It is my life force, my blood. Coffee sets my day to meet pressing deadlines and hit my goals. It is the perfect libation for morning exchanges with my tribe.
Year round I crave different variations from nutty espresso shots, foamy cappuccinos, sweet pumpkin spice latte’s, and peppermint mochas.
Summer heat calls for iced java.
Chilly winter days are no match for this cuppa of comfort. I’m not the only one either, 50% of Americans over the age of 18 years (that is 150 million) drink coffee every day. But I digress. This is not a musing about how delicious coffee is.
Disposable cups litter my coffee experience. Specifically the plastic in the cup invades my caffeine daydream.
Here are the facts
Disposable coffee cup waste is an issue that is often overlooked.
So many to-go cups are piling up in the environment!
In the United States alone,400 million cups of coffee are consumed per day. About 16 billion disposable coffee cups are used each year.
Very few waste recycling centers can recycle all these cups. They need to be heat and leak proof ergo the paper with a plastic lining.
Due to these components disposable cups are very hard to repurpose.
Still major coffee chains promote these cups as recyclable. Consumers with good intentions, toss the cups in the recycle bin.
In reality, we have been building mountains of cups in the landfill.
Recyclable cup—not really!
A lot of companies pride themselves on using recyclable take away cups. Yet fail at actually recycling them.
Only about 1% of disposable cups are recycled.
The material is paper that is bonded to plastic, and cannot be processed at a run-of-the-mill recycling center. Contamination by drink liquids is another factor to contend with.
Recycled materials often get rejected because they cannot be reconstituted into a sanitary product.
What about compostable cups?
Compostable cups are a great answer, IF they are being disposed of properly.
However, many wind up getting sorted into the wrong bin.
A compostable cup is designed to breakdown in the environment.
This material will also contaminate the recyclables. Again, the recyclable material may be rejected and pushed to the landfill.
An eco-friendly coffee cup is empowering and just might get you a free coffee! Fortunately, many companies are rising to the plastic crisis, making to-go coffee zero-waste.
Which is the best?
Keepcup is a barista standard, sustainable, to-go cup.
Insert this reusable cup for all your coffee-on-the-go needs. It is a fun way to drink coffee and show you care for the world.
The company has a nature-first mentality while creating a fully customizable drinking cup. There are so many varieties to choose from. You are sure to make even the snobbiest of coffee connoisseurs go green.
It all came about in 2007, when founders Jamie and Abigail Forsyth opened a café.
They witnessed intensifying disposable cup waste in their shop. After realizing the plastic in 20 disposable coffee cups could be used for 1 reusable cup, the company start a plan into action to reduce waste.
Together they designed the refillable Keepcup. It is a cup for the customer, the barista, and the earth.
Fast-forward to now and they have a thriving global business with major shipping hubs in Australia, the UK, and the USA.
The Keepcup way
Reducing their carbon footprint is all in the mission.
The plastics and silicone used are BPA/BPS free. The website operates with full disclosure of all their chosen materials.
It has been such a handy thing for my busy day. It is made of tempered clear glass, with an espresso colored lid and a cream-colored grip band.
I went with glass because it is easier to clean and it is less plastic in my life. Plus it has durability that is built to last. If you explore the shop they have a plethora of colors and styles to fit you.
Grande Vanilla Latte for…
With this cup in tow there is no guessing what size coffee I am buying. Likewise, barista’s never have to adjust the amount they are pouring.
Keepcup sizing mirrors common cup sizes ranging from espresso cups to bubble teas.
When it is time for a deep clean Keepcup is safe to go in the dishwasher. Per their cleaning instructions, I take off the lid/plastic band and put everything on the top rack. If the grip or the lid ever wears out, replacement parts are readily available.
Bonus! Discounts! No Tax!
The best part of choosing to use a sustainable Keep cup is the markdown. Many coffee shops offer discounts or extra points for bringing a refillable cup.
Starbucks has offered a discount since opening. Sadly only 1.8%, of all their drinks sold are in a reusable cup. Some companies are beginning to charge a cup tax or fee.
The trick to recycling toothpaste containers is to shred them up, clean them, separate the materials, and then finally, recycle.
There is a chance that your local recycling facility has the capability to do this, but it is always best to check ahead of time. You do not want to risk contaminating the whole bin of recycling!
Harmful Chemicals in Many Toothpaste Formulas
Besides packaging, there are other reasons why many toothpastes are often times, not sustainable products.
Many formulas contain harmful ingredients that are potentially hazardous to humans, plants, and animals.
One common ingredient that is found in most toothpastes you will find in traditional stores is Triclosan.
This is typically added to products to help reduce bacterial contamination. Although that is a great idea in theory, it is known to be carcinogenic and harmful to the endocrine system.
Europe has banned many applications of this chemical. Many people still debate over whether or not it is harmful, but research has proven that it is. No thank you!
Another popular culprit in many toothpastes and other beauty products is Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (referred to as SLS). It is a surfactant, which means that it helps to evenly disperse the ingredients within the mixture.
It gets worse:
Often times, SLS is contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, which is a byproduct of the manufacturing process.
Research has shown that is most probably carcinogenic. It also aggravates gums, which makes literally no sense to include in a product you use in your mouth.
Fluroide; the most controversial dental ingredient out there.
Many dentists recommend using Fluoride toothpastes because it has an unique ability to prevent tooth decay. In fact, it has been widely added to our water supply for years.
Here’s the deal:
Fluoride is naturally occurring. It can be found in air, soil, plants, rocks, fresh water, sea water, and even some of our foods. It helps with the mineralization of bones and teeth, which helps make them hard and strong.
So, what’s so wrong with that?
Well, over the past few years, there has been more research into the consequences of the excessive intake of Fluoride.
It can cause Fluorosis, which is basically just excessive mineralization of bones.
Here’s what happens:
You can get either dental or skeletal Fluorosis.
Dental Fluorosis basically just visually affects your teeth causing white spots to form.
Skeletal Fluorosis is a little bit more severe.
Here’s the break down:
Skeletal Fluorosis occurs when there is an excessive accumulation of fluoride on your bones. This will causes stiffness and joint pain. Advanced cases can even alter your bone structure and calcify your ligaments.
So many beauty, food, and cleaning products contain palm oil, and toothpastes are no exception.
Palm oil is in virtually everything and the production of it is harming some of the most sensitive habitats on this planet.
I want you to think for a second about the nature of toothpaste.
We use it, spit it into our sinks, it gets washed down the drain, and into our waterways. If these ingredients are toxic to humans, they are definitely harming the environment as well.
Although many of these ingredients are up for debate, much of the research shows that Triclosan, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Fluoride, and Palm Oil are probably harmful to humans, the environment, and animals.
I personally prefer products that do not include these ingredients for this reason.
So, now that you know the truth about toothpaste, you may be wondering, “what are my other options?!”
Luckily, there are a bunch of zero waste toothpastes out there.
You really do not have to look too far to find them. In fact, today I will be sharing my favorites with you!
Let’s get to it:
My Favorite Zero Waste Toothpaste
All of the following products have been chosen with you and the planet in mind. I’ve tried them all and I like them for different reasons.
They are all eco-friendly, natural, and zero waste.
Here are my top picks:
1. DIY Solution
The easiest way to stay away from unnecessary packaging and lurking, harmful chemicals in products is to just make it yourself! It may take a little bit of extra time, but it is way more economical and eco-friendly.
Here’s how to do it:
This was one of the first zero waste DIY recipes I tried when I started transitioning into a plastic-free lifestyle.
All you need is:
–2 Tbsp. of coconut oil
–1 Tbsp. of bentonite clay
-1 Tsp. of xylitol
–1 Tsp. of baking soda
–15-20 drops of peppermint essential oil (for taste)
Mix all of these ingredients together, and voila!
You have your own toothpaste.
If you prefer tooth powder over paste, leave out the coconut oil.
Find a cute, reusable jar and store your DIY zero waste toothpaste in there.
Here’s the best part:
Once you run out, just make more and use the same container.
By using containers over and over again, you are doing your part by not contributing to the production of packaging waste.
I love DIY zero waste products because you know exactly what is going into it and there are no mystery ingredients.
This particular DIY is a staple for me. I often times purchase zero waste toothpaste, but if I have enough time, I’ll just whip up this recipe instead.
If you are particular about your toothpaste, chances are Georganics will have something that suits you.
This company challenges the use of bad chemicals in our oral care products. After the founder started making natural toothpaste products for himself and his friends, he decided to start Georganics.
