Have you been watching David Attenborough’s new nature series Our Planet on Netflix? If not, you should definitely get on that. Shows like his make you want to spring into action and protect the planet in any way that you can. Simply reducing the amount of plastic you use on a daily basis can help in a major way.
This list will give you some tips on how you can protect the environment, one reusable shopping bag at a time. Plus, when you reuse, you don’t just save the environment, you also save money.
Washable Mesh Produce Bags
You can get a set of five mesh produce bags on Amazon for $9.97. Bring them to the grocery store, fill them up with your favorite fruits and vegetables, then take them home and empty them into your refrigerator.
These are foldable, washable, and color coded. Now you won’t need to use those plastic produce bags they have on rolls at the grocery store, which means you won’t need to throw away those plastic produce bags.
Reusable Silicone Food Bags And Steamer Bags
The Stasher Reusable Silicone Food Bag is available online for $11.99. This bag is self-sealing which means that it has an air-tight pinch-press seal that locks in freshness. It’s made from 100% food-grade silicone which is safe to freeze, microwave, boil, and put in the dishwasher.
You can even use these in your sous vide. These bags allow you to cook multiple vegetables at once in the same pot without jumbling everything together.
These Diamond Greenlight Matches retail for under $5. You’ll never need to use a plastic lighter again with these eco-friendly matches made from wood sourced from sustainably managed forests.
You get 300 matches, which means that you can light 300 candles or 300 campfires or 300 anything. I’d definitely want to have some of these around during an apocalypse… not that I think one is going to happen or anything…
Reusable Food Wrap
Say goodbye to harmful plastic wrap, and say hello to Bee’s Reusable Food Wraps. An assorted 3-pack will cost you $18, but you can use these over and over again. When you do decide to throw these wraps away, you can actually compost them.
They’re made out of cotton, sustainably harvested beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. Those are the exact materials you would want protecting your food. Plastic can contain harsh chemicals, and nobody needs that. The natural beeswax in Bee’s Food Wraps even has antibacterial properties.
A Glass Carafe With Stainless Steel Flow Lid
Here’s a way you can make your home look stylish and save the environment at the same time. instead of using plastic water bottles, invest in a glass carafe. This one from Artcome is heat resistant, and it only costs $17.95.
You can fill this bottle with whatever you like. Try serving some homemade lemonade in it instead of buying bottled lemonade. Homemade lemonade tastes way better anyway. Add some whole lemon slices in there for even more pizazz.
Eco-Friendly Beauty Bars
When you buy liquid shampoos and conditioners in bottles, you’re buying and then throwing away a whole bunch of plastic. Instead, opt for shampoos, soaps, and conditioners that come in a solid form. The Ethique Ec-Friendly Conditioner Bar costs less than $18. It lasts five times longer than bottled liquid conditioner, which means it will save you money in the long run.
Lush also sells solid shampoo and conditioner bars for around $10 each.
Steel Pantry Containers
Never buy things like pasta or cereal in individual containers. Instead, invest in some glass or stainless steel canisters and fill them up at a bulk food store. You’ll save money, and your shelves will look a lot cuter. You’ll also reduce your carbon footprint.
These Estilo Brushed Stainless Steel and Glass Canisters retail for $19.99. They’re a little more durable because they’re not entirely glass, but they still have a glass window so you can see what’s inside.
A lot of the scissors you buy in the grocery store or at the hardware store have plastic handles. It’s a small thing, but even small things can make a difference. These Clauss Hot Forged Carbon Steel Sheers are available on Amazon for $18.36.
They’ll look a lot more stylish and professional in your kitchen or on your desk than plastic scissors. They kind of remind me of being in elementary school…
Reusable Grocery Bags
Reusable grocery bags make a huge difference when it comes to saving the environment. Don’t horde plastic bags under the sink in your kitchen. Don’t throw them out so they can pile up in landfills either.
You can get these Simple Ecology Organic Reusable Farmers Bags on Amazon for $24.95 for a set of 6. These bags are organic, biodegradable, reusable, and recyclable. You’ll get a variety of different sized bags for all of your shopping needs.
A Reusable Insulated Waterbottle
If you don’t have an insulated water bottle yet, you should definitely get one. These things will keep your water cool for hours. I once took an insulated water bottle to work with ice and water in it, and the ice still wasn’t melted by the time I got home nine hours later.
This Hydro Flask costs $42.95 on Amazon, which may seem like a steep price, but think about how much money you’re saving by not buying plastic water bottles. These things keep cold drinks cold for up to 24 hours and hot drinks hot for 12 hours.
Glass bottles also keep your drinks cool, but not for as long as insulated stainless steel water bottles. They’re a bit cheaper than insulated water bottles though, and they make great gifts. Epica Glass Beverage Bottles cost $19.95 and they come in a bunch of different colors.
If you need bottles for juice or other beverages, pick up some of Epica’s glass variations for a bit of style and sustainability.
Disposable Wooden Cutlery
Look, let’s face it, disposable cutlery makes life so much easier. Being sustainable doesn’t mean that you have to cut disposable cutlery out of your life completely. As long as you’re not throwing away plastic, you’re still reducing your carbon footprint.
