunscreen.
If you have any recommendations to add to our list, feel free to contact us! We are always open to new methods of preserving our natural resources and helping the planet.
Southwest Environmental is not associated with these products in any way. These are just the products used and recommended by our staff.