Is silicone biodegradable?

Is silicone biodegradable and eco-friendly? It seems that lately silicone is everywhere. You’ve probably been getting a million ads on Instagram for fancy silicone toothbrushes and have noticed the sudden proliferation of silicone sponges and bakeware in stores. Maybe you already own one those super convenient collapsible silicone containers or regularly use a silicone spatula to avoid scratching your cookware.

Silicone is a relatively new material and, because of this, it’s a bit of a conundrum for most people: Is it plastic? Is it a rubber? is it safe? And – more importantly – why does it make everything look like a bright, colorful children’s toy? It usually gets marketed as a safer, greener alternative to plastic, and manufacturers from all industries – aerospace, automotive, construction, consumer goods, and medicine – sing never-ending praises to its superior durability.

The truth is, however, that although silicone is a much safer alternative to plastics or rubbers, that it’s much more durable than similar materials and that it’s an ideal choice for things such as aircraft and automotive components or medical equipment applications, it just hasn’t been around for long enough for us to know with a high degree of certainty whether it’s 100% safe for humans and the environment.

While that may make some people suspicious of silicone, it is for those same reasons that we shouldn’t be too quick to write this material off until we study it more extensively as it could be a big part of the solution to the global crisis with plastic pollution.

What is silicone?

First thing: let’s get our spelling right. Silicone is the material that we are currently talking about. It’s a synthetic polymer used to make things such as homewares, personal care products and medical tools such as breathing masks. Silicon is the element from which the silicate family is derived. It’s one of the most abundant elements in the universe and it’s present in rocks, sand, silicate minerals, among other things. From it we make glass, porcelain and the aforementioned silicone polymers. Highly purified forms of silicon are used to make semiconductors and the electronic chips found in phones, computers and other electronics.

So what is silicone? In short, it’s a bit in between plastics and rubbers. All three of these materials – plastic, rubber, and silicone – are polymers with the distinction that rubber is a naturally-occurring polymer while plastic and silicone are synthetic polymers.

The difference between plastic and silicone is that plastic is made from petrochemicals and requires additives that give it specific characteristics while silicone is made from the naturally occurring element Silicon bound to atoms from other organic elements such as Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Nitrogen. Silicones – known as polymerized siloxanes – are an extremely versatile family of compounds that have a wide range of applications: from sealants, lubricants and construction materials, a dizzying amount of consumer goods, and even cosmetics.

This video does a wonderful job explaining how different types of silicones are made.

Is silicone safe?

The short answer is: “yes” but there are some important things to consider. While the evidence on whether silicone reacts with or migrates into food is still inconclusive, most sources agree that silicone is a chemically inert and stable material that is not toxic. There have been some studies that have found very small amounts of siloxane that have migrated into food after exposing silicone objects to powerful solvents for extended periods.

While this may make a few people feel a bit uneasy about having silicone products in contact with their food, it’s important to remember that the conditions to which silicone was subjected in these experiments were much more extreme than any of those to which it is likely to be exposed to in most domestic settings.

Although more research on the matter is needed, the scientific community generally agrees that the small quantities of siloxanes that may migrate to into food or drink do not pose a significant risk for humans. Health Canada, the Canadian federal health agency, states that, based on all available scientific evidence, they have concluded that siloxane materials do not pose a risk for humans or the environment and that the quantities of these materials that are currently present in the environment are very low and shouldn’t be a cause for concern.

Is silicone eco-friendly?

Again, the answer is in between a yes and a no but leaning closer to a “yes”. The issue is that silicone is a synthetic polymer and there is simply no such thing as a 100% eco-friendly synthetic material. Manufacturing, transportation, marketing, and packaging always add processes and components that are not as planet-friendly as the product itself may be.

Silicone has two big advantages that make it a much more eco-friendly option than plastic, rubber and other man-made compounds and that is its composition and its durability. On the ingredients side, its main component comes from silica, which is found naturally in sand, quartz, gravel and similar materials. These materials are then heated at very high temperatures and put through different processes to alter their chemical properties depending on the products that will be manufactured from them.

Using elements and minerals that are easily extracted and pose a low risk of environmental pollution is, by far, a much preferable option to the petroleum-derived hydrocarbons needed to make plastic or synthetic rubber. Still, although making useful and long-lasting items out of sand sounds like the greenest, most ideal fantasy ever, there are consequences to extracting large amounts of sand and minerals to make products such as silicones or glass.

Though it seems unlikely, sand is one of the most-used resources on the planet. It’s mixed into concrete to make roads, buildings and homes; used to fill empty areas so that buildings and other objects can go on top of them and; make islands larger or make new artificial sand islands; and, lately, even to replace more sand that has been eroded. The demand for sand to mix into concrete for construction plus other applications such as the manufacturing of silicon chips, silicone consumer products, and glass has created a global sand shortage *Why the world is running out of sand – BBC Future*.

Since the sand that most manufacturers consider useful for these applications is the one that has been shaped by water and not winds such as the one found in deserts, this means that riverbeds and ocean floors are getting dredged and eroded at an alarming pace that affects everything from wildlife and soils to the very course that rivers follow.

Not everything is bad news, though, thanks to silicone’s second main advantage: durability. Since it’s such a stable compound, silicone can withstand a much wider range of wear, tear and extreme conditions. Materials that have longer lives and don’t require frequent replacement are always preferable to less durable ones as this means that fewer resources are needed to meet the demand for them and that we can also make fewer quantities of them.

As we have explained, silicone’s inertness also means that its particles do not migrate the same way that those in plastics and other synthetic materials do to accumulate in human bodies or the environment. You can use silicone products with a high degree of confidence that they are not contaminating food, polluting water sources or making you sick.

Is silicone biodegradable?

So let`s find out if is silicone biodegradable. As you may have guessed, a material that can withstand extreme heat, cold and pressure is not biodegradable. In fact, silicone doesn’t decompose at all. It is, however, recyclable but most people don’t know this, partly because it’s still such a misunderstood material and also because most recycling programs do not accept it. 

There are a few downsides to silicone’s recyclability. First, same as plastic, it is not infinitely recyclable. Second, recyclers can only downcycle it into silicone oils so, for example, you cannot make a new muffin mold from recycled silicone. Third, most people will simply dispose of silicone the same way that they dispose of other trash and it will go to landfills. The good news is that, since silicone doesn’t decompose and its components have a very low migration rate, the environmental impact is significantly reduced in comparison to plastics.

There are still not a lot of companies recycling silicone but it’s a sure fact that as the usage of this material becomes more widespread, recycling it will become easier. For now, it’s best to choose products from companies that have take-back programs or find a company that collects silicone waste such as Terra Cycle TerraCycle so that you can be sure that your silicone waste is being properly recycled.

What are the benefits of silicone products?

There are a lot of benefits to choosing items made out of silicone over rubber, plastic and other materials, especially for items that you will be using around the home:

  • Durability

You can rest assured that any silicone product that you purchase will last you for a very long time if you take good care of it. Silicone’s high resistance to stress, pressure, extreme temperatures and UV light make it a much longer-lasting option than either rubber or plastic while removing the risk of breakage that glass poses and the damages that metal surfaces may suffer. It can be subjected to both flaming hot and freezing cold temperatures for extended periods without its molecular structure suffering any changes.

  • Versatility

Silicone is an extremely versatile material that can be used in a multitude of settings and conditions. Being resistant to such a wide range of conditions makes it an excellent option for those who are looking to downsize their kitchen and reduce their consumption of new items by using multipurpose products that are meant to last for longer and resist damage better.

  • Safety

For now, silicone is the safest material available that still holds the useful properties of plastics and rubbers. It’s inertness means that it will experience little to none migration of particles, which makes it especially beneficial for replacing plastic or synthetic rubber items for babies and children such as bottles, nipples, pacifiers, cups or plates.

Food-grade silicone is impermeable and does not absorb odors, oils or liquids meaning that cleanup will be easy and not require the usage of harsh surfactants or chemicals. This is especially useful around the kitchen and especially for food storage containers whose surfaces will spend a prolonged period in contact with food and may otherwise develop unpleasant odors, staining or discoloration.

Another reason why silicone is so safe is that it doesn’t transfer heat well. Because of this, it’s become a very popular material for items such as spatulas, bakeware, panhandle grips and oven mitts. It’s also used for containers and cups that can be refrigerated, frozen and are microwave-proof with no cause for concern regarding breakage, leakage or any other type of damage.

Our picks for the best and most useful silicone products:

Read on below to find out what we think are the best silicone products:

1. Silicone Spatulas

Want to know the secret to Gordon Ramsay’s internet-famous perfect scrambled eggs? Use a silicone spatula! These spatulas are some of the most useful and versatile kitchen tools you can purchase: they resist heat to up to 500F, they’re super flexible and nearly impossible to break and they will keep your pots and pans – especially non-stick ones – free from scratches. They’re perfect for cooking, baking.

2. Collapsible Bucket

A super handy, multi-purpose bucket for people with limited space and even better for camping and outdoors. Use it for mopping, hand washing, dishwashing, carrying water, and even as a makeshift drink cooler for a picnic.

3. Zip Top Bags

These reusable silicone bags eliminate one of the largest sources of kitchen plastic waste: plastic containers, cling wrap, and plastic zipper bags. And they’re not just for storing food: you can put them in the microwave, run them through the dishwasher, put them in the oven, and even use them for sous-vide cooking. Each bag creates an airtight seal that does not allow liquids to enter or exit it, making it perfect for storing liquids such as soups or marinating meats.

4. Silicone Food Savers

Ever find yourself wondering what to do with that half onion leftover from last night’s guacamole? These nifty food huggers will help you keep it from rolling around and drying out in your fridge until it’s time for you to use it again.

5. Reusable Straws

If that set of reusable metal straws that you bought last year after reading about turtles choking on plastic ones is killing your teeth, then this softer silicone version may be a much better option for you. Another thing your mouth will be very happy to know is that the straws in this set are much thicker in diameter than regular straws, which will take the struggle out of trying to sip your smoothies through a tiny, stick-thin straw.

6. Ice Cube Trays

You won’t struggle for what feels like an hour trying to wiggle out a tiny ice cube from a plastic tray again after you try out this super flexible silicone version.

7. Whiskey Ice Cube Trays

Up your home bar game with these oversized, slow-melting ice cubes. They’re perfect for whiskey and craft cocktails or just to keep any drink cold without making it watery.

8. Collapsible Water Bottle

This already super light bottle gets lighter and smaller as you drink from it – we can’t think of better motivation to drink more water! It’s great for keeping it ready to be refilled in your purse, gym bag, or backpack so that you never have to resort to purchasing a bottle of water last minute ever again.