Check it out:
This company promises to actually use all natural ingredients. This means no scary Triclosan, SLS, or anything else.
Their products are locally crafted in small batches and are all packaged with materials that are intended to be waste free.
It gets better:
Georganics never tests on animals. By being cruelty-free, ethically-sourced, all-natural, and waste-free, they have become one of my favorite sustainable oral care companies. Check out some of their zero waste toothpastes:
If you check out their natural toothpaste section, you may be surprised to see that they carry seven different flavors including English Peppermint, Activated Charcoal, Spearmint, Orange, Tea Tree, Pure, and Eucalyptus.
Here’s the deal:
All of these toothpastes are all natural, which means they are fluoride-free and SLS free.
They are packaged in glass jars with aluminum lids, which can be reusedor recycled.
They come in a paper, compostable box.
Here’s my favorite part:
Since these toothpastes come in a jar, not a tube, you may be wondering how you apply the paste onto your toothbrush.
Well, Georganics provides you with a cute, little bamboo scoop so you can easily use it.
That bamboo scoop is compostable which makes this a complete zero waste toothpaste!
You can get 180 refill tablets in a completely recyclable cardboard box. They package the tabs in three bags of 60 tablets in compostable bags.
Put them into the jar and you are all ready to go!
Take it a step further:
Do you already have some jars lying around? You can skip the starter kit and just buy the refill kit. Talk about zero waste toothpaste!
You’ll be getting sustainability points from me if you try out this method.
Although tabs are a little different than your more traditional paste, I really love them because you never have to worry about using too much product. It is already measured out for you! They are also great for traveling!
This helps you use up every single ounce of product, which helps a great deal with recycling. You can opt out of receiving another tube roller if you decide to purchase again (which you probably will because this toothpaste rocks).
Not only is the fully aluminum tube more sustainable, but wow, it sure is pretty, too! The sleek design of the tube with Davids trendy, minimal branding make this a super aesthetically pleasing zero waste toothpaste.
Remember that laundry list of scary chemicals I rambled on about before? Well, don’t worry.
Davids all-natural toothpaste does not include any of those! Yup, fluoride-free, SLS-free, and palm oil free!
Davids vows not to use artificial flavors, sweeteners, colors, or preservatives. They use a premium blend of essential oils in order to make their toothpaste minty.
They provide refills, so you can keep reusing your jar! Their blend of activated charcoal and peppermint floss tastes so great, keeps your teeth healthy, and helps you live a plastic-free life. Love it!
What good is zero waste toothpaste if you are putting it on a plastic toothbrush?
EcoRoots is a great one-stop-shop for anything zero waste related.
I know that I have given you a lot of information about sustainable toothpastes today, but if there’s one thing you take away, just remember that plastic-free, all-natural products are the way to go for a healthy future for both ourselves and the planet.
No matter which brand of zero waste toothpastes you decide to try, just know that you are doing your part. Thank you!
it is eco-friendly because it eliminates plastic waste;
you get a closer shave so you do not have to go all cave-woman for climate change;
you don’t have to break the bank doing it.
Gillete Venus Says…
If you are following manufacturers recommendations then your disposable razor does not sit in your shower for long.
Am I right?
Well, Gillete Venus endorses only using their disposable razor 5-10 times. This is due to the potential for bacteria growth and moisture causing rust. Both are harmful to you. This health and safety measure means a lot of discarded razors.
In the 1990’s The Environmental Protection agency released a startling statistic. America produced 2 billion plastic razors.
A more recent report revealed that in 2018, 163 million consumers in the United States used disposable razors.
Where is that plastic going?
The disposable razor is NOT sustainable.
There is no simple way to recycle plastic razors. It is a small device with a complex design.
The contemporary razor blends metal and plastic and does not disassemble easily. This makes recycling difficult. The metal blade poses serious health risks to those handling the device.
Not to mention it is time-consuming. Suffice it to say, most recycling centers do not find breaking down razors profitable.
So if you toss it in the recycling bin, odds are it is sorted and sent to the landfill.
There is some good news!
While you are transitioning to areusable razor, you can participate in Terracycle’s program to recycle the last of your plastic razors.
Check to see if a recycling box is located near you!
Or check to see if your local recycling center will properly break it down. Some do! Fair warning though, continuing the cycle of buying plastic and recycling is a band-aid on a festering razor burn.
Zero-waste shaving with a reusable razor
Safety razors are reusable razors often misperceived as dangerous.
Many women have scenes of Carrie flashing in their head. Bear in mind the word “safe.” These are not straight razors found in Barbershops and Salons. They are in fact very similar to their plastic counterparts.
They were first invented in 1901. They have made a comeback due to their durability, sustainability and close shave.
Safety razors are made with a strong polished metal.
The design allows for disposable metal blades to be inserted under a protective housing. Making for a safe and smooth shave.
I was paying that every couple of months. I never have to worry about replacing the actual razor because it has a high polished finish, preventing rust. This rose-goldreusable razor will probably outlast me.
I knowshavingwith a safety razor seems intimidating; it was for me, at first. Like all new things practice makes perfect.
It differs from shaving with disposable razors in a couple ways.
Some plastic razors are designed with rotating heads, so they sculpt around your body.
This safety razordoes not have a rotating head.
Hold the ergonomic handle and place the razor edgeflush against your skin. The razor should make a 30-degree angle to the area you are shaving. Practice by touching the rounded top of the razor to your skin.
With the handle sticking straight up, rock down to find that angle. Another notable variation is pressure.
The razor head is weighted to give the perfect amount of pressure as you glide along. Don’t press too hard; in fact minimal effort is needed.
A closer shave
Ladies, let’s get into the nitty-gritty details of shaving with a safety razor.
To change bladeshold the sides of the head with your thumb and forefinger. With the other hand unscrew the handle out completely.
The blade is snuggled between the curved top and the blade holder that screws to the handle. Set the head of the razor down, with the bottom of the blade holder handle-side down. Take the rounded top off. By gripping the sides take the blade out.
Please note: used razor blades should go in a separate biohazard box. You can fashion one out of cardboard! Don’t forget to recycle.
Put a new blade on top of the blade holder by matching the handle hole with the middle of the blade. The rounded top goes back on, and the handle screws back in.
If only we would have known the repercussions of its’ existence.
Hindsight is 20/20. In any event, it is 2019 and plastic is everywhere.
Look around you, how many types of plastic do you see?
How much of that plastic can be recycled? If it cannot be recycled, then it will end up buried in the landfill for thousands of years. Or worse it could get shipped overseas to another country, tasked to deal with it.
Or even worse, it could wind up in the ocean suffocating our precious aquatic ecosystem.
Say goodbye to plastic razors
Take action on the individual level.
Make small changes to live a zero-waste lifestyle.
Here is one that is easy. Start aplastic-free shaving routine.
Switching to a reusable razor gives you a few more notches in that climate hero belt. For a limited time only you can help the world.
Be Mother Natures’ saving grace! End her suffering while simultaneously being ” Venus “, full of fire and desire. Try a safety razor for woman.
It is an impactful step towards living sustainably.
First of all, it’s difficult to find skincare products that aren’t plastic packaged.
Nod if you agree with me.
Secondly, it’s even more difficult to find one that doesn’t contain any plastic, palm oil, and harmful chemicals.
Lastly, it’s a miracle if you find a product that works for your skin type at all.
I’m sure you’ve been there.
You think, “Finally, a product that’s responsibly sourced and all-natural,” only to find out that it is horrible for your oily skin. Yikes!
Don’t let this be you.
Lucky for you (and me), the YayForEarth sensitive skin face lotions works for all skin types. Yes, you read that right. ALL SKIN TYPES!
I’ve had this lotion for a few weeks now and use it twice a day as recommended–once in the morning and once at night. Simple enough.
If you choose, you can still apply makeup and/or sunscreen on top of it, or go bare and show off your glowing skin.
And the best part?
It’s made of only olive oil, beeswax, organic shea butter, and organic pomegranate seed oil.
That’s all? Yes.
No harmful chemicals. No unknown ingredients. All natural.
Surprisingly enough, the lotion doesn’t make my skin feel greasy even though it has an oil base.
I’m always scared of oil-based moisturizers for this exact reason, but I’m glad I took a risk on this one. I have spent way too much money and time on face moisturizers that either just dry out my skin or irritate it.
Remember those ingredients made of harsh chemicals in commercial face lotions? You guessed it. Your skin absorbs those chemicals and seep into your body.