First Choice makes disposable wooden cutlery, and a 300 piece set will only cost you $17.95. These will look great at your next summer barbecue, plus First Choice donated 10% of its annual net profits to environmental organizations.
A Glass Tea Brewer
This Airtight Cold Brew Iced Coffee Maker and Tea Infuser can be found on many sites for under $30. There are cheap plastic coffee brewers available, but glass is actually more durable and safer. Some people say glass even makes your coffee taste better.
The next time you want some cold brew or a refreshing iced tea, you won’t have to drive all the way to Starbucks. You can make cold brew right in your own home.
A Steel Compost Bin
Every sustainable human needs a compost bin in their kitchen, but compost bins don’t have to be ugly. This Epica Stainless Steel Compost Bin with a Charcoal Filter won’t retain bad smells, plus it looks pretty darn attractive.
The charcoal filter actually controls odors naturally. This model costs $22.95, but there are plenty of other non-plastic compost bins out there. I bet some of them are even snazzier than this one.
Reusable Metal Straws
We’ve all heard about how plastic straws are killing sea turtles, and we really don’t want to be a part of that problem. According to the National Park Service, you could actually fill 125 school buses with the amount of straws Americans throw away every day. We need to use way less plastic, and stainless steel straws are a way to do just that.
This set of four SipWell Stainless Steel Drinking Straws comes with its own cleaner brush and only costs $3.99.
You can hold on to plastic hangers for a long time, but eventually, they’re going to crack or break and end up in a landfill. Wooden hangers look so much more sophisticated anyway. This set of 20 Topline Classic Wood Shirt Hangers is available online for less than $25.
There are also stainless steel hangers you can buy if you’re going for a more minimalist look. These hangers won’t break under the stress of heavy sweaters.
Glass Meal Prep Containers
Meal prep is a great way to eat more sustainably and more healthily. You don’t have to use plastic meal prep containers, though. These glass meal prep containers cost $23.99 for a set of 5, so you can have a different container for every day of the work week.
These containers also look a lot more attractive than plastic containers. There are also sets of stainless steel food containers that you can buy. I’ve seen a trio of stainless steel containers online for $25.70.
Glass Food Storage Containers
While you’re online getting your meal prep containers, you might as well stock up on some glass food storage containers as well. Now you can store everything from salads to fruit to leftovers in class containers without dealing with messy plastic Tupperware.
This 18 piece set is available on Amazon for $34.55. It looks way better in a drawer than a bunch of mismatched takeout boxes and yogurt containers.
Compostable Garbage Bags
Another way you might be overusing plastic that you may not even be aware of is with plastic garbage bags. Stop buying plastic garbage bags and start buying compostable garbage bags instead. These are way better for the environment because they will break down over time.
You can get a pack of 50 UNNI Certified 100% Compostable Bags for $15.95 online. Do your part to take care of our planet.
A Bamboo Cutting Board
Bamboo cutting boards are super durable and this Organic Bamboo Cutting Board even comes with a juice groove so juices won’t run all over your countertops.
This board only costs $19.97, and it’s going to look way nicer in your kitchen than a plastic cutting board. There are all kinds of wooden cutting boards on the market right now, but bamboo cutting boards last the longest. Make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck.
A Metal Juicer
This Chef’s Star Citrus Juicer is available on Amazon for $21.99. You could just squeeze lemons and limes with your hands, but if you make lemonade pretty often, or if you cook with citrus a lot, you might want to invest in an actual juicer.
When you’re finished squeezing all the juice out of your lemons and limes, make sure to compost the rinds. This squeezer also serves as an alternative to prepackaged lemon juice in plastic bottles.
A Bamboo Brush
So much of the plastic you use every day goes totally unnoticed. I didn’t even think about my hairbrush being plastic until I saw this bamboo hair brush on Amazon for $8.99. This brush is designed to drain water and allow air circulation, so your hairbrush can last longer.
A brush like this would look super stylish on your vanity or bathroom counter, and I think it’s very Instagrammable. It’s definitely nicer than a plastic brush.
Stainless Steel Food Storage
If you have young kids who don’t know how to handle glass containers carefully, these stainless steel food storage containers are a great alternative. These are great for picnics, snacks on the go, or long plane rides.
Basically, these containers are great for travel because they’re durable and easy to clean. You can find this set of four stainless steel food storage containers on Amazon for $29.95.
Silicone Ice Cube Trays
Silicone is a little bit more durable and useful than plastic. That’s why you should invest in some silicone ice cube trays. They’re flexible and pop-resistant, and can be used for so much more than water, such as the frozen cocktail adornments shown in the photo.
Since these trays are made out of silicone you can actually bake in them if you want to make some tiny ice cube shaped cupcakes or something.
A Bamboo Drawer Organizer
Bamboo looks pretty in your home, but that’s not its only function. This drawer organizer is made out of bamboo and it can actually expand to fit almost any drawer in your home.
It’s more attractive than plastic and you can use it in your kitchen, office, bedroom, or storage room. You can find this Bellemain 100% Pure Bamboo Expandable Drawer Organizer on Amazon for $25.95. I think I need one for every drawer in my house.