Give silicone products a chance

I get it. Silicone is still far from being perfect. It is always preferable to use items made out of infinitely recyclable materials such as metal or glass or compostable ones like organic fibers and wood whenever possible. But, as I have shown you above, there are plenty of other items that just can’t be made from any infinitely recyclable or organic materials and that are usually made from plastic that can easily be replaced by silicone.

Switching to a durable and inert material that will require less frequent replacement and that poses much fewer environmental risks than plastics or rubbers will make a big difference in reducing waste and the demand for virgin plastics and could become one of the keys in solving the current environmental emergency that we have put our planet in.

I am confident, as technology progresses, silicone manufacturing will become cleaner and that, as the public becomes more educated about this material, recycling will become easier and more widespread.

12 Low-Waste Alternative To Aluminum Foil

Looking for an alternative to aluminum foil? We all know! Roasting potatoes in the oven, keeping your food spill-proof in to-go containers, or polishing tarnished silverware, aluminum foil seems to be the unbeatable jack-of-all-trades in any kitchen. Although you can recycle this versatile metal, there is an alternative to aluminum foil in your kitchen that’s more resource-friendly.

To help you discover that right product, take a look at this list of the best alternative to aluminum foil here.

From silicone produce covers to stainless steel grilling baskets, you’ll be glad you turned to something reusable or at least something safer for cooking purposes. Let’s dive right in to find the best alternative to aluminum foil.

1. Vegan Reusable Food Wrap by KhalaCo

  • Storing fresh produce and packaging sandwiches
  • Palm oil-free, biodegradable plant-based wraps
  • Variety size Pack of 4 or Pack of 3

This vegan reusable food wrap from KhalaCo is a mighty alternative to aluminum foil, plastic- or beeswax-based food covers. Instead of eco-intensive materials, these wraps are crafted from unbleached, organic cotton. Candelilla wax, soy wax, organic coconut oil, and pine resin help the wrap seal around your food. There is no palm oil, beeswax, or plastic in these wraps, making them both people- and environment-safe.

So how do these covers work, exactly?

They come in a flat square shape, but when you’re ready to use one, ball it up in your hands to activate its magical waxy properties. Cover leftover fruit, veggie, snack, or container, and voila! The wrap should hold its shape, keeping your food fresh until it’s time to snack again.

When the wraps are no longer as effective, rip them up and add them to your compost pile. They typically last up to a year when used regularly. Hand wash in cool water and air dry to keep them working for longer.

If you need a variety of sizes, you’re in luck. The set includes four square wraps: 13 by 13 inches, 11 by 11 inches, 7 by 8 inches, and 6 by 6 inches. These wraps are handmade in the USA, and with each purchase, KhalaCo donates to nonprofits tackling plastic pollution through 1% for the Planet. You can find more sizes and combo packs here.

2. Certified Unbleached Parchment Baking Paper by If You Care

  • Great for baking
  • Chlorine-free parchment paper
  • 70 square feet per roll

This unbleached paper roll from If You Care is the best choice if you need greaseproof surfaces for baking. Think roasted carrots, potatoes, and baked chicken doused in oils and sauces. While the typical parchment paper brand offers an average of 40 square feet per roll, this best-value pick is a practical 70 square feet. Additionally, an unbleached certification means the paper doesn’t undergo any chlorine treatment.

Why does this matter?

Bleaching contributes to chlorine byproducts pollution in various bodies of water, including freshwater lakes and rivers. So if you need a steady and reliable supply of parchment paper for baking or simply wrapping foods, this is a top contender.

The If You Care brand stands for quality with integrity and judging by these chlorine-free parchment paper rolls, the statement is justified. These papers are not only good for baking, but you can also use them to wrap goods, dried meats, and to-go snacks. This product is only one of a large selection of environmentally-friendly items like natural rubber cleaning gloves, sponge cloths, and biodegradable coffee filters.

Though these papers are typically single-use, they’re compostable and come in a recyclable cardboard container.

3. Stasher Silicone Food Bags by Stasher

  • Ideal for sandwiches and boiling
  • Resealable silicone bag
  • Available in various sizes and colors

The infinitely reusable silicone stasher bag features a pinch lock enclosure secure enough for holding in veggies or meat in boiling water. If your fancy dinner specialty is a fresh sous vide veggie bowl, this bag could be your next best cooking tool.

Stasher offers the bag in different packs:

  • a ½ gallon bag, a sandwich-size bag
  • a snack bag, a stand-up bag
  • a bundle with the ½ gallon, two sandwich-sized bags, and a snack size bag.

The bundle is highly recommended for cost efficiency and to have separate bags for different occasions.

For color coordination, choose from colors clear, aqua, clear and aqua, blueberry, citrus, gray, lime, milky way (milky white), moonstone (gray-bluish white), obsidian, raspberry, or supernova (peachy/beige). You might designate citrus for veggies and aqua for snacks, for instance–whatever helps you remember which bag is which.

All are made of pure silicone with no fillers and conventional materials like BPA, latex, or PVC. One of the best parts about this bag is you don’t have to keep track of lids and other pieces. Like the single-use plastic sandwich bag, it’s convenient and straightforward.

Use it in your microwave, freezer storage, dishwasher, or oven with a maximum of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. In a nutshell, this is a formidable alternative to aluminum foil and plastic products.

Founder Kat Nouri is a mom of three and an admirable activist against plastic pollution. Your purchase helps ocean health-centric non-profits fight against plastic use in collaboration with 1% for the Planet.

4. Glass Food Storage Containers by BAYCO

  • Good for refrigerating food or work lunches
  • Glass containers with silicone and BPA-free lids
  • 12-container set available in 4 colorways

Nab this set from BAYCO store if you need reusable glass containers mainly for storing food in the fridge or taking lunches to work. When you need to microwave food, remove the silicone lid and you’re good to go.

This 12-piece glass container set includes 12 matching silicone lids. Choose from blue, green, purple, or white lids. Each set comes with various shapes and sizes:

  • Four circular containers, measurements in inches diameter and height
    • Two small containers (1.7 cups or 5.4 x 2.5)
    • One medium container (2.7 cups or 6.2 x 2.8)
    • One large container (4.1 cups or  7.1 x 3.0)
  • Four rectangular containers, measurements in inches length, width, and height
    • Two small containers (1.6 cup or 6.0 x 4.4 x 3.1)
    • One medium container (2.7 cups or 6.9 x 5.2 x 2.5)
    • One large container ( 4.5 cups or 8.2 x 6.1 x 2.8)
  • Four square containers, measurements in inches length, width, and height
    • Two small containers (1.4 cups or 4.8 x 4.8 x 2.8)
    • One medium container (2.3 cups or 5.4 x 5.4 x 2.5)
    • One large container (3.4 cups or 6.3 x 6.3 x 2.7)

Crafted from borosilicate glass, the containers heat easily and last long. A BPA-free construction means your containers won’t absorb odors, nor will your food smell like plastic. With a strong snap lock system, even liquid foods like soups and marinades won’t escape.

Though tough and durable, keep the lids out of microwaves and refrain from leaving them in heated dishwashers for too long.

5. Stainless Steel Food Storage Containers by JaceBox

  • Ideal for picnics and camping
  • 304 Stainless steel with BPA-free plastic and silicone lids
  • 5-container set in assorted sizes

This 5-piece set from JaceBox is more suited for occasions when you need to keep food cold or warm. Each rectangular container is made of 304 stainless steel with a BPA-free plastic lid. A silicone ring ensures food content stays inside, no matter how bumpy the ride is from your home to the campsite.

Additionally, snap lock fasteners provide an extra spill proof security measure. The stackable and nesting design save space when they’re in the fridge or in storage. Convenient sizes allow you to pack anything from baby carrots to roughly six adult servings of spaghetti.

The rust proof stainless steel containers practically last forever, but if for some reason you need to retire them, they are recyclable. JaceBox recommends washing the containers with some soap and warm water before your first use. Wash the lid’s silicone ring every now and then to keep the container completely clean.

6. Silicone Baking Mat by Velesco

  • Designed for baking
  • Non-stick silicone and fiberglass liners
  • 3-count set of 11 ⅝ inch by 16 ½ inch mats

Velesco’s 3-count set of baking mats is every baker’s secret weapon for cookies that are crunchy outside, yet chewy in the middle. Each mat is crafted from commercial grade, nonstick silicone and fiberglass. While the silicone prevents pastry bottoms from sticking to the mat, the fiberglass component gives you an even cooking surface all around, every time.

Another reason to get this set?

It eliminates the need for nonstick sprays and oils that may produce harmful byproducts as they cook in the oven. The nonstick feature also means less cleaning time. Simply run the mat with soap and warm water. If you prefer to wash in bulk, this utensil is also dishwasher-safe.

If you’re thinking of gifting this set to a friend who bakes, they’ll appreciate the standard baking sheet size of 16.5 inches by 11.63 inches. The set includes three, so they can whip up several batches at once or use one for kneading dough and the others for baking.

Beyond baking, the mat is also designed for freezing foods like fruits, dumplings, meatballs, and vegetables in temperatures as low as -40 degree Fahrenheit.

To store, roll them up and stash them in your kitchen drawer to save precious kitchen real estate. The mats are recyclable.

7. Silicone Stretch Lids by longzon

  • Ideal for round-top containers and fresh produce
  • Stretchy silicone lids
  • 14-piece set in 7 sizes

The longzon stretchy lids from longzon are the food covers you didn’t know you wanted, let alone knew existed. With 14 different sizes, the set is compatible with virtually any bowl, pot, cup, or fruit half. No more dried out lemon slices or exposed watermelon halves that somehow end up tasting like the other contents of your refrigerator.

These food-grade silicone covers are compatible with freezers or dishwashers, so don’t worry about them losing flexibility or shape. Though microwave-safe, keep the covers open when heating up food.

Each cover stretches without tearing, but take care not to exceed the maximum diameter. The set includes seven different diameter sizes in two separate colors each, for a total of 14.

  • 2.6 inches, stretches up to 4 inches
  • 3.8 inches, stretches up to 5 inches
  • 4.5 inches, stretches up to 6 inches
  • 5.7 inches, stretches up to 8 inches
  • 6.5 inches, stretches up to 9 inches
  • 8.1 inches, stretches up to 10 inches
  • 9.8 inches, stretches up to 12 inches

When using bowls or similar containers, make sure the cover, your hands, and the container are dry to avoid spills. One of the best parts about these containers is they allow you to stack, cram, and wedge containers and food in your fridge to maximize space.