The scary part is some of these chemicals pretend to be hormones.
In a nutshell,these pretend hormones mess up our hormone systems.
Are you getting horrible flashbacks to high school physiology? No worries.
I can help explain.
The system that controls our hormones is called our endocrine system. It regulates pretty much everything in our bodies from body temperature to reproductive organ functions.
See where I’m going with this?
So when chemicals in cosmetics enter our bloodstream, our bodies get confused. Our bodies get thrown into chaos. We call these chemicals endocrine-disrupting chemicals. The simple truth is, we should not be using products that contain these chemicals.
Looking for a plastic free shop for all your needs?
You know there are sustainable, plastic-free products out there, but do you ever have a hard time finding exactly what you are looking for?
Boy, do I have something to share with you.
Check it out:
Eco Roots is your one-stop shop to everything plastic-free, reusable, and eco-friendly.
Do you need some new sustainable beauty, home, or kitchen products? Seriously, this zero waste store has you covered. Not on board yet?
The world generates at least 3.5 million tons of plastic and other solid waste each and every day. Yikes!
Do not be alarmed:
We have the ability to change our habits. We do not have to contribute to this statistic. By choosing to consume less plastic and invest in reusable, long-lasting products, you are making a huge, positive impact on the world.
It gets better:
Eco Roots makes pursuing a plastic-free life so much easier. It has been a huge resource for me in my own transition towards living a more sustainable life. Curious to how this plastic-free shop came about?
Here’s the back story:
Eco Rootswas founded by a nature-loving couple that became bothered by the realization that plastic was taking over their lives and the world around them.
Believing that change comes from within, they started this plastic-free shop to inform people on the reality of plastic consumption and it’s negative effects.
Although there is a rising surge of plastic-free products out on the market, Eco Roots is unique and different.
I hate when I purchase an “eco-friendly” product online just to receive it packaged in styrofoam and covered in plastic. It is such an oxymoron. However, when Eco Roots says “plastic-free”, they really mean it.
Here’s the deal:
There is not a single product in Eco Root’s shop that has even an ounce of plastic in it. All of the materials of each and every product are carefully considered. All products can either biodegrade or be completely recycled. This means using materials like stainless steel and bamboo.
It gets even better:
Their mission does not just end there. Eco Roots is committed to using plastic-free packing materials, as well. Many companies use things like polyethylene plastic bags, plastic packing tape, and styrofoam peanuts to protect their products during shipping. This does not have to be the case.
Eco Roots is not like other companies. They are committed to getting rid of plastic in packaging materials.
That is why they use cardboard, craft paper tape, cornstarch peanuts and recycled paper to ship their products. All of these materials are compostable or recyclable.
Finally, a completely plastic-free store!
We are so accustomed to seeing plastic everywhere, that it may be hard to imagine products without it. One example of a product that has been reimagined by Eco Roots are their shampoo bars.
All of their products are affordable, well-designed, and will help you live a more sustainable life.
Eco Roots is a honest company providing people with plastic-free and natural alternatives to their favorite products. You have to check it out!
2. Ocean Conservancy Efforts
The ocean is one of the greatest wonders of the world. It is full of so many amazing ecosystems that include a wide array of plants and animals. Many of us feel a great sense of awe from the ocean.
Most humans love going to the beach. We love swimming, snorkeling, and taking the sights in. There is nothing like being near the sea. If we love the ocean so much, then why are we polluting it every single day?
Every year, about 8 million tons of plastic find their way into the oceans. That is the equivalent of setting five garbage bags full of trash on every foot on coastline around the world.
There is a positive:
Organizations and small companies like Eco Roots want to help clean up our oceans. Not only does Eco Roots prevent waste from going into our ocean by creating zero waste products, but they take it a step further:
Eco Roots donates a small part of each and every sale to Ocean Conservancy.
Here’s what they do:
Ocean Conservancy is an organization that is committed to protect the ocean from climate change and pollution. They use their funding to create science-based solutions for a healthy ocean and the wildlife and communities that depend on it. They also organize global coastal clean ups.
Though their coastal clean ups, Ocean Conservancy has collected314 millions pounds of trash since 1986. There has been over 15 million volunteersthat have helped with these kind of projects.
Isn’t that awesome?
We really can make a change when we come together.
Ocean Conservancy wants to make people aware that our trash is harming marine life and polluting our water. Tackling this problem begins on land, with us making small changes in our life.
They say that by reducing our plastic intake, especially of single-use plastic products, we can significantly reduce the amount of trash funneling into the ocean. Well, there is an easy way to do that.
Invest in reusable products so you do not have to use single-use plastics. Eco Roots makes that simple by offering a ton of plastic-free, zero wasteproducts!
You could also try this stainless steel tumblr so you no longer have to use single-use cups. It’s so easy and better for the planet.
I love Eco Roots!
3. High Quality Products
I would not be hyping up this company if I did not personally love their products. Seriously, every product is such great quality! It makes perfect sense and is in line with their mission.
Think about it:
Right now, we are are living in a “throw away culture.” It is the norm to use single-use items or to constantly have to replace cheap, low-quality products.
It does not have to be this way:
If we invest in high-quality products, they will last longer and we will feel less inclined to replace them.
When we do this we are creating less waste and helping the planet!
One product that Eco Roots carries that really demonstrates this idea is their Rose Gold Safety Razor. This razor may be a little bit more money than you normally spend on razors, but it will last you forever.
Not only is it gorgeous, but it also feels comfortable in your hand and really gets a great shave. Keep using the razor handle and just replace the cheap, recyclable stainless steel blades when it gets dull.
Think about it:
Byinvesting in this awesome razor that almost feels more like a art object rather than a product you use every day, you are really helping the planet by creating less waste. It will last you for such a long time!
It’s really a win-win solution.
We are used to cheap, replaceable, and disposable products.
We need to rewire our brains to think more broadly and smartly about the things we value and consume. If we want to combat climate change and reduce the pollution of our planet, this transition is integral.
Eco Roots reminds us that there was a time in human history that we lived fine without plastic. Our grandparents and our ancestors before them used to use reusable bags and shopped local before all of this plastic nonsense was invented.
We did it before and we can do it again.
If you love our planet and want to leave it healthy and beautiful for generations to come, I invite you to step up and do your part.
Seriously, it really is not that hard. By investing in reusable rather than replaceable, you are making strides in generating less pollution.
Let’s do it together:
Try to analyze the products you choose to consume and think about how you can improve your daily habits to be more sustainable.
Eco Rootsis a great resource in making this transition.
With that, I would like to leave you with this Native American proverb:
“We do not inherit the Earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.”
Let’s make this world a better place. Thank you for reading!
Our Earth needs all of our help now more than ever. If we want to prevent the catastrophes of climate change from taking place, we all need to chip in and do our part.
Here’s what you can do:
Everyday is an opportunity to make a positive change in the world.
We can easily live more sustainability by reducing our consumption of plastic and implementing moreeco-friendly alternatives into our daily lives.
Let’s break it down:
There is a lot of different areas of our lives to consider when trying to pursue a zero waste goal. That’s why I like to break it down and focus in on tiny sections. It makes it all seem more manageable.
What if I told you that just by switching up your laundryroutine, you could help the planet tremendously? Yes, just your laundry routine alone can make a huge impact on the Earth!
Many traditional detergentsdo not completely biodegrade. They also contain phosphates, which build up in waterways. Additionally, these build ups can cause big algae blooms which then deprive fish and plants of oxygen.
Besides contaminating rivers and oceans with toxic heavy metals like cadmium and arsenic, traditional detergents are almost always packaged in plastic. Many times, these containers are not reusable or recyclable.
This is making a huge negative impact on the environment.
You may start to wonder, “How do I avoid this?” Walking down the laundry aisle in your local store might feel like a daunting task.
Plastic! Chemicals! Everywhere!
There are a ton of companies out there that are realizing that there need to be big changes to the way the laundry detergent industry operates. These are solutions out there that do not use harmful chemicals or plastic.
Today, I would like to share with you my top three zero waste laundry detergents.
Let’s get into it:
My Top 4 Zero Waste Laundry Detergents
All of the solutions that I am going to share with you today are completely plastic-free. They also are free of any toxic chemicals that are harmful to the environment. Thank god!
For each product, I will tell you about why I personally love it, why it is more sustainable, and how to dispose of it.
Works in all washing machines, including HE. Front loads or top loads.
Help keep 700,000,000 plastic jugs out of landfills per year
This is why EcoRoots Eco-Strips laundry detergent has a dramatically smaller eco-footprint than liquid and powder detergents. Its packaging uses less plastic, and its lightweight reduces transportation fuel consumption and global-warming carbon emissions by 94% compared to today’s leading-brand liquid and powder detergent. Not only are EcoRoots Eco-Strips incredibly convenient, but are also hypoallergenic, vegan friendly, and paraben-free and are gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin. Really love this plastic-free laundry option. Clean clothes, clean planet, what is not to love?
It was the first plastic-free detergent I ever came by, so I was impressed that it came in a cardboard box.
Dropps comes in a box of 160 pre-measured laundry pods. I love pods because there’s no measuring or possibility of spills. It makes doing laundry that much easier!
It’s so simple:
Just pop in a pod with a load of laundry. They are super versatile. They work with virtually all washers, including standard and high efficiency washing machines. In addition, they also work with all fabrics and colors.
Dropps’ core belief is that customers can have it all. Their product is economical, safe, effective, and convenient. This is a completely clean solution, which means that it is safe for humans and the environment. It’s called convenience with a conscience.
Dropps is more sustainable because the exterior of the pod is actually plant-based. This means that it is natural and environmentally-friendly. Since it is plant-based, it is completely biodegradable and will not harm any of our waterways.
It gets better:
The Dropps formula is free of harsh chemicals. It is enzyme-free, NPE-free, Phosphate-free, and chlorine-free, meaning that it will not pollute the water or cause algae blooms.
In addition, because it is so natural, it also is very gentle and great for sensitive skin. I love it!
Since Dropps is committed to being clean, it only comes naturally that they also are cruelty-free. They never test on animals and actually have made it onto PETA’s official list of cruelty-free products.
It get’s better:
Once the package is empty and you have used up all of your pods, you do not have to contribute to landfill trash.
Unlike many detergents that are made from non-recyclable plastic, Droppspackaging is made from cardboard. It can either berecycled or composted.
The world is full of amazing, magical things. Seriously, I learn something new everyday and am constantly being stunned by Earth’s bountiful beauty. Have you ever heard of soap nuts?
Here’s the deal:
Soap nuts are the dried husk of the soapberry nut. These berries contain a natural soap called Saponin. Since the soapberry nut is actually really classified as a berry, it is safe for people who may have nut allergies.
One of my favorite zero waste laundry detergents is NaturOli.
In fact, this product is not really a detergent at all.
This company uses the amazing natural cleaning properties of the soapberry nut as a laundry cleaning agent.
Here’s how it works:
NaturOli is sold in four pound bags of soapberries. This is the equivalent to 960 loads of laundry!
Seriously, it will last you for a few years. I originally fell in love with this product just because of how unique and clever it is.
It’s quite simple to use:
Put 5-6 nuts in the cloth bag that is provided. Throw it into the laundry and wash your clothes just as you normally do. Guess what! The nuts can actually be reused for 6-10 more loads. Once they start to become soft and grey, they should be swapped out for new ones.
Since soap nuts come from a plant and have no additives, they are naturally chemical-free. They are safe, economical, hypoallergenic, and biodegradable. They are great for people with allergies or sensitive skin.
Not only is NaturOlimore sustainable because it contains no harsh or polluting chemicals, but it is also are completely waste-free.
Once the berries start to get soft, simply compost them. They are packaged in a muslin sack which can bereused or composted.
I have one more sustainable laundry soap to share with you guys!
This one is called TerraWash. This is a technology that originated in Japan.
I love it because of how simple and reusable it is.
Here’s the deal:
TerraWash is a small reusable packet filled with a balls of magnesium. It is a great alternative to regular laundry detergent. The ions in the magnesium cause a catalytic reaction, which helps wash the clothing.
That means that even if you did laundry every single day, this would last you a year! It is very economical and also safe for the environment.
Here’s how it is sustainable:
Magnesium is completely chemical-free, so it will not pollute our waterways. It also requires less water than ordinary detergents and contains absolutely no toxins.
It works great:
The laundry sachet is fragrance-free, so it is perfect for those with sensitive skin. Even though it is odorless, it is great at removing bad smells from clothing. It also works on all types of clothing, fabrics, and colors.
Since magnesium is naturally antibacterial, Terrawash is great at keeping your laundry machine clean and fresh. No more weird smells here!
The outer packaging is made of cardboard, so it can be recycled or composted. The magnesium in Terrawash will eventually all dissolve. The outer sachet can be composted.
Terrawash is great if you live in a small place because it does not take up a lot of room. I always recommend it to my friends because it is easy, sustainable, and economical. I hope that you try it out!
All of these solutions are chemical-free, zero waste, and sustainable. Choose whichever one fits your lifestyle best!
Dropps is great because it is similar to the pod method many people are already familiar with, but it uses way more eco-friendly materials. The pre-measured pods make doing laundry very easy and are very straight forward.
TruEarth is great because is very affordable and gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin. 100% plastic-free, vegan, free of chemicals, and compostable packaging. When you use Tru Earth Eco-Strips, you will really feel confident that you are taking care of your family, and their future on this planet.
I love NaturOli because soap nuts come literally straight from the Earth. There is no additional processing and it is all biodegradable. I think that this is a really clever and sustainable solution for someone looking to change things up.
Terrawash is great because it can be reused so many times. This is great for someone who does not really like doing their laundry because it is so easy. Seriously, it will completely transform your laundry routine!
I hope after reading about these zero waste laundry detergents, you will consider washing away your old habits of using polluting, chemical detergents and attempt to try a new sustainable alternative.
Dental Lace – one easy step to live more sustainable.
I bet that when you think about your habits regarding personal waste, dental hygiene is not the first thing that comes to mind.
There’s more to it:
If you have been on the zero waste bus for some time now, chances are bamboo toothbrushes and alternative, plastic-free toothpaste products are already on your radar, but there are other things to consider.
If everyone in the United States flossed the amount recommended by the American Dental Association, we would have enough landfill waste to fill a six story high football field in just a year.
That is 2.18 billion dispensers of floss!
You may be wondering:
How exactly does one floss their teeth without consuming plastic? If you were to investigate the dental hygiene aisle at your local store, you would find plastic floss housed in plastic dispensers sold right next to those ungodly daily disposable plastic picks.
You may think, “Should I just boycott flossing?”
No!Flossing is an important part of a good daily dental hygiene routine. It promotes healthy gums, prevents tooth decay, and helps remove plaque. So what is the alternative?!
It is simple:
Dental Lace! To put it simply, Dental Lace is a product that defies the plastic bounds of traditional floss. It is a stylish, refillable solution that is completely plastic-free!
There really is virtually nothing negative about Dental Lace.
I recommend to everyone I know who is trying to transform their lives to be more eco-friendly.
Here are my top reasons why I love Dental Lace:
1. Refillable System
I have definitely said it before, but I adore refillable systems.
Remember reduce, reuse, recycle? We often forget that you are supposed to apply these principles in order and I think refillable systems are a great way of reducing our impact.
You may be wondering:
How does it work?
Well, upon your first purchase, you will buy one of the sets that contain the reusable Dental Lace container and floss. Once you use it all up, you can just buy floss refills and put them in your empty container.
Not only is it more sustainable, but it saves you money as well! The packaging can and will last you for years to come.
2. Floss Material
Okay, so we spoke before about how flosses are made from plastic, but what exactly is Dental Lace made of?
Dental Lace is made from 100% Mulberry Silk.
It also has a Candelilla wax coating, which is plant-based and therefore, vegan. You get 33 yards of it per spool, which lasts a good amount of time.
The good news is that the floss is compostable, making it zero waste. Dental Lace also sells this adorable little table top composting bin which is perfect for your discarded floss and any other compostable bathroom trash.
There is more:
Many traditional floss manufacturers coat their product with a Teflon-like substance that contains PFCs. They do this to allow the floss the easily glide between your teeth and reduce bleeding of the gums.
So what is so bad about that?
PFCs may add beneficial properties to the product, but they are in fact, toxic chemicals. Yes, floss manufacturers are literally poisoning us.
The continued use of products that contain these chemicals has been linked to thyroid disease, hormone instability, immune system damage, ADHD, impaired reproduction, and fetal development problems. Yikes!
Don’t worry, Dental Lace does not use PFCs or any other toxic chemicals in their product. Just safe, healthy flossing!