In other words, if you’re in dire need of fridge space, this is your chance to take back control!

8. Reusable Silicone Food Savers by Food Huggers Store

  • Recommended for fruit and vegetable halves
  • Pure silicone covers
  • 5-piece set in assorted sizes

Food Huggers’ silicone Food Savers Set is a patented produce cover pack of four that’s also compatible with cups, cans, and bottles. Rounded lips give these covers their signature hugger style, ensuring a secure embrace around your half eaten produce.

For folks whose pet peeve is half eaten bananas that brown when left out, no worries: the set comes with a Banana Hugger especially made for your tropical fruit, bringing the total number of covers in the set to five.

Since the covers are made of silicone, they’ll be okay in your dishwasher. The covers stack together in a Russian nesting doll-esque design, saving you cabinet space when in storage.

The covers are available in five different color schemes: Autumn Harvest (reds, yellows, and oranges), Bright Berry (blues, purples, and pinks), Fresh Greens (bright greens), Ice Blue, and Sage Green (more pastel than Fresh Greens).

Women-owned and the inventors of the products themselves, Food Savers is an independent business passionate about reducing plastic waste. The covers not only reduce the need for aluminum, but they also eliminate the need for single-use plastic wraps and are a great alternative to aluminum foil.

9. Paper Sandwich Bags by If You Care

  • Good for packing snacks and dry sandwiches to go
  • Unbleached, wax-free paper
  • Available in 30- or 48-count packs in two styles

Versatile and eco-friendly, the snack and sandwich bags from If You Care are the best alternative to aluminum foil for folks who need a daily supply.  Technically, the bags are reusable, so don’t be afraid to keep one around for a few lunches, given that your food isn’t too saucy.

So if your favorite packed lunch is a wet burrito with extra salsa, we suggest lidded glass or steel containers instead.

Nevertheless, you can pack your chips and extra tortilla on the side if you please. Each greaseproof, unbleached paper bag can handle it. When you’re ready to part with your bag, compost in your backyard or your municipal bin.

Choose from a 30- or 48-count pack in either mini baguette or sandwich/snack sizes. Better yet, take a pack of each to ensure you always have one at the ready. The bags are safe for microwave use, so you don’t have to eat a cold lunch by default.

If you were wondering, the bags are made from unbleached spruce tree pulp in Sweden. So what? Instead of energy-intensive plastic or recycled aluminum, spruce trees are a trusted, renewable source also used for Earth-friendly textiles.

Another cool thing is these bags are made with zero paraffin wax or petroleum, so they’re definitely safe for food use.

10. Heavy Duty Grill Basket by Grillaholics

  • Specially made for grilling veggies or shrimp
  • Stainless steel basket
  • 11.5 inches long on top, 8.5 inches long on the bottom, 2.5 inches in depth

Exclusively for grill masters and barbecue enthusiasts, these baskets from Grillaholics uphold your reputation behind the fire pit. Made of stainless steel and designed for easy use, this grill is best used for any barbecue staple like vegetables, seafood, or cut meat.

The basket features curved handles and reinforced corners that make it user- and food-friendly. Thanks to evenly-placed holes that distribute heat evenly, all food cooks thoroughly without any burnt pieces. Its large size and deep bottom allows you to cook more food at one time. The reinforced corners hold in weight without buckling under heat.

Use this basket with any type of grill: charcoal, gas, infrared, etc. Keep a grilling mitt on any time you’re handling the basket to avoid any mishaps.

Whereas wrapping your veggies in aluminum foil is a gamble when heat is trapped, this ensures that your ingredients are cooked to perfection every time.

11. BBQ Grill Mesh Mat by Cook Time

  • Best used for grilling
  • Teflon covered in fiberglass fabric
  • Set of 3 mats 15.75 inches by 13 inches

The nonstick grill mat set from Cook Time includes three mesh liners made of Teflon and fiberglass fabric. This versatile grilling utensil is compatible with vegetables, seafood, and other meats. A fine mesh design keeps food bits on the mat, saving you a messy clean-up below.

It’s safe to use with any charcoal, gas, smoker, propane, electric, or pellet grill. Additionally, you can use it in an oven or open fire pit for pizzas or cookies. Even up to 500 degree Fahrenheit, these heat-resistant mats will stay intact. The fiberglass coating is a safer alternative to silicone grilling mats which may be unsafe in high temperatures.

After your day of cooking, pop these into the top rack of your dishwasher to clean.

Here are some hints from Cook Time: Cut up the mats to match your toaster oven or baking pans to prevent sticky messes. If you need a larger surface area for your sizable grill, place the mats next to one another. Flip a mat over if you need a new cooking area–the other side will be clean, but still steeped in a smoky flavor. Such a fantastic alternative to aluminum foil.

12. Nonstick Bakeware Set by Rachael Ray

  • Best pick for baking
  • Heavy gauge steel pans with silicone handles
  • 4-, 5-, or 10-piece set

Rachael Ray’s nonstick baking set includes every tin, pan, and sheet you need for fundamental desserts and dishes. The set is made of heavy gauge steel and equipped with grippy silicone handles you can clutch even through thick oven mitts.

These pans don’t require any oil or aluminum foil lining for stick-free desserts, so you can check off single-use sheets from your shopping list forever.

Try a 4- or 5-piece set if you want something casual, but opt for the 10-piece set if you’re a devoted baker who needs a tried-and-true bundle:

  • 4-piece set: a 10-inch cookie pan, a 15-inch cookie pan, two 9-inch round pans for cake, and a 6-cup muffin pan
  • 5-piece set: a 10-inch cookie pan, two 9-inch round cake pans, a 9-inch by 13-inch rectangle cake pan, a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan
  • 10-piece set: two 10-inch by 15-inch cookie sheets, two 9-inch round panda, a 9-inch square pan, a two-piece meatloaf pan, a 9-inch by 13-inch rectangle pan with cover, and a 12-cup muffin pan

The sets are available in steel with Cranberry Red or Agave Blue grips. On the other hand, you can choose a Latte Brown finish with Cranberry Red or Agave Blue grips. Availability differs with each set.

Aluminum foil is a helpful kitchen product that also lends a hand in barbecuing, food storage, and to-go lunches. However, the alternatives are much more eco-friendly and also replace plastic wraps in most situations besides grilling and baking. Luckily, there’s an alternative to aluminum foil for every need you can possibly have. Now it’s your turn to make the switch to low -waste products and be glad you moved on from single-use products.

15 Non toxic & Organic Rugs For A Sustainable Home

Organic Rugs – check out these non toxic rugs for a sustainable home. Nobody really thinks about their rugs unless they’re busting out a bottle of red wine or their kids have decided that it’s time to finger-paint so why do you need to worry about something that’s on the floor and you’re not eating or putting on your face?

Well, to start with: just think about all the rolling around your kids and pets do on your rugs and all the walking that you do barefoot on them and you’ll quickly realize just how much direct contact these surfaces actually have with you and your family.

The problem with carpets and rugs is that they are laden with a worryingly large variety of dangerous chemicals.

That nice new carpet smell? It comes from gases known as volatile organic compounds or VOCs that accumulate in the air inside your home and can lead to nausea, headaches and irritation to skin and eyes.

Those convenient stain-repellant, anti-molding and hypoallergenic specs that the salesperson described to you at the store? They are usually achieved with the use of PFAs, whose ability to never degrade and accumulate in human bodies and the environment has earned them the nickname “forever chemicals” and which have been shown to cause everything from high cholesterol and tumors to problems with reproductive and developmental systems.

 

To find safer alternatives for you we focused this list on brands offering artisan-made rugs using traditional methods and materials. When they are made this way, our rugs have a better chance at including safer materials and of being of a higher quality than their commercial counterparts. Using artisanal methods of production ensures that the products will contain no VOC’s, PFA’s or any of the dangerous industrial chemicals commonly used in western products. 

The materials that make up most of these rugs – sisal, bamboo, cotton, jute, and seagrass or the wool of local sheep and llamas – are renewable and colored with natural dyes. In addition, all of these companies share fair trade philosophies, meaning that their products are not only safe for you and the environment but that they were produced humanely and responsibly.

Take a look at our picks below:

1. Organic Weave

Great for: Certified organic and non-toxic rugs and children’s organic rugs

A third-generation rug manufacturing business owner, Linda Alexinian, started Organic Weave after witnessing the uncomfortable amount of children that were working in rug factories in India. The result was a socially and environmentally responsible business that became the first rug company in the world to be certified as organic by the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).

Organic Weave offers a line of pre-made and custom-made flat-woven, hand-knotted and tufted organic rugs featuring abstract and geometric designs that are handcrafted in India using only certified organic wool and cotton and 100% natural dyes. In addition, the brand offers a dedicated children’s organic rug collection which was created with the amount of time little ones spend rolling around in carpets and rugs in mind.

2. Revival rugsAuthentic, Handmade & Vintage Rugs

 

Great for: Pieces with a history

Few manufactures will offer you such insight into their manufacturing process the way that Revival does. The company offers both vintage and new, Revival-made rugs through a website filled with beautifully shot videos showcasing every part of both their manufacturing and salvaging processes.

Pieces are made mostly in wool and jute and are created or salvaged in Turkey, India and Morocco using traditional techniques, earth friendly ingredients and small-batch production to ensure that every rug produced is a one-of-a-kind treasure.

3. Merida

 Great for: Design nerds

Merida’s creative director is an artist and self-taught weaver raised in between West Africa and France who uses everything from history and archeology to the natural world as inspiration to create sublime pieces that are now part of homes, hotels and boutiques around the world.

The company prizes design, craftsmanship and creativity and bills itself as place where designers and craftsmen are free to collaborate and experiment. Merida uses nothing but the highest quality 100% natural and organic materials – some of which are quite rare in rugs such as linen, abaca and mohair – and embraces the irregularities that using those natural materials and dyes impart to its designs. The artfully-crafted pieces are made not only to be admired from afar but also from up close where you’ll be able to relish in their exquisite weaving techniques. 

4. Earth Weave

Great for: Zero waste devotees

If you’re searching for the type of rug that will last you a lifetime, look no further than Earth Weave. This company is one of the first – and definitely one of the few – manufacturers offering organic and non toxic wall-to-wall carpeting. Their organic rugs and carpets are made of either raw wool or wool that has been colored with organic dyes and contains no VOC’s or PFA’s as they are not treated with any insecticides, fire retardants or stain-repellants.

Earth Weave claims that their non-toxic area rugs and carpets have a lifespan of nearly 25 years and that, once the time comes to dispose of them, they are 100% biodegradable.