3. Packaging Materials
Since this product is 100% zero waste, all packaging materials are non-plastic and are either recyclable or compostable.
Here is the breakdown:
The container that holds the floss in is glass. It can be reused, repurposed, or recycled. The topis made of stainless steel, which can be recycled.
Oh, I forgot to mention! The lid has a built-in cutter, so flossing every morning is very easy.
When your Dental Lace arrives, it will be packaged in cardboard. Luckily, this means that it can be composted or recycled. Also, the floss comes in a small, compostable bag that is made from the lactic acid in plants.
The packaging materials are completely zero waste! It is so easy to transform our dental hygiene routines to be more eco-friendly.
Jodi Breau, the founder of Dental Lace, actually had the idea for this product while first considering aesthetics, not the environment. One day after lunch, she was flossing and was thinking about how someone should make a prettier floss container, so she did it!
The containers of Dental Lace come in all different colors and designs. They are all so beautiful and there is definitely a style for everyone out there. Dental Lace containers are way more stylish than traditional floss.
It gets better:
Once Jodi found out about how floss is negatively impacting the environment, she decided to make a product that was both aesthetically pleasing and eco-friendly. Dental Lace rocks!
5. Price Point
Floss is pretty cheap, and Dental Lace is no different. The first pack that you buy that includes the container is only $13.99.
Refills that contain two spools of floss are only $9.99.
Think about it:
It may be slightly more expensive than regular, conventional floss, but you will have some peace of mind knowing you are doing something positive for the environment and yourself!
Remember, Dental Lace is toxic-free and also comes in a pretty container.
It is totally worth it!I love flossing with zero-waste.
When I told some friends that I have been flossing my teeth with silk, they were intrigued. How does it taste?How does it feel?
Well, it is quite similar to regular floss. It feels just like it. It’s waxed and minty. The flavor is super fresh and keeps your breath smelling great. It’s flavored with natural mint flavors. I love it!
Dental Lace: The Very Few Cons
There are so many amazing factors of Dental Lace, but with every great thing, there have to be some drawbacks.
Stay with me:
The only negative thing that I can find about this product is that since it is made of silk, it technically is not vegan.
Dental Lace recently realized that they were not appealing to vegans, so they added a new product to their website.
Like Dental Lace, the floss comes in a glass bottle with a stainless steel lid, so it is recyclable. All of the outer packaging is compostable kraft paper.
Transforming Our Lives to Be More
Let’s be real, compostable floss alone is not going to change the world. You know what will create real, impactful change, though?
All of our collective actions and efforts to live more sustainably is greater in total than the sum of each and every part. This is called synergy.
However, when we start to tell our friends and family about our efforts and they start catching onto these sustainable ways of living, the group really starts to make a positive impact.
These efforts may start to influence the way people think about consumption. It may eventually change the way that manufacturers make things. Eventually, it could even trickle up and influence people in positions of power, which can make institutional environmental changes.
Floss is a tiny, important part of our daily lives.
Waste free shampoo as an plastic-free alternative for your hair? Why not!
Haircare is a part of our daily routine. Styling, washing, conditioning, and even just brushing through the strands to remove tangles and knots that build up overnight or throughout the day.
Why do we do this?
Because we care about our hair, we want that thick, shining, luxurious hair from the commercials. We want those gorgeous waves that they promise us.
What we don’t think about is the cost at which we achieve these things. We are not thinking about what those shampoos are made of and what they are doing to our hair or what they are doing to the environment.
We remain ignorant of what is happening behind the scenes when these bottles are being mass-produced.
Choose waste free shampoo alternatives and be aware of how the products you consume affect our environment.
We are so conditioned to seeing shampoo come in little plastic bottles that we sometimes can’t see past it.
These bottles contain products that damage our hair rather than heal it and end up in landfills, which if measured for a year could fill1,164 football fields or more.
This type of hair care is detrimental to our hair and our environment, making it necessary to find waste free shampoo alternatives to maintain health.
Committing to a change will not be easy, but to help you, here are the top 5 waste free shampoo alternatives that I have discovered:
1. Bicarb And Vinegar
You may be more than a little hesitant to try this method, but I promise it works great for specific hair types (mainly those with curly hair).
You may ask why I thought of trying this, and honestly, it was a surprise to me too. I was unsure of what it might do to my hair and how it might react, but that later flew out the window once I began using it.
Once you’ve tried it, it may be hard to switch back after seeing the results.
First, you need to understand how much and how long the bicarb and vinegar should be left on your hair.
Technically, the bicarb is the shampoo replacement, and I use about a teaspoon to wash my hair. The vinegar is the conditioner, and I use approximately 1/8th cup of white vinegar diluted with warm water.
My hair is only about shoulder length so the portions may need to be adjusted for significantly longer or shorter hair.
Before use, I mix the bicarb with a little bit of water to make a watery solution, and then I rub it into my hair like regular shampoo, use the vinegar mix by pouring it gently through your hair and rinsing in less than a minute. Do this about every 3-5 days as necessary.
While the process is quite simple and the results are outstanding, I still get a lot of funny looks and a good bit of questions when I recommend it as a replacement for shampoo.
The most common question being:
“Won’t I smell like vinegar?“
No, you won’t. I understand why you might think so, but the white vinegar smell dissipates almost immediately while apple cider vinegar might take a little longer. If you’re really worried, just add 1-2 drops of essential oil to the vinegar rinse before using it.
They’re the perfect combination of eco-friendly and hair-friendly while allowing you to buy rather than make which is really helpful for those of us who don’t have that little extra time (or motivation) to try and create our shampoo and conditioner.
Go check this blog post for more information about zero waste shampoo bars.
But how is this better than regular shampoo?
It’s all about what it’s made of.
Shampoo and conditioner bars do not have plastic containers and are shipped in biodegradable cardboard packages – zero plastic involved.
The bars are sulfate-free, silicone-free, paraben-free, and are 100% vegan.
With their all-natural and organic ingredients, they’re able to be used entirely without leaving the soapy residue in our sewage system and tanks, making it better for the environment and better for the home. That’s not where the benefits stop.
These specific shampoo bars are coconut oil and cocoa butter based, leaving it an SLS-free shampoo bar that doesn’t strip the natural oils or color out of your hair.
It also contains sunflower oil which boosts shine and moisture and rose water, which has anti-inflammatory properties that help to heal sensitive scalps.
The bars are even super simple to use! You only need to massage the bar into wet hair to produce a creamy foam then rinse with water and follow up with a conditioning bar.
Just remember to leave the bar out to air dry, or you might go through it quicker than initially planned.
We’ve all bought our groceries in bulk from one of those waste-reducing bulk shopping stores, but have you ever thought of purchasing your non-perishables from one as well? No?
Let me enlighten you:
Buying in bulk using your containers means less waste overall.
Sure, it doesn’t completely eliminate the waste produced from using a shampoo that comes from the store. You still have the ingredients it uses, the process used to create the shampoo as well as the containers that they are stored in at the shopping center.
What it does mean is that you are effectively reducing the amount of waste produced when you’re shopping, especially if you’re reusing the same bottles each time.
The different shampoos and their benefits will depend on what the store carries, but hopefully, they have an all-natural, SLS-free option available that will keep your hair healthy.
If not, then choose the option that seems best for you.
The benefit of this method is that there is not much change to your usual hair care routine while there is a positive impact on the environment.
Here’s the easy way to do it:
Go shopping at one of your favorite stores to try and find a nice set of (preferably) glass bottles or dispensers that you can store you’re shampoo and conditioner in.
Try and make sure that they’re able to be stored easily in your shower and allow easy access (i.e., a nozzle or squirt top) to your shampoo. If you don’t, there is a good chance that you’ll become frustrated, give up, and switch back to the conventional shampoos.
Next, find a bulk shopping store. If the store is far away, take a larger container to fill rather than bringing your small ones.
Making one trip is less time consuming and having the extra at home will help you in the long run. After that, you’re all set!
4. DIY Dry Shampoo
What better way to reduce waste created by shampoo bottles than reducing your shampoo use?
Well, at least by cheating the system. The newest trend is all about using dry shampoo instead of washing your hair each day (which isn’t recommended anyway) and creating less waste.
It will be surprising to you how little your hair will be affected once you completely transition and give your hair time to adjust but to make sure that you keep your hair healthy, try a homemade natural shampoo.
¼ cup arrowroot powder or organic cornstarch OR two tablespoons arrowroot/cornstarch and two tablespoons cocoa powder
Five drops of essential oil in the scent of your choice
Old make-up brush for application and mixture
Mix the essential oil into the arrowroot or cornstarch and store it in a small jar or powder container.
When needed, apply with the make-up brush to the roots or oily parts of your hair. You don’t have to apply with the brush, but it makes it easier for use on styled hair and prevents you from having to comb through as much.
The best thing about this recipe is that it can be modified to be a wet/dry spray shampoo.
All you have to do is add 1 cup warm water and 1.4 cup vodka, rubbing alcohol, or witch hazel (depending on how risky you want to be with the scent). Put it all into a small spray bottle and apply it to your roots or on the oily parts of your hair. Let it air dry and then feel free to style as usual.
When trying this waste-free shampoo method, only use the arrowroot and not the cocoa powder recipe if you have blonde or light-colored hair.
Use the recipe with the cocoa powderif you have dark brown or black colored hair. Otherwise, you will see the powder or spray sitting where you have sprayed (or spread) it.
5. Avoid SLS Shampoo Products
One of the ingredients that you may or may not have been warned about: SLS, or sodium lauryl sulfate.
SLS is better known as the thing that makes your shampoo soapy and foamy.
It’s used tobreak the bonds between molecules in your hair, allowing the shampoo and your hair to interact more effectively, making it easier to remove dirt and oil from your hair.
So why are we avoiding it?
It’s a harsh cleaner.
SLS is a cleaner that is used in all sorts of cleaning products like toothpaste, mouthwashes, and garage-floor cleaners. Something used to that degree cannot be safe or healthy for your hair.
Sure, the cleaner removes the dirt from your hair and gives it a nice clean reset, but it also happens to strip the hair of its natural oilsmaking your hair dry and brittle and increases your heads irritation.
This is not exactly an alternative method, but it is one heck of a good reason to switch to an all-natural shampoo.
Why wouldn’t you want the best for your hair and scalp?
To Waste Free Shampoo
It’s time to break free from our conditioning and pick a waste free shampoo that works for us rather than what we are taught is best for our hair.
We need to realize what the ingredients of these products are doing to our hair and our environment and what we need to change to do better. It’s all about making choices that benefit us and the planet in the long run.
Reduce: In the United States, 1,500 plastic bottles are discarded every second. An easy way to avoid adding to this statistic is to carry around your own water bottle.
I love the Hydro Flask because it is simple and keeps your drink cold/hot for a very long time.
Reuse: Do not leave the house without this one! Refill over and over again with whatever beverage you like. Hand wash in between uses to keep it clean.
I always recommend this product to people who are just starting to pursue a zero waste lifestyle because it’s a really easy alternative to transition to.
Recycle:The Hydro Flask is a very durable product. It will last you for years if you take care of it. If for some reason you do not want it anymore, do not worry. The flask is made of stainless steel and is 100% recyclable.
Reduce: It is no surprise that we are completely overusing plastic and that this is causing catastrophic environmental impacts. Half a trillion disposable cups are made around the world each year. Yikes!
One way to avoid contributing to this statistic is to avoid single-use cups and get this stainless steel tumblr.
Reuse: I personally love the versatility of this tumblr. It can be used for any of your favorite beverages. It’s simple, durable, and eco-friendly.
Oh, and it comes in both a gold and rose gold finish.
Such a cute zero waste essential!
Recycle:There really is no reason to ever have to get rid of these, but if you need to, just recycle them! They are completely made of stainless steel.
Reduce: Being zero waste does not mean that you have to stop eating at on-the-go restaurants, it just means you need to think ahead a little.
Plastic utensils are very unnecessary, especially if you are equipped with this awesome Bamboo Cutlery Set.
Think of all the plastic forks you are going to prevent from polluting our Earth!
Reuse: I love this particular set because it includes a fork, spoon, knife, chopsticks and a straw.
Seriously, what more could you ask for! It also all rolls up into a small canvas pouch which makes it so easy to keep in your bag. Once you are done with your meal, just hand wash the utensils and repack them for next time.
Recycle: Not only is bamboo naturally regenerative and environmentally low-impact to produce, it is also biodegradable.
Reduce: Plastic zip bags are kitchen essentials for many people because of their convenience.
Have you ever considered their environmental impact, though?
The average American family uses around 500 of these bags each year. Since there is no way to recycle or compost them, they are all going straight to landfill. There is a great alternative. Try these reusable silicone food bags!
Reuse: I love these bags because they are just as convenient, but way more sustainable. They are self-sealing and keep food amazingly fresh. They are also microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe.
Once you are finished using them, just wash them and they are ready to be used over and over again!
Recycle: The simple design of these bags make them stay strong for years of use. If you eventually feel as though you want to replace one of your bags, they can be recycled.
Reduce:Not only are we polluting the oceans with plastic, but global warming is resulting in the destruction of coral reefs. Many of the sunscreens that we wear contain chemicals that are harmful to reefs, but this Raw Elements sunscreenis different because it is completely reef-safe.
This sunscreen is my favorite because it is also plastic-free, cruelty-free, and very moisturizing.
Reuse: Simply apply this sunscreen before sun exposure. It works wonderfully on both your body and your face! Since this formula is so gentle, it can easily become a part of your daily skin care routine.
This product is soy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, cruelty-free, and certified organic. Just remember to reapply every 80 minutes if you are directly in the sun!
Recycle: The container that this sunscreen comes in is completely plastic-free and made of tin. I love the size and shape of it because it is easy to throw into your bag when you are on the go.
The tin can either be reused once it is empty orrecycled.
Reuse: Unlike most feminine hygiene products that get thrown in the trash, this menstrual cup can be rinsed and reused.
When using the bathroom, simply remove, empty, clean, and reinsert. The cup can be left in for up to 12 hours. Since the cup is reused and you do not need to buy more each month, you will end up saving money. It’s an economic and sustainable solution!
Recycle: The Lena Cup is made to last up to 10 years. After that time, the cup might start to show wear, and you may want to replace it.
Since it is made completely from high-quality medical-grade silicone, it can be recycled.
Reduce: Every product that we interact with has some sort of impact on the environment. It may surprise you that 50 million pounds of waste end up in the landfill each year from just toothbrushes alone.
Reduce: Think about this: 120 billion unitsof packaging are produced each year from the beauty industry alone.
The silly thing is that many of these products do not really even need packaging. That’s why I love zero waste shampoo bars. They eliminate the need for plastic by being in the form of a bar and they work just as great!
Reuse: It’s quite simple. Gently massage the bar into your hair until it starts to foam. Rinse just like regular shampoo and you are all set! Just allow the bar to dry in between uses and it can be used for up to 75 washes.
Recycle: There is literally zero waste when it comes to shampoo bars. Once they are done, you are left with nothing to dispose of.
First off, it savestwo billionplastic razors from making their way into the landfill each year. It also is beautiful and gets such a close, smooth shave every single time. I could not recommend this product more. ❤️
Reuse: It’s really quite simple once you get the hang of it.
Instead of tossing the whole razor once the blade gets dull, simply pop a new stainless steel blade into the gorgeous rose gold handle. It may seem like an investment at first, but you can buy new blades for next to nothing. This product is more economical and sustainable!
Recycle:This razor is completely plastic-free. The handle can be reused over and over again, but it can be recycled. Once a stainless steel blade is dull, it also can berecycled.
However, be sure to check with your local recycling facility to see how they recommend to safely recycle sharp objects.
Reduce: I have a long list of my favorite zero waste beauty products, but the Yay For Earth Face Lotion always lands at the top. It is completely plastic-free and is so luxuriously moisturizing.
It can be applied at any time throughout the day to balance, calm, and hydrate your skin. It’s a great product to incorporate into your daily skincare routine.
Reuse: This formula is completely organic and all-natural. Since this is an oil-based moisturizer, a little goes a long way. This small container will definitely last you longer than you would expect. Whenever I apply this on my skin, it gives me such a healthy, beautiful glow. I just can’t get enough!
Recycle: The packaging of this product is plastic-free. It comes in a little glass jar with the cutest sunshine illustration on it.
Whenever I finish one, I usually end up repurposing the jar just because it is too adorable to get rid of. However, it is 100% recyclable.
Reduce: Finding a plastic-free deodorant stick is no easy feat.
That’s why I always point my friends in the direction of thisSoap & Salve Co. Deodorant stick. It is also USDA organic, cruelty-free, and works amazingly! You will not have to worry about body odor or plastic pollution with this product!
Reuse: Simply apply this product in the morning and you will be set for the day! The coconut oil in this formula will allow your skin to feel moisturized and will naturally neutralize odors. There is no added scent to this product, so it will work wonderfully even on the most sensitive of skins.
Recycle:Good news! This deodorant stick is packaged in a cardboard tube. This means that it is 100% compostable and recyclable.
I love that is is completely plastic-free. This biodegradable deodorant stick rocks!
Reduce:Every second, 160,000 plastic bagsare used around the world. Many people do not realize that this figure also includes the plastic bags that we use in the grocery store for produce. The good news is that there are alternatives to carry our fruits and veggies in.
Reuse:It’s simple! I just store my reusable produce bags with my shopping tote bags. Whenever I am about to go to the grocery store, I grab all of my bags so I am ready to shop plastic-free. Just put your produce in the bags as you normally do.
I call this my “market bag” because I love bringing it to farmer’s markets. It looks so cute full of veggies, fruits, herbs, flowers, etc.
Reuse:This bag folds up super small, so it is perfect to store in another bag. It has a long handle and stretches. It even holds up to 40 pounds! I love how multifunctional it is. I’ve used it as a beach bag, laundry bag, and shopping bag before.
Recycle: Since this mesh bag is made of 100% GOTS Certified Organic Cotton, it is completely compostable.Hey, if you are planning on disposing of one of these, just send it to me instead because I seriously love it so much!
Stainless Steel Food Containers
Reduce: Not only are plastic food containers bad for the environment, they also tend to get stained, warped, and just generally degrade over time. That is why I recommend theseStainless Steel Food Containers. They are super durable, plastic-free, leak-proof, and smell-proof.
These are a zero waste kitchen essential!
Reuse: These are great for lunch, leftovers, and camping trips. Fill it with your favorite food and snugly secure the top with the latches. Store it in the fridge or in your lunchbox until you are ready to eat.
I love this set because it comes with three different sizes that all nest inside one another for storage.
Recycle: These food containers are made to last. Seriously, they do not even stain or warp. If you did want to get rid of them, they are made from stainless steel and can be recycled.
Stainless Steel Straws
Reduce:We all love turtles, so we should switch to stainless steel straws. The plastic that we consume often ends up in our oceans. If we stop consuming plastic, then we can help fight the waste issue and protect wildlife.
Reuse: I particularly love this set because it contains straight straws, bent straws, and straw cleaners. It really is the ultimate sustainable straw set. Either use them at home or carry with you to use them at restaurants, coffee shops, or cafes. They pair nicely with astainless steel tumblr.
Recycle: Unlike single use straws, these can be reused indefinitely. You could always easily recycle them if you wanted to dispose of them since they are made from stainless steel.
Talk about a zero waste essential right here.
Reduce:Cling wrap is a product of the past. Made from cheap, filmy plastic, these are impossible to compost or recycle.
Reuse: You can wrap cheese, fruit, vegetables, bread, or whatever else you can think of with this product. The beeswax will allow it to keep it’s shape. Simply wash with cool water and a mild soap once finished. Allow the wrap to dry and it is ready to be used again!
Recycle: The only two materials of this product are organic cotton fabric and beeswax, so it is completely biodegradable.
Reduce: In most cases, packaging really is not even needed.
This amazingDish Washing Block proves that. Most dish soap comes in a plastic bottle, which is just contributing to the global plastic waste crisis.
This block stands on its own, almost like a bar of soap or a shampoo bar. Seriously, it’s a genius idea that will have you saying “goodbye” to liquid dish soap.
Reuse: Just have this block sit next to the sink. When you want to use it, rub it with a wet brush, sponge, or rag until it starts to lather. Then, just wash your dishes like you normally do. It gets even better. Not only does it wash grease and food off of your dishes, but it can also be used to clean counters, wash out stains in clothing, etc. It truly is an amazing multipurpose zero waste home essential.
Recycle: The block will shrink as you use it. When it’ gone, it’s gone. The only waste created is the small sleeve it is packaged in, but that is made of cardboard, so it can be recycled.
Reuse: These function like any other laundry detergent. Just pop one into a load of laundry and you are all set. This box comes with 64 strips. Talk about bang for your buck!
Recycle: I especially love this brand because their packaging is plastic-free. Pods come in a cardboard box, which can either be recycled or composted.
Wool Dryer Balls
Reduce: I hate taking my laundry out of the dryer and having to pick off all the dryer sheets that cling to my clothes. I also hate that once I do that, I have to throw them into the trash. It’s completely unnecessary!
Check out these reusablewool dryer balls. They eliminate the need for those waste-creating dryer sheets.
Reuse: These organic cotton dryer balls can be thrown into your dryer with your laundry. They have no chemicals, are hypoallergenic, and great for those with sensitive skin. Reuse them over and over again and you will have fluffy, soft laundry every single time. They are unscented, but I like to put a few drops of lavender essential oil on mine.
Recycle: Since these are made from all-natural wool, they can be composted. These are total zero waste essentials!
Laundry Stain Stick
Reduce: At one point, I thought that finding a plastic-free stain solution for my clothes was next to impossible. That was until I discovered thisJuniper Seed Mercantile Laundry Stain Stick. This handmade, all-natural bar works wonders on stains and does not create any waste!
Reuse:Use this stick to pre-treat stains or grimy spots. Dampen the stain then give it a good scrub. Then, just wash your laundry as you normally do. Voila! No more stains and your clothes look as good as new.
Recycle: There is no outer packaging or bottle to this bar. The only thing is the paper sleeve that it initially comes in, but this can be recycled.
Reduce: Kitchens are full of grease, food staines, and grime. Thats why I love thiswooden cleaning brush. I use it for tough spots on dishes, cleaning the oven, etc.
Use this wooden brush and your kitchen will sparkle.
Reuse: Wet with water and then add some natural cleaner to the bristles. Scrub the dirty surface until it is clean and then rinse. It’s that simple!
Recycle:This product lasts a long time, but it can be composted. The handle is made of sustainable wood and the bristles are made of sisal, which is a plant-based fiber.
Reusable Sweeper Pads For Mop
Reduce: There is convenience in just throwing away dirty things, but it is not very good for our planet. That’s why I replaced my disposable sweeper pads for thesereusable sweeper pads. Washing them is an extra step, but it is a sacrifice that I am willing to make for our planet.
Reuse: These thick fabric pads can be used as a dry or wet mop. Use water and soap to get your floors to shine. Wash or rinse in between uses.
Recycle: These can be used over and over again, but if they become raggedy, you can dispose of them by composting.
Stainless Steel Furniture Dusting Spray
Reduce: I hate dusting, but I also hate a dusty house. It’s an oxymoron, I know. I do love cleaning my house with sustainable products, though, and that is why I love this zero wasteessentialFurniture Dusting Spray.
Reuse: This all-natural formula can be sprayed onto the surface and then wiped with a dry cloth. Use on surfaces such as wood, laminate, and other durable surfaces.
Recycle: The best part about this formula is that it comes in a stainless steel bottle. When finished, simply recycle.
What are your favorite zero waste essentials that you use?
Today I will go through my favorite affordable ethical clothing brands,
While jumping into a zero-waste lifestyle, you probably have learned how to avoid packaging, purchase reusable products, and generally be more conscious of the environmental impacts of your daily decisions.
However, have you ever thought about how the clothing you choose to wear plays into this?
Listen to this:
The most commonly used material to make clothing today is polyester.
Material choice plays a huge role in how a garment affects the environment, however, there is a myriad of problematic elements to the fashion industry. Certain materials are resource and labor-intensive. They also are not biodegradable and take hundreds of years to break down.
Not only are we eating up resources quickly to produce the clothing, but then the industry deems certain looks “out of style” within a few weeks. This ideology makes people get rid of clothing at an alarming rate.
Americans tend tothrow out around 81 pounds of clothing per year.
While some clothing gets reused or recycled, a huge portion of it finds it’s way into the landfill.
It’s quite a silly environmental catastrophe to have when it is so easily avoidable.
Some solutions are to shop secondhand and invest in quality pieces. For example, stop following trends and become more conscious of the fashion brands you choose to support.
Many affordable clothing companies outsource their production to lesser developed countries. They do this because the labor is cheap and there are fewer industry standards to be held accountable for.
A large majority of people that manufacture the clothing we wear are not paid fair wages and are forced to work in poor, unsafe conditions.
Listen to this:
90% of clothing production workers interviewed in Bangladesh cannot afford enough food for themselves and their families, forcing them to regularly skip meals or go into debt.
We can be smarter about the clothing companies we choose to purchase from.
Today I will be sharing my top 12 affordable ethical clothing brands.
Affordable Ethical Clothing Brands
That is to say, what does it take to qualify to be an ethical clothing brand?
To me, a large part of it is environmental awareness.
I support brands that are trying to minimize their footprint and use materials that are saferfor us and the environment.
Ethical production is a huge part of it, as well. I only support clothing brands that are transparent about the standards and practices of their manufacturing facilities.
It is imperative that these clothing brands are paying their workers the wages that they deserve to make a good life for themselves and their families.
Lastly, price is important to me. I think that in order to be inclusive, clothing brands need to find a way to make affordable ethical clothes for everybody. These clothing brands may be slightly more money than your typical fast fashion retailer, but the quality makes it worth it because the garments will last so much longer.
Okay, here we go. This is my top 12 list of affordable ethical clothing brands:
Everlane is a warrior when it comes to what they call “radical transparency.”
This means that they put a lot of time and energy into finding the best factories to partner with to produce their clothing.
They often visit these facilities and score them to make sure that they are up to standard on fair wages, reasonable hours, and environmental expectations. On every single garment listed on Everlane’s website, they tell you the exact factory the piece was produced in.
Everlane is also radically transparent about cost, which makes them one of my top affordable ethical clothing brands. They break down the material, labor, and transport costs of each item and then compare their price to the typical retail markup of other companies.
People Tree is a leader in sustainable and fair trade fashion.
They promoteorganic farming, avoid polluting substances, practice water recycling in production, promote environmentally responsible initiatives, and much more.
The organic cotton that People Tree uses is Global Organic Textile Standard Certified.
This type of cotton has met strict environmental and social standards. They also do not use any harmful, polluting dyes.
People Tree is also Fair Trade certified which means that all of the farmers, manufacturers, and workers that help bring a piece of clothing to life are given sustainable wages and safe working conditions.
You can help:
When you support a Fair Trade certified company, you are supporting the sustainable development of villages in developing countries.
You are helping people feed their families and feel empowered.
If you love fitness, yoga, and sustainability, you need to check out Prana.
They make amazing environmentally conscious clothing items that fit perfectly into your lifestyle. This is another Fair-Trade certified, organic cotton using brand, but wait, there’s more:
Prana is really smart about seeing where there is waste in other industries and figuring out how to use that in their supply chain. For instance, instead of using virgin wool, they use recycled wool that is reclaimed from textile waste. This reduces overall energy consumption by cutting down on the resources needed for fiber processing.
Similarly, they use “responsible down” in their winter pieces. They use the feathers from animals that are used by the food industry. These facilities are also RDS certified which means the animals are free from hunger, thirst, discomfort, pain, fear, and distress.
I am obsessed with this organic cotton headband that is only $10! It comes in a wide variety of fun colors and is perfect for any on-the-go person.
It keeps your hair out of your face and the sweat from running into your eyes. I love this product and I love Prana!
If you are having a hard time finding cute, sustainability-focused undergarments, look no further than HARA the Label.
Their mission is to bring change and awareness to the fashion industry through the ethical and sustainable production of their pieces.
One sustainable aspect of HARA’s production is that they use bamboo fabric.
Bamboo grows quickly and requires no irrigation systems or harmful pesticides. It provides 30% more oxygen than trees and can be harvested over and over again, making it one of the most sustainable raw materials.
Once the bamboo is processed into fabric, they only uses natural dyes to give it color. These dyes are plant-based and safe for both your skin and the planet!
HARA the Label also tries to have the entirety of their supply chain in one location to reduce the emissions caused by transportation.
All of HARA the Label’s bras and undies are super cute, but my favorite would have to be the leo high cut bra. This rectangle cut bamboo fabric bra is so comfortable that you will forget you have it on. All of the amazing colors are made with natural dyes and it is only $37!
The reason why Reformation makes my list of the top affordable ethical clothing brands is because of how transparent they are on their sustainability efforts. Every single year, they post an updated report on the amount of resources saved and used in comparison to the previous year.
It gets better:
Reformation has invested in green building infrastructure so their manufacturing facilities are as efficient as possible.
They also believing in offsetting their footprint. This means that they track the resources they use then invest in programs that help replenish them. Whether that means replanting rainforests or restoring water, Reformation is making a difference.
If you loveclassic, high-fashion sustainable clothing, you will love their inventory.
I love this everyday bodysuit that is only $48. Oh, and get this, it is made fromTENCEL, a fabric that comes from Eucalyptus trees. It only takes half an acre to produce one ton of material and is not resource or labor intensive!
Kotn is focused on making wonderful clothing from ethically-sourced Egyptian cotton. Since Egyptian cotton is such great quality, many fast fashion brands switched over to cheaper alternatives which devastated local farms and businesses.
Kotn is striving to reinvigorate this industry and empower the people of the area.
Kotn doesdirect trade with farms which provides farmers with better business practices and gives customers a fair price. In addition, they work closely with factories to ensure that their employees are being paid fairly and have safe, clean working conditions.
I love this fitted henley that is only $28. It’s so great for everyday use. It can be worn alone or be layered. The best part is that it is made from 100% Egyptian cotton which people also refer to as “white gold.”
Remember before how I mentioned how the fast fashion industry quickly deems trends outdated?
Well Poetry is trying to combat that. At the heart of their mission, Poetry is aiming to create long term pieces that can be worn in multiple seasons.
Here’s the scoop:
With subtle shades and tactile fabrics, Poetry uses natural materials to create their garments.
They work closely with various cotton and alpaca farms to ensure an ethically-produced, high-quality product.
I personally love all of the linen pieces that Poetry carries because they are light and airy. This striped 100% linen top is so adorable and it is only $69! I love how subtle the pattern and color is. This is a piece that would look and feel great on anyone.
I am in love with the Delphine dress. At $167, this dress may be for a special occasion, but the quality is amazing. It will last you for years. I love the bright flowery pattern and the flow cut on the dress. Wow!
9. Mate the Label
Mate the Label is a Los Angeles based clothing company that is reimagining vintage graphics and essential pieces for everyone’s wardrobe.
Here’s the deal:
With sustainability and ethics placed in the foreground, Mate creates garments in small batches. Also, all the factories that produce the clothing are within a 5 mile radius of the design headquarters.
They use organic,clean materials in their products, as well.
All of Mate the Label’s clothes are simple,comfortable and great for everyday use. I especially love the Alex Crew t-shirt which is made from 100% GOTS certified organic cotton.
It’s all in the name when it comes to Organic Basics. The company produces basics such asunderwear and t-shirts for the environmentally conscious.
Organic Basics are a carbon balanced company which means they offset their carbon.
They use profits in order to invest in carbon reducing projects such as solar or wind energy.
They only work with trusted, certified factory partners. These are places that share in the same sustainable vision and practice fair labor. This means employees are paid, respected, and are given safe working conditions.
I love the SilverTech Active Leggings and always wear them when I go to yoga. For each article of clothing, this company shows a resource comparison to other fast fashion brands. For instance, by buying these leggings instead of a cheaper, less sustainable alternative, you are helping save 58 gallons of water. See?
You can make a difference by choosing which brands to buy from!
Pact is a great one stop shop for affordable ethical clothing.
They only use100% organic cotton because it is better for the environment and only work with ethical factories. When you are wearing clothing that is ethical, sustainable, and comfortable, you are bound to feel confident.
Pact also promises their customers to not be “gross.” This simply means that they do not use any dyes or pesticides that are bad for humans and the planet. Their approach is clean and nice. They would rather have a safe and healthy customer than cut corners to make a cheaper product.
I can’t even put into words how soft their hoodies are. Seriously, it’s like slipping a cloud onto your body and it’s only $45! Made from organic cotton which helps save water, you’ll feel great while wearing this hoodie!
I hope that you now understand what it means to be an ethical clothing brand.
Choosing sustainable materials, partnering with fair trade certified factories, and rethinking the way we use resources are all integral to a great fashion brand.
By choosing to support brands that care about offsetting their footprint and making a difference, we are showing companies what we want to see out of the fashion industry. There need to be standards for people to be held accountable for.
Wearing clean, ethical, sustainable clothes do not need to drain your bank account. I hope that you will take a look at some of the brands I recommended today and consider some affordable options.