5. Oh Happy HomeRugs Made For Family In Mind

Great for: Happy families

Have images of your kids spilling juice or your dog walking around with muddy paws made you all but give up on your dreams of having soft, gorgeous rugs at home?

Oh Happy Home is here for you! This Aussie company was started by a textiles expert, art teacher and mom of three boys who saw a need for rugs made for families who were not afraid to live happy and make a mess while doing it – just like hers. Designs are fun and colorful – many of them inspired by drawings made by her own children – and she even has a line of washable cotton rugs you can feel comfortable to have around your kids and pets. 

6. IkeaHandmade Rugs

Great for: Budget-conscious environmentalists

Jokes about disposable-quality furniture aside: IKEA is, for real, one of the best places to shop for safe and sustainably-made rugs and furniture. The Swedish giant has been a long-time pioneer in removing dangerous chemicals from it’s items: it started phasing out the use PFC’s in 2009 and, since 2016, none of their textiles contain any of these dangerous compounds.

A big part of their commitment to better business practices during the last decade was revising the way that their textiles were produced, especially their rugs. In an effort to improve working and living conditions for the workers in these factories, IKEA opened it’s own weaving centers in India and Bangladesh and addressed a number of problems affecting the lives and communities of their employees. The results are responsibly made, non-toxic area rugs in natural materials such as wool and cotton that are, not only super affordable, but free of any dangerous chemicals.

7. Haiku Designs

Great for: Nature lovers

Still worried about having to deal with stains in your carpet? Try a bamboo rug. They’re non-absorbent, easy to clean and made from the most renewable wood of them all. Haiku’s organic rugs are made out of a type of bamboo known as Moso which shares the unique qualities of being one of the sturdiest varieties of bamboo available and of having a short regeneration time that makes it one of the most renewable and carbon neutral plants on Earth.

8. Natural Area Rugs Natural Fiber Rugs

Great for: American-made products

This California company has over 50 years of experience selling natural fiber carpets, many of which are made in the USA. They use earth friendly materials such as sisal, grass, jute, wool or cotton, include no VOC’s in their manufacturing process and ensure that their contractors do not employ child or forced labor.

Unlike many vendors offering non-toxic area rugs, prices at Natural Area Rugs are surprisingly affordable for the quality – especially in models made from natural vegetable fibers.

9. Jonathan Adler Peruvian Rug Collection

Great for: Modern glamour

New York’s king of eclecticism fell in love with Peru during his first trip to the Andean nation back in the mid-90’s and has been including textiles and pottery made by local craftsmen in his collections ever since. His colorful Peruvian Rug Collection is hand-loomed by artisans using traditional methods and ultra soft, hand-dyed Peruvian llama wool.

The rugs feature bold geometric patters that are sure to become centerpieces in your home and, if the case is that you are looking for something a bit more special and unique, they offer an option for custom-made orders.

10. Unicef MarketHome Decor Area Rugs

Great for: The ultimate feel-good purchase

You simply won’t be able to find another place that makes you feel better about your purchases than UNICEF Market. To create their Market, UNICEF partnered with NOVICA, a non-profit that empowers artisans by removing middlemen, ensuring fair trade practices and providing them with the opportunities for their work to reach global audiences. Proceeds from sales help to keep these craftsmen and craftswomen employed and receiving fair wages and contribute to UNICEF’s mission of providing food, healthcare and education for vulnerable children around the world. 

11. The CitizenryArtisan Made Rugs

Great for: Aspiring gypsets

This female-owned startup founded by two traveler friends partners with artisans from all corners of the globe to curate a home décor collection straight out of a modern nomad’s dreams.

The Citizenry aims to bring into your home sustainably-made products filled with the stories of the people who made them and the places where they came from. Their rug collection features contemporary designs produced by their artisan partners in Oaxaca and India using traditional methods and locally-sourced materials such as cotton, sheep’s wool and llama’s wool colored with all-natural dyes. All rugs are available in a variety of sizes and most of them are gorgeous enough that the website offers you the option to convert them into wall hangings.

12. PampaHand woven earthy rugs

Great for: Bohemian luxury

Pampa was founded in Byron Bay, Australia by an Argentinian expat seeking to share and preserve the weaving traditions of her native South American country.

Their texture-rich rugs feature designs inspired by cultures from around the globe and are handwoven by artisans in the Argentinian Pampa using traditional techniques and locally-sourced wools and vegetable dyes. As a means to preserve these artisans’ weaving traditions and their way of life, Pampa pays them fair wages to help them stay in their communities instead of emigrating to cities in search of low-wage work. 

13. Armardillo & Co.

 

Great for: Understated luxury

Armardillo & Co exists in between Los Angeles, where its founder now lives, and Adelaide, where it originated. Their non toxic rugs’ simple designs, rustic materials and sun-washed palettes are not meant to take center stage but rather integrate with their surroundings, making them smart investments that will adapt to changing trends and surroundings for years to come.

Their environmentally responsible and fair trade practices allow Armardillo & Co. to proudly claim that all its rugs “lie lightly on this earth”.

14. TufenkianModern Area Rugs

Great for: Sleek and elegant rugs 

Tufenkian claims that over 1,500 hours of handwork go into each one of their hand-knotted rugs. They pride themselves in using only hand-spun and hand-dyed wool from free-range sheep living in the mountains of Central Asia, which produce a softer, lanolin-rich wool.

As a contrast to these rustic production techniques, Tufenkian’s rugs feature ultra sleek and modern designs that will look right at home in a multitude of settings.

15. Goodweave Ending Child Labor in Global Supply Chain

 

Great for: Fair-trade rugs

Over the past two decades, this non-profit has managed to convince both small and large manufacturers – such as retail giants Target and Macy’s – to create safer and more responsible supply chains in the rug and textile industries by ensuring slave labor and child labor-free manufacturing.

Their website features a search engine where you can find rug and textile manufacturers that have been awarded the Goodweave label because of their adherence to strict rules of transparency, humane working conditions, fair wages and minimization of environmental impact.  A big part of Goodweave’s work is reducing the exposure to dangerous chemicals of the people working in the textile industry, which is why you can rest assured that products with the Goodweave label do not contain any hazardous dyes or components.

As you can see, there are plenty of options for finding better rugs for your home, regardless of your budget.

Before bringing any of these beautiful pieces into your home, don’t forget to dispose of your old rugs responsibly. Carpet America Recovery Effort’s website has a very useful map showing rug and carpet collection centers near you where you can drop off your old rugs for them to recycle and reuse into other items or new rugs.

15 Trash Can Cabinets to Adorn Your Home

Trash can cabinets house your recycling and/or general trash behind wooden or steel doors. They make cleaning quicker and more visually appealing. Some also provide other functions like acting as a coffeemaker stand or displaying cooked dishes during dinner parties. Instead of displaying trash bins bare in your kitchen, invest in a cabinet to save space and provide extra surface area for other purposes.

But before you decide on a trash can cabinet for your home, ask yourself what features are the most important to you.

Do you want hardwood to match your existing cabinets, or do you prefer steel to mesh with the dishwasher? Are you looking for something larger with lots of extra storage space on top or something petite to tuck under your floating island?

What color would work in your kitchen—neutral white, or something dazzling like a golden orange? Finally, think about the finish—coated or plain? Chrome or steel? There is not a huge market for made-to-order cabinets with special inscriptions, specific handles, colors, and so on, so take advantage of where you can customize it.

Moreover, think about size. Do you have a large family that produces a lot of trash or recyclables daily? Is there actually enough room in the kitchen? Are you placing the cabinet in the kitchen or less busy areas like the study or foyer?

As you can see, there is a lot to consider when planning to buy a trash cabinet.

Yes, surprisingly, there is a large selection of beautiful, functional trash can cabinets online. From large commercial bins to compact cabinets, it’s important to know what makes a great cabinet the one.

What types of cabinets are there?

A trash can cabinet will either be tilt out, pull out, or free standing. Let’s break it down. A tilt out trash bin cabinet, as its name suggests, leans out when the cabinet is opened, using a handle or knob. Now, the bin is usually attached to the cabinet door via a wire receptacle. This makes for easy access and is great for tight spaces.

On the other hand, you are most likely more familiar with a pull-out trash can cabinet. It requires some installation, but nothing too difficult. The system must be attached either to the door or side of a cabinet or on the floor of a cabinet, usually under the kitchen sink. It pulls out fully so you can sort garbage with ease.

Granted, this type of cabinet is ideal for more spacious kitchens. That’s because they are usually designed for at least two bins. However, they can hold bigger trash bins than other types of cabinets, so if you have a high trash output home, this system would be more fitting. Note that you can often purchase a pull out system on its own or buy a cabinet with this type of trash bin storage.

Lastly, a free standing trash can cabinet does not tilt or pull out. It is simply a receptable with an opening on top for trash. Think cafeterias and restaurants with the bin hiding underneath to catch trash. However, there is sometimes a hinged top lid with a handle in addition to the front door to access the bin.

Most free standing cabinets are compatible with large trash cans but by design, they usually only have space for one bin. Unless you purchase a large commercial bin with dual spots for your home, stick to more traditional cabinets. These commercial bins are ideal for outdoor kitchens or if you constantly host large social gatherings, like barbecues.

One last thing to consider about trash can cabinets in general is that many of them can only hold one bin. This is especially true for smaller models, so if you’re looking for something that holds both recycling and trash, consider purchasing matching cabinets if feasible.

So what trash can cabinet is the right one for you? It really depends on your taste, available space in your home, and preference for specific functions. But here is some good news. To save you time and help you decide on the best trash bin cabinet specifically for your home, we did all the work and researched the best ones online. Check out this carefully curated list before you make your big purchase!

Let’s get started.

15 Best Trash Can Cabinets

1. Basic pull out sans cabinet:

35-Quart Sliding Pull Out Kitchen Cabinet Waste Bin Container, Gray (59/99$)

Let’s start with the basics. If you need a trash can holding system without the cabinet, it’s worth looking into Rev-A-Shelf’s Double 35 Quart Sliding Pull Out Kitchen Cabinet Waste Bin Container in industrial gray. It attaches to your cabinet floor or door (in a separate purchase) easily—just mount four screws. If you’re worried about durability, don’t waste another thought.

The chrome-plated wires can support up to 100 pounds of trash. The handle is removable just in case your cabinet is tight on space. The best part about this setup? It’s relatively low cost and easy to install and uninstall.

If you’re looking for a pull out trash storage system and aren’t ready to commit to a cabinet yet, Rev-A-Shelf’s product is the most sensible choice.

Two 35-quart bins are included.

  • Material: Stainless Steel, 304 Grade
  • Measurements 23.9 x 15.6 x 14.5 inches, 15.81 pounds
  • Single or Double? Double
  • Assembly required? Yes

2. Commercial grade stainless steel:

Kingston Series 20-Inch Tilt-Out Stainless Steel Trash Bin (346.49$)

This BBQGUYS Kingston Series 20-Inch Tilt-Out Stainless Steel Trash Bin is an industrial-strength and high quality cabinet. What makes it so durable? The body is made of 304 grade stainless steel, the most expensive type of commercial grade steel. This means it resists rusting and corrosion.

Think about it: kitchens are prone to moisture, heat, liquid splashes, and more, not to mention accidental banging and scratching. Rest assured that this cabinet will hold up in any situation.

If you’re going to put in money into a considerable purchase, make it worth it. This trash bin cabinet is ideal for kitchens with matching stainless steel appliances and high-traffic kitchens.

The 28-quart bin is not included.

  • Material: Stainless Steel, 304 Grade
  • Measurements 19.4 x 26.4 inches, 22 pounds
  • Single or Double? Single
  • Assembly required? Yes, for mounting

3. Rustic, but modern:

Sunny Designs Sedona Trash Box, Rustic Oak Finish

Sunny Designs produced this free standing Sedona Trash Box with a Rustic Oak Finish. Granted, there isn’t much room for customizability in trash can cabinets, but Sunny Designs helps right this shortcoming.

It’s helpful to know that this cabinet comes with a knob or a ring handle, whichever is most preferable to you or whichever matches your kitchen best. For ease of use, the lid lifts up to reveal the trash can underneath. As for look, the solid oak material offers a natural, well-made addition to fit any kitchen.

There you have it. If you want a standard cabinet with a rustic feel, this cabinet is on the top of our list.

The 13 gallon trash bin is not included.

  • Material: Wood, birch and oak
    • Measurements 16 x 13 x 33.5 inches, 38 pounds
    • Single or Double? Option for both
    • Assembly required? No

4. Skillful Amish craftsmanship, high quality:

Peaceful Classics Amish Handcrafted Tilt Out Trash Cabinet, Golden Finish (249$)

Have you ever wanted a unique, handcrafted item from well-known makers? Look no further. Peaceful Classics produces the Amish Handcrafted Tilt Out Trash Cabinet in an earthy Harvest tone. A golden finish on the oak wood gives this cabinet its pleasing tone.

Created with traditional Amish woodworking techniques, this cabinet is hardy and long lasting with a modest, yet professionally made look. This cabinet will fit in with slighty darker toned furniture sets, but is still versatile enough otherwise. Furthermore, it’s compact enough to be moved around. Not satisfied with it in the kitchen corner? You can easily transport it to the laundry room or the guest bedroom.

Peaceful Classics’ cabinet is best for anyone wanting to furnish a smaller kitchen with a high quality, prized Amish cabinet.

The 36-quart bin is included with your purchase.

  • Material: Wood, solid oak
    • Measurements 19 x 14 x 27 inches, weight unknown
    • Single or Double?
    • Assembly required? No

5. No-frill, sturdy pine cabinet:

Kenzie’s Kreations Handcrafted Wooden Trash Can

Searching for an old-school, artisanal piece to complete your household furniture set? There are a few on this list, but here is one to consider. Kenzie’s Kreations is a fitting name for this shop, which offers the tilt-out Handcrafted Wooden Trash Can. Solid pine wood gives this hefty cabinet its solid frame and build, giving you a superior quality product that won’t topple. Let’s get this straight. Kenzie’s Kreations’ trash cabinet won’t look like a shiny, factory-made cabinet. And that’s a good thing!

You can, however, opt for a stained or plain finish–whichever trash can cabinet style fits your home best. Kenzie’s Kreation’s pine cabinet is best for homes who want a no-frill, great product that just can’t be found in mainstream furniture stores.

The 13-gallon trash can or bag are is not included.

  • Material: Wood, pine
    • Measurements: 23 x 12 31.5 inches, 64 pounds
    • Single or Double? Single
    • Assembly required? No.

6. Vintage-inspired, one-of-a-kind cabinet:

Sawdust City Microwave Stand with Tilt-Out Trash Bin, Old Cottage White (259.99$)

Sawdust City’s Microwave Stand with Tilt-Out Trash Bin is on trend without being cheap—it is bucolic yet elegant. Each unique cabinet is made from unprocessed wood. You can see the unique element in each piece in the charismatic blemishes such us knots and marks. Moreover, you can opt for the “solid” style of coat for a more modern and finished look. By contrast, the “old” paint style option makes the final product seem vintage, but make no mistake. The solid wood means this cabinet can hold small appliances like microwaves or even petite fax machines. Sawdust City guarantees its cabinet’s strengths with the genuine, real wood and screws, not air nails, which is common in other cabinets.

Admittedly, it is on the smaller side, but if you need a rustic, reliable piece to complement your home without paying the price for a vintage cabinet, Sawdust City is more than an equal alternative.

  • Material: Wood, pine
    • Measurements 20 x 12.5 x 30.2 inches, 22 pounds
    • Single or Double? Single
    • Assembly required? No

7. Multipurpose cutting board, cabinet, drawer:

SpaceMaster Freestanding Cart, White (199.80$)

SpaceMaster crafted the Freestanding Microwave Kitchen Cart with Trash Can Holder and Bamboo Cutting Board, available in white. How is it different from other cabinets? The ultimate multipurpose cabinet, it offers three key uses. There is a removable bamboo cutting board on top, a slide-out drawer for storage, and a tilt out trash bin holder below. Simple living and minimalism has never been easier.

When considering visual aesthetic, it also does not disappoint. The neutral medium tone wood and white paint complements all household furniture. Tie your kitchen and dining room together with SpaceMaster’s cabinet, especially if you’re a fan of multifunctional, yet visually-pleasing furniture.

It is compatible with 15.2 x 11 x 19.9 inches trash can, which is not included.

  • Material: Wood
    • Measurements 16.5 x 20.3 x 40 inches, 62 pounds
    • Single or Double? Single
    • Assembly required? Yes.

8. Narrow with extra shelf space:

Storage Cabinet w/ Recycle Bin / Trash Can Holder (238.67$)

Sauder’s tilt out Narrow Storage Cabinet with Recycle Bin is indeed narrow, but makes for it in height. You’ll get three extra shelves on top for storing food, books, utensils, and other knickknacks. Other ideas? Store your microwave, toaster (after use!), coffeemaker, and other small appliances inside. Match dark toned furniture with this espresso cabinet, or opt for two cabinets to hold both recycling and garbage.

Alternatively, you can use the cabinet as a laundry hamper if you’d prefer to update another part of your home. If you want to make use of vertical space and combine shelf storage with trash bin compatibility, Sauder’s tall cabinet is a great choice.

The 13.3 gallon trash bin is not included.

  • Material: Wood
    • Measurements: 17 ¼ x 18 7/8 x 71 1/8 inches
    • Single or Double? Single
    • Assembly required? Yes.

9. Stainless steel and outdoor kitchen cabinet:

Blaze Outdoor Products, Narrow Roll Out Bin, Stainless Steel (329.99$)

There are plenty of indoor trash cabinets, but Blaze Outdoor Products provides a solution for outdoor kitchens—the pull out Blaze Narrow Roll Out Trash Bin. The 304 grade stainless steel offers durability to combat the elements, and the double-lined design makes it extra sturdy. In other words, the small size doesn’t mean it’s fragile. USA-made steel makes sure the cabinet will stand the test of time and use.

Not a fan of slamming doors? This cabinet has a soft close, so even if you get a lot of use out of it, it always closes with a hush, not a crash. Additionally, the polished finish and similarly-colored handle creates a clean look, helping it mesh with other kitchen furniture. With all this said, Blaze Outdoor’s trash bin is best suited for someone searching for a compact outdoor cabinet to complement a steel grill.

The 42 quart bin is included.

  • Material: Stainless Steel, 304 Grade
    • Measurements: 19.6 x 26.4 x 13.9 inches, 35.8 pounds
    • Single or Double? Single
    • Assembly required? Only for mounting

10. Portable, wheeled trash island cabinet:

Catskill Pull Out Trash Island, Brown

Catskill’s Pull Out Recycling Trash Island in brown is a portable, dual trash bin cabinet with a top pull out drawer to match. Most importantly, the hardwood is obtained from sustainable resources. So what? Well, now we have a superior cabinet at no environmental cost, which is the case for other poorly made and mass manufactured cabinets.

The hardwood sides and back prevent warping, so expect the product to last even in unfavorable conditions. Tired of stationary cabinets with short legs that make it difficult to clean under? This cabinet’s wheeled legs let you clean underneath quickly and easily, and allow you to move the cabinet around your home or outside. Don’t worry—the wheels lock for an added safety feature.

One last thing: the tabletop can be used as a serving surface or place for your small appliances like microwaves. So if you’re looking for a multifunctional and portable cabinet, Catskill’s wheeled cabinet is the most sensible choice.

The 36 quart trash cans are not included.

  • Material: Hardwood
    • Measurements 17 x 38 x 34.5 inches, 58 pounds
    • Single or Double? Double
    • Assembly required? Yes, but there is an option for assembly with a separate charge.

11. Compact, handmade Eastern white pine cabinet:

Compact Pine Bin with Early American Stain (199.99$)

BuffaloWood Shop offers the free standing Wooden Trash Bin Kitchen Garbage Can made of rustic pine and a metal handle. The metal handle on top opens a hinged door, making for easy trash disposal. If you’re somewhat of a woodworking connoisseur, the 13-gallon cabinet is finished off with an Early American stain—both in and out of the cabinet–and an extra three coats to protect the cabinet from damage.

 What makes this item even more special is it is handmade by the shop owner. Moreover, each fragment of wood that makes up the cabinet will have different marks and speckles, truly making each Buffalowood Shop trash can cabinet one-of-a-kind.

It’s small enough to tuck into the corner and compact enough to carry around if you tend to move between homes frequently. If you want to invest in a quality, handmade cabinet, this pine cabinet is one that will last for years and years. Note that it is meant to hold a trash bag, not a can because of its unique size.

The 13 gallon trash bag is not included.

  • Material: Wood, Eastern white pine
    • Measurements: 27 x 17 x 11 inches, 71 pounds
    • Single or Double? Single
    • Assembly required? No.

12. Rustic chic cabinet with butcher’s block:

Monica Kitchen Cabinet, Dark Grey (143.38$)

If your kitchen screams rustic chic cottage meets seaside vacation home, Baxton Studio’s Monica Kitchen Cabinet, available in dark grey and oak brown, might be the best trash can cabinet for you. As if a tilt-out trash bin and pull-out drawer weren’t enough, the top is finished with a thick-cut butcher’s block. Why is this special? You now have more space for prepping food, placing cooked dishes, or holding small kitchen gadgets.

Additionally, the lined panels contribute to the charming cottage feel, while the chrome knob and handles keep it modern. Baxton Studio’s wooden cabinet is your chance to achieve your dream Pinterest-inspired rustic kitchen.

The 13 gallon trash can is not included.

  • Material: Wood and chrome metalwork
    • Measurements 20 x 16.5 x 40 inches, 70.5 pounds
    • Single or Double? Single
    • Assembly required? No

Unconventional trash cabinets

13. Double laundry hamper to double recycling and trash cabinet:

Crosley Furniture, Dual Hamper (159.77$)

Crosley Furniture, Dual Hamper

Crosley Furniture’s Linen Hamper, in White or Black is a double laundry hamper cabinet that also acts as a trash can cabinet. Sort garbage and recycling, or different types of recycling easily with the dual compartments. Although it comes with cloth bags, you can easily detach them and place garbage bags in their place (sold separately).

And you know what? The elegant shuttered doors and metal half-moon handles convey a sense of sophistication and good taste—which is more than we expect from a trash can cabinet! The cabinet itself is sturdy enough so the top shelf can hold moderately-sized items like heavy glassware and other décor. Imagine this cabinet housing your handmade ceramic pottery or most cherished family tableware. Imagine not worrying whether or not it’s sturdy enough—it is.

If you’re looking for a graceful addition to your household without breaking the bank, Crosley Furniture’s cabinet is a great option.

The bins are not included.

  • Material: Solid hardwood with metal hardware
    • Measurements 31 x 14.2 x 29 inches, 60 pounds
    • Single or Double? Double
    • Assembly required? Yes.

14. Simple and petite laundry hamper turned trash can cabinet:

HomCom Free Standing Tilt Out Hamper (257.78$)

HomCom’s Modern Country Free Standing Bathroom Tilt Out Laundry Hamper doubles as a laundry bin cabinet to save space and keep any room organized without committing to a full cabinet set. The cabinet comes in white and has a matte finish—a suitable addition to any themed décor. More importantly, the paint is water resistant and fights wear and tear. Why is this important? Even a busy kitchen is no match for this hardy cabinet. It also holds up to 66 pounds of weight, allowing you to store a moderate amount of household items on top and recyclables below.

Furthermore, the top shelf is helpful displaying and holding small items like a stack of books, a key bowl, mail, or potted plants. This simple, but functional laundry hamper transforms into a trash can cabinet that is a little narrower than most. Nevertheless, there are still trash bins available that will fit. Alternatively, you can clip a trash bag over it instead for easier disposal.

HomCom’s cabinet is most beneficial for homes with a small trash output. On the other hand, you can use it as a corner trash bin. If you don’t mind regularly emptying out the trash, then this compact trash bin is the perfect match for your home.

Because it’s a hamper, a trash bin is not included.

  • Material: Wood
    • Measurements 15.7 x 18.1 x 31.1 inches, 29.9 pounds
    • Single or Double? Single
    • Assembly required? Yes

15. Quirky commercial trash can cabinet:

Display2go Trash Bin, Black Finish (176.99$)

Display2go’s Commercial Trash Bin with Black Finish is similar to most cabinets found in mainstream cafes, restaurants, and food halls. Believe it or not, you can install it in your home, especially if you prefer unique pieces over conventional products.

How does it fare on cleanliness and ease of use compared to traditional cabinets? Unsurprisingly, it’s easy to use and clean even in households. There is a circle opening on top (width is 7.9 inches) and a door in front for easy disposal and retrieval. On the top shelf, you can store smaller items like water pitchers or condiments to save space in your pantry and refrigerator. It can keeps trays and other items on an upper shelf. In eateries, you’ll find trays, coffee creamers, and utensils on this top shelf.

Although this trash bin cabinet is typically found in commercial settings, it makes for a funky addition to a stylish loft or an outdoor patio, especially for summer evening get-togethers.

The compatible 36 gallon trash bin is not included.

  • Material: Medium-density fiberboard,
    • Measurements 23.5 x 22.5x 34 inches, 79 pounds
    • Single or Double? Single
    • Assembly required? Yes.

So there you have it. We’ve carefully reviewed our list of the best 15 trash can cabinets. When perusing other options, remember to look for important features.

  • Measurements
  • Material
  • Color or finish
  • Whether or not the bin is included
  • Whether or not the product comes fully assembled

The products featured above are available on Amazon, but there are plenty of other options in stores, wood shops, furniture stores, and even estate sales if you prefer pre-loved items.

13 Eco Friendly Planner You Need to Know About

Eco friendly planner — definitely not the first thing on your mind when you want to start living sustainably, but still oh so important!

Have you ever noticed how people focus on just a few small things when thinking about living an eco-friendly lifestyle?

We tend to think of the classic sustainable swaps like using a reusable water bottle, bringing reusable bags to the grocery store and avoiding plastic straws.

But there is so much more that we can be doing!

Our everyday lives are FILLED with things that aren’t great for the planet in the long run. Things we barely think of as being polluters of the environment.

Our phones, computers, bedsheets, hair ties, clothing, and even our planners, are harming our planet.

How? They ALL contribute to waste in our world today. Electronic waste, fabric waste, and paper waste come from so many of the products that we use on a daily basis.

But wait. Can’t you just recycle the paper from your planner after you’re finished with it?

Yep, you totally can. But there’s more than just paper to consider!

So, what helps qualify a planner as eco-friendly?

Recyclability

Planners can come with lots of extra odds and ends like the cover, ribbon bookmark, spiral binding, elastic tie to keep it shut, plastic tabs, and extra plastic folders for organization.

Most of these extras can’t be recycled, so it’s important to look for a eco friendly planner that has mostly all recyclable components!

(Sadly, not all of the planners in this list fit that standard, BUT we tried our best people!)

Made from Recycled or Sustainable Materials

Using materials like recycled paper, recycled wire, 100% cotton binding thread, cork or any other sustainable material is awesome because it’s repurposing materials that might’ve gone to waste otherwise!

It’s a huge help in reducing your carbon footprint because the higher the percentage of recycled paper that was used, the fewer trees were cut down to help make that planner! Theoretically… 😉

FSC Certification

FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council and this certification basically means that the paper that’s used has been sourced in an environmentally-friendly and socially responsible way, which is super important!

Packing Materials

Look out for companies that use sustainable packing materials like biodegradable packing peanuts, and recycled boxes. And it’s best if the business avoids plastic packaging all together!

Fill-in-the-Blank Dates

Having a date-less, year-less planner can help you waste less just in case you don’t end up using your planner for a few months or don’t need to start using it until a certain month.

No worries with a dateless planner because you can start and stop using it any time, and it will always be ready the next time you need it!

So, wouldn’t the best solution actually be to use a digital planner on your phone or computer instead?

Just ditch the paper altogether, right?

Well…

Yeah, that’s a super awesome point.

And if you’re ready to ditch a physical, paper planner all together, then you are a unique type of human and you should definitely go for it. I applaud all your digital organization skills.

BUT, I know there are plenty of us who put our life and soul into our physical planners, and we’re just not ready to take that digital step yet. And THAT’S OKAY.

There’s hope for the physical, right in front of your face, planner lovers of the world!

As you were probably hoping, I’ve researched and reviewed 13 eco-friendly planners that will definitely meet your planner needs while reducing waste and pursuing sustainability all at the same time!

So, let’s jump right in and find the best eco-friendly planner for your personal organization style!

1. That journal or planner you already have!

I know… You’ve got to be kidding me right? I’m here to find a new planner not just to use that old journal I already have.

I get it. We all love the feeling of searching for a brand new planner, full of possibilities. But if you really want to live an eco-friendly lifestyle, it always starts with using the stuff you already have. Even though it’s the least exciting and glamorous option, it really is the best thing to do to reduce waste!

We all have that lonely journal on our shelf that we bought because it was adorable and we NEEDED to get it. We tell ourselves… Oh, I’ll totally start journaling more now since I have this super adorable, totally useful, amazing little journal.

BUT, at least for me, I always fool myself into thinking that I’m way more committed to journaling that I actually am.

So, all that to say.

Use that damn journal that’s been waiting to be loved on since day one. Have a DIY moment and mark that baby up to be the best personalized planner you ever dreamed of. AND it’ll satisfy your every need. Why? ‘Cause, YOU made it!

Hella personalized, right?

But honestly, I get it if you’re just not ready to dive into the DIY world and you’re hoping to actually use that journal for journaling someday.

So, for my non-DIY-lovers, here are 12 awesome store-bought options for your next eco-friendly planner.

2.   Wisdom Supply Co.’s 2020 Weekly Planner

100% Recyclable Planner (20$)

 It seriously says it all right there on the front! “I’M NOT LANDFILL”

This planner is an awesome, eco-friendly planner option because it is completely 100% recyclable. There are no extra odds and ends that must be thrown into a landfill because everything, including the cover, is recyclable.

It features a simple, easy-to-look-at weekly layout, perfect for anyone looking for ultimate simplicity in their next planner.

Not only is their planner a great eco-friendly option, but Wisdom Supply Co. is also a Certified B Corporation that takes their role in pursuing sustainability very seriously. Wisdom Supply Co. also ranks in the top 10% of all B corps in the “Environment” category!

3.   House of Doolittle Daily and Monthly 24/7 Planner

100% Post-Consumer Recycled Planner with Soy Inks (24.91$)

Simplicity is key right?

This eco-friendly planner is definitely simple. None of that over the top stuff and only the key essentials.

In terms of eco-friendliness, this planner has 100% post-consumer (recycled) paper that is also chlorine-free and FSC certified.

In addition to all of that, the wire for the spiral binding is made from 90% recycled materials and the cover is made from 50% recycled materials!

If you’re looking for a simple, easy to use, eco-friendly planner, this might be the planner for you!

4. AT-A-GLANCE Watercolors Recycled Weekly-Monthly Planner

Recycled Weekly Monthly Planner (20.03$)

Classic.

AT-A-GLANCE Planners always show up with clean layouts, plenty of room for all of your planning scribbles, and this one is just that much better because it’s eco-friendly too!

This one is made with plenty of recycled materials. The cover is 30% recycled, the paper is 30% recycled and the wire binding is made from 90% recycled wire.

Yay, At-A-Glance planner now available for 2022, get yours here.

5. 2021 Weekly Ponderlily Planner

Recyclable Planner

This simple planner sends out chic and sophisticated vibes while also checking that eco-friendly box!

Ponderlily commits to sustainable practices in the production and packaging of their products.

Their planner is made with FSC recyclable paper, uses soy-based inks, and also features a cover that’s made with 100% REACH compliant, rayon cloth (which basically means that the cloth is safe to use and doesn’t require the use of harmful chemicals to create it).

For packaging, they use recyclable mailers and biodegradable tape, and biodegradable packing peanuts instead of using bubble wrap!

The planner can also help you intentionally set your goals for the each month in areas like wellness, relaxation, friends and family, and finances. And also take time to reflect on past months!

You’ll definitely be reminded to take time to reflect each week with prompts like:

  • Recharge
  • Positive habits
  • Reasons to celebrate this week

If you are searching for an intentional, reflective planner that is still eco-friendly then this might the planner for you!

Something to note: this eco friendly planner is designed as an hourly planner and the times are listed from 5:00am-22:00pm, just to let you know!

6. Classic 2021 Agenda by Elevation Eco

This 2021/2022 planner from May Designs will be PERFECT for you if you’re looking for a planner that has a dividable format!

Protect the environment, stay organized. Elevation Eco is made only with vegetable-based inks and recycled paper. At the end of the year, simply recycle the planner.

So how are these gorgeous planners actually eco-friendly?

  1. The spine is bound with thread by a sewing machine. Why’s that so awesome? Because most books are bound with glue that’s you can’t recycle or reuse. Binding with thread eliminates that problem!
  2. The covers are made out of canvas. And the canvas is partly made from recycled post-consumer paper waste. Another plus with canvas is that it will last a really long time! This brand is serious about recycling paper waste and lowering its carbon footprint.
  3. Handmade in the US. It’s always nice to know that whatever you’re buying isn’t coming straight from an automated factory in China and is actually made by a real human being in the US.

7. Stone Paper Daily Planner

Stone Paper Daily Planner (12.99$)

SHOP

This stone paper planner might not be the most glamorous option, but it is seriously eco-friendly. Love these ONYX product.

Here’s why:

  • The cover is made from cork. And cork is an awesomely sustainable resource because the trees that cork comes from don’t need to be cut down in order to harvest the cork.
  • The paper is made from stone and recycled construction debris. HOW COOL IS THAT. Just casually jotting down your daily plans on recycled stone, no biggie. And the cool part about stone paper is that it doesn’t require water or bleach in the production process.
  • And lastly, they ship with 100% plastic-free packaging.

If you love simple layouts and are looking for something easy-to-use and eco-friendly, this might just be the perfect planner for you! Check more from ONYX & GREEN here.

8.  The Daily Planner by Lavendaire

Recycled Paper Planner With Vegan Leather Cover (26$)

This is the type of planner that will help you mindfully center yourself before you start your busy day and help you reflect on all of the things you were able to accomplish by the end of your day.

I love this planner because it focuses on the importance of practicing mindfulness in our day to day lives.

These are the daily prompts you’ll find in this planner:

  • Today I want to feel:
  • Today’s focus:
  • Most important tasks:
  • To Do:
  • Self Care:
  • I’m grateful for:
  • Today’s wins:
  • Notes:

So, how does this qualify as an eco-friendly planner?

It is printed on recycled FSC certified paper, has a vegan leather cover (better than real leather), features fill-in-the-blank dates and it is packaged and shipped with recycled materials (and no plastic).

Sadly, this planner is not completely recyclable because of the cover and ribbon bookmark, so if you are looking for a completely recyclable planner, this may not be the one for you.

But, if you are looking for an intentional and mindfulness-focused planner that is still eco-friendly than this might be the one for you!

9. Etsy Daily Page Planner

The Daily Page Planner (54.99$)

This planner helps you focus on personal wellness goals to achieve each day, and it’ll help you cross off all the things on your daily to-do list.

Keep track of your daily hydration with those adorable little cups next to your H20 goal, plan out your meals, and organize your daily to-do’s — all in one place!

As far as eco-friendly goes, the cover and the pages are both 100% recyclable, it’s produced with 60% renewable energy, it’s shipped and packaged in recyclable materials, it has fill-in-the-blank dates, and according to the Etsy seller, a tree is planted for every planner sold.

And to add to all of that, buying from Etsy is such an awesome way to support small business owners!

10. Earth Greetings 2021 Diary

Vegetable Based Ink Planner (18.98$)

This planner features a clean layout with beautiful art on each page designed by Claire Ishino, an Australian artist.

Not only does this planner use vegetable-based ink printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper, but Earth Greetings is also a carbon-neutral company that commits to 100% carbon offsetting their products by planting trees.

And to add to all of that, Earth Greetings also donates 10% of their profits to environmental organizations.

The planner itself has a simple, clean design and features goal setting at the beginning of each month and plenty of extra space for notes and doodles.

11. Etsy 2021 Weekly Planner

Etsy Weekly Planner (15.68$)

This one is just adorably small, right?

It would be perfect for anyone that is looking for something little and eco-friendly. And something that supports small business!

As for the binding, it’s definitely not your classic glued-together book.

It’s actually bound together with thread that is waxed with either beeswax or soya wax (vegan option). And you can customize what kind of wax you’d like to have for your very own planner!

I love the adorable monstera leaf stamping work done on the cover which is made from recycled gray boards. The paper inside is also 100% recycled paper.

And to add to all of that, you can request personal customization for your planner.

If you’re looking to practice your language skills, this planner is also available in French, Italian, German, Spanish, Czech, Slovak, and English!

12. Green Dreamer 2020 Planner 

Green Dreamer Recycled Paper Planner (36.99$)

If you’re looking for something a bit more stylish, interactive, and environmentally-focused, the Green Dreamer 2020 planner might be for you.

I love this planner because it’s not only made with 100% recycled paper and soy-based ink— it also includes:

  • Important environmental awareness dates to actually remember this year
  • Motivational quotes to inspire you daily
  • Daily prompts to express your gratitude and intentions for each day
  • 101 Tips to Thrive in your everyday life (things like exercise, eating, and sustainability tips)
  • And honestly, so many more awesome features.

And as if that wasn’t enough, Green Dreamer also commits to shipping with completely plastic-free packaging and recycled cardboard boxes.

And I know you weren’t even expecting anything else, but purchasing one of their planners also supports reforestation. 1 tree is planted for every planner that’s purchased.

13. Sasha Kretova Planners

100% Recycled Paper Planner (8$)

Sasha is a designer and illustrator from Finland. She designs beautiful things like notebooks, planners, stickers, postcards, pins and more!

So. Her products are amazing and super eco-conscious and you’re probably wondering why I put her at the end of the list. Well, she currently doesn’t have any planners listed on her website… BUT I bet that you can totally email her and ask her personally to make you a planner!

I had to add Sasha to the list because all of her products are intentionally created with sustainability in mind.

Her hand-bound books are made with Evolution Business 160 gsm paper that’s FSC and low carbon emission certified and it’s made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper. She also either recycle or reuses all of the waste paper that’s created from making her products.

The covers of her books are made with 100% recycled carton and cardboard and are bound with 100% cotton binding thread.

Think you found your dream planner?

If yes, AMAZING! I’m so glad this post was helpful in finding the perfect eco-friendly planner that fits your vibe and sustainability goals!

If not, I hope this post was at least helpful in understanding what makes a planner or notebook more eco-friendly and sustainable and how you can look out for things like:

  • 100% post-consumer recycled paper
  • Vegetable-based inks
  • Recyclable covers and pages
  • Fill-in-the-blank dateless planners
  • No plastic tabs or folders
  • FSC certification
  • Certified B Corps
  • Supporting local or small businesses
  • And supporting companies that take sustainability seriously

Do these planners meet your sustainability standards? If not, how do you think these brands could improve their sustainability efforts in their planner designs?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

Fair Trade Furniture [Your Ultimate Guide]

Fair trade furniture & sustainable accessory for your home.

Are you struggling to find furniture that fits both your values and your individual style?

That’s real!

Finding furniture that brings the perfect amount of personality to your home can get overwhelming in itself. And when you add your values into the mix, it can feel like an impossible task to find something that will work for you.

Luckily, this is the perfect guide to ease the pain.

Below, you’ll discover 15 places to find the ideal fair trade furniture for you.

I carefully reviewed each vendor and their furniture based on the following criteria:

  • Ethical, fair trade practices
  • Eco-friendly materials
  • High-quality
  • Sustainably sourced wood

So let’s jump right in and find the best fair trade furniture for you!

1. VivaTerra

Types of Furniture: side tables, benches, desks, sofas, stools, dining tables, shelves, chairs

Features: fair trade, eco-friendly, some items made in the USA

Where to Buy: Online only

Price: $-$$

VivaTerra — which means “living earth” — aims to work in harmony with nature by providing products that are eco-conscious, sustainable, and ethically made.

They source products that are handcrafted, made from recycled or reclaimed materials, made with natural materials, made in the USA and created with sustainably harvested wood.

Choose from materials like: vintage fir, reclaimed furniture, upholstered furniture, wood furniture, and metal furniture.

VivaTerra is the perfect choice for anyone looking for furniture that will feel modern and unique while also being eco-friendly and responsibly made!

2. Made Trade 

Types of furniture: bed frames, chairs, desks, dressers, nightstands, sofas, dining tables, coffee tables, shelves

Features: fair trade, heritage, made in the USA, people of color owned, women-owned, sustainable, vegan

Where to Buy: Online only

Price:$$

Made Trade is a woman-owned, family-run company that holds itself to a high ethical standard they call being “ethically elevated.”

They source their products from lots of different vendors and make sure that all of the furniture they sell meets their high standards!

An awesome feature is that you can shop by your values on their website. Whether you’re looking for specifically fair trade furniture, furniture made in the USA or sustainable furniture, you’ll be able to find it here.

They offer a huge variety of types of furniture, but definitely expect to pay for the value you’re getting! No cheapy, low-quality stuff here, so don’t expect to pay like it is.

3. Avocado

Types of Furniture: mattresses, bed frames, end tables, dressers

Features: fair trade, organic mattresses, vegan mattresses, made in the USA, climate-neutral certified, use of reclaimed wood

Where to Buy: Online only

Price: $$$

You can stay sustainable and ethical with Avocado’s beautiful furniture collection.

If you’re looking for a completely sustainable mattress that is organic, fair trade, biodegradable/recyclable, non-toxic certified and just all-around amazing, this is the mattress company for you.

Avocado is a company that makes their products with social responsibility and equality in mind. Whether it’s those in India who harvest cotton or wool or those in Los Angeles who craft their mattresses and dressers together, all are valued equally and treated with respect.

Their dressers, end tables, and bed frames are made with 100% reclaimed solid douglas fir wood. All of the wood is sourced locally in California (without harming any trees in the process!).

4. West Elm 

Types of Furniture: dressers, dining tables, nightstands, desks, media consoles, bed frames, cribs, coffee tables, side tables

Features: fair trade, FSC-certified wood

Where to Buy: Online and in-store

Price: $$-$$$

West Elm is well-known all over the world as a reliable company in all things furniture, home decor, linens, and kitchenware. And now they offer collections focused on fair trade, organics, and sustainably sourced materials too!

While offering a huge selection of certified fair trade furniture (made with FSC-certified wood), their fair trade program impacts over 12,000 workers and requires each factory to go through a 12-stage verification process to make sure that there are safe working conditions and fair wages for all.

Anyone looking for modern designs made with social responsibility in mind will find hundreds of beautiful options at West Elm.

Click on the shop for good tab on their website to explore their sustainable and socially responsible collections.

5. Vermont Woods Studios 

Types of Furniture: bed frames, dressers, nightstands, dining tables, dining chairs, bar chairs, china cabinets, media consoles, coffee tables, end tables, accent tables, rocking chairs, desks, filing cabinets, bookcases

Features: handcrafted in Vermont, guaranteed for life, fully customizable, sustainably sourced North American wood, use of natural hardwoods, dedicated to fighting against deforestation

Where to Buy: Online or in-store in Vernon, Vermont

Price: $$$

Vermont Woods Studios strives to impact positive change in the world of furniture. They’re fighting against deforestation of rainforests by making furniture that’s made from sustainably sourced wood from North America.

They protect animal habitats and preserve the lifetime of the forests by only taking from healthy, well-managed forests.

And to add to all of that, they’ve planted over 60,000 trees in their effort to help reforestation in the Amazon!

Ok. So they’re super sustainable and responsible, but how’s their actual furniture?

BEAUTIFUL.

Each piece is handcrafted by woodworkers who, by the way, are paid fairly and work in safe working conditions.

You can also search for furniture by location if you’re located in Vermont and would like to have your furniture made locally.

If you’re looking for quality furniture made with sustainability in mind, this might just be the perfect furniture for you!

6. The Citizenry

Types of Furniture: chairs, ottomans side tables, coffee tables, nightstands, bath furniture

Features: fair trade practices, handcrafted

Where to Buy: Online

Price: $$-$$$

The Citizenry partners with artisans around the world and works with them to create beautiful, handmade products. They focus on celebrating the people behind their products and the stories they share through what they make.

Providing fair wages and safe working environments for their artisan partners is central to their values.

Each product is individually handcrafted, so no mass-produced, factory furniture here! You can count on getting a one-of-a-kind handmade product when you buy from the Citizenry.

If you’re looking for modern yet truly unique designs in classic earth tones, the Citizenry might just have the furniture you’ve been dreaming of.

7. Etsy Reclaimed Furniture

Types of Furniture: desks, dining tables, coffee tables, shelves, side tables, dressers, bed frames

Features: handcrafted, made in the USA, fair trade, reclaimed wood, supporting small business owners

Where to Buy: Online

Price: $-$$$

Etsy is an awesome place to find handcrafted, fair trade furniture made by talented, small business owners.

There are hundreds of amazing pieces on Etsy just waiting to be loved! New items are posted each day, so keep your eye out, you never know when someone will post your that piece you’ve been dreaming of!

Another amazing side to Etsy is that many sellers do customized orders! You can customize your piece to be exactly as you envisioned it. Just ask!

I’d recommend narrowing down your search by setting filters like handmade, and USA shop location. Just be sure to clarify with the seller that they handmade/reclaimed/upcycled the piece themselves, before buying.

8. Chairish

Types of Furniture: bed frames, dressers, shelves, nightstands, vanities, benches, ottomans, dining chairs, sofas, stools, coffee tables, dining tables, accent tables

Features: used, vintage, antique

Where to Buy: Online only

Price: $-$$$

Chairish is the perfect place for buying and selling vintage or used furniture. You’ll be able to find plenty of unique, memorable pieces on Chairish that you definitely wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else!

Even though Charish isn’t technically a fair-trade seller, they made the list because selling used furniture means that there’s not much to worry about with fair trade practices. Because you’re buying the furniture from it’s previous owner!

If you’re looking for something that matches your vintage vibes and ethical standards, this site will definitely be a hit for you.

9. The Joinery

Types of Furniture: bed frames, nightstands, dressers, mattresses, dining tables, dining chairs, sofas, lounge chairs, coffee tables, end tables, media consoles, desks, bookcases, file cabinets, coat racks

Features: handcrafted in Oregon, use of solid hardwoods, “furniture for life” guarantee, certified B corps

Where to Buy: Online or in-store in Portland, Oregon

Price: $$$

The Joinery is a business that puts its heart and soul into the pieces they create. Each piece is created by an individual woodworker in Oregon. The Joinery makes sure that they’re treated fairly through their socially responsible labor practices.

Their furniture is made from a variety of solid hardwoods like Cherry, Western Walnut, Eastern Walnut, Maple and Oregon White Oak.

If you’ve been envisioning your dream dining table or desk, the Joinery will work with you to make that dream a reality!

And to add to all of that, the Joinery is a Certified B Corporation that’s recognized for its environmental efforts. They get their wood locally from environmentally responsible sources in Oregon and Washington. And the majority of their wood is FSC-certified.

If you’re searching for handcrafted wood furniture that’s made with the environment and people in mind, this might be the perfect fit for you.

10. Resource Furniture

Types of Furniture: wall beds, coffee tables, desks, dining tables, side tables, benches, ottomans, dining chairs, folding chairs, sofas, stools, recliners, shelves, cabinets, media consoles, mattresses

Features: space-saving furniture, modern, environmentally friendly, fair wages and work environments, high quality

Where to Buy: Online or in-store in various showrooms across the USA, Canada, and Mexico

Price: Must request a quote

Are you living in a small apartment or home with minimal space? Do you want to add more roominess and versatility to your living spaces? Are you itching to change up your living space with ease on any given day?

If yes, Resource Furniture is definitely for you. They specialize in space-saving furniture that allows spaces to be super versatile.

Yep, it’s that awesome kind of transforming furniture that can fold a bed up into the wall, turn a sofa into any shape you want, and expand your kitchen table from fitting 4 to fitting 8. All while remaining a sustainable company that values its workers, the health of our planet, and its customers.

Nope, it won’t be cheap. But it’ll make your home stand out from the crowd and wow all your friends and fam at your next get-together!

11. Simbly

Types of Furniture: dining table, coffee table, desk, bench

Features: climate positive furniture, eco-friendly materials, plant a tree for every product sold, made in the USA, eco-friendly packaging, use of non-toxic materials and finishes

Where to Buy: Online (also sold by Made Trade[12]  and West Elm[13] )

Price: $$

Simbly creates furniture that’s positively impacting our environment, rather than hurting it.

Their wood comes from sustainably managed and FSC-certified forests. All of their products are made in Asheville, North Carolina (which lessens their carbon footprint by reducing travel miles to create their products).

If you’re concerned about the use of toxic chemicals, there’s no need to worry here. All of Simbly’s products are made with non-toxic materials and food-grade finishes to keep you breathing happy and worry-free.

Their products are also super affordable. So you can still buy ethically and sustainably, even if you don’t have all the money in the world.

If you’re looking for fair trade furniture that’s sustainably made while staying modern, simple, and affordable, Simbly’s furniture was made for you!

12. Urban Woods 

Types of Furniture: bed frames, bookcases, coffee tables, dining tables, desks, end tables, media console tables

Features: made from reclaimed, solid wood, made in the USA, use of non-toxic, water-based materials, commitment to sustainability, fair wages and safe work environment

Where to Buy: Online and in various showrooms

Price: $$$

Urban Woods creates sustainably made furniture by using reclaimed, solid wood and non-toxic finishes.

They use reclaimed wood to reduce wood waste in California and to fight against deforestation. All of their furniture is created in Los Angeles, CA.

They’re also super conscious of the types of glues and stains that they use on their furniture. You won’t find any toxic products here. Everything is made with water-based/water-soluble, non-toxic materials. No need to worry!

And to add to all the ways that Urban Woods is eco-friendly, they also make sure that all of their employees are paid fair wages and work in safe conditions.

Urban Woods furniture will be a great fit for you if you’re looking for beautifully made furniture that’s created with both the forests and people’s health in mind.

13. MIO

Types of Furniture: stools, shelves, coffee tables, dining tables, desks

Features: commitment to sustainability, fair trade, use renewable and recyclable materials, FSC-certified wood, made in the USA

Where to Buy: Online Only

Price: $$

MIO creates furniture that’s both modern and eco-friendly. As a certified B corporation, MIO is committed to making products that are sustainable. Each of their products differs in what sustainable practices were used to make it.

Their coffee table is locally sourced and made from renewable sources. But their flip stools have even more sustainability features like having an environmental finish, being recyclable, and being made from both renewable and recycled materials.

Each product is different, but it’s amazing how transparent this company is about the process of making their products!

If you’re looking to buy from a company that is super transparent about their sustainability and ethical practices and a company that makes high-quality furniture, MIO might just be a perfect fit for you!

14. Urbangreen Furniture

Types of Furniture: mattresses, bed frames, nightstands, dressers, sofas, coffee tables, end tables, bookcases, dining tables, filing cabinets

Features: FSC-certified and locally sourced wood, eco-friendly, made in the USA, customizable, use of low-toxicity finishes, handcrafted

Where to Buy: Online or in-store in New York

Price: $$-$$$

Urbangreen Furniture makes sure that its furniture is environmentally-friendly and sustainably made. They are based in Brooklyn, New York and all of their products are handcrafted by local craftsman in New York

They make sure that the furniture they’re creating is safe for the environment and safe for you too!

They use low-toxic finishes that exceed Federal standards so that you don’t have to worry about breathing in any sort of scary toxins when you bring their furniture into your home.

And you can be sure that Urbangreen is treating their working fairly and justly through their ethical work standards.

Also, if you’re looking for a company that will create the piece you’ve been dreaming of, UrbanGreen Furniture can work with you to make that dream come true!

15. Sabai

Types of Furniture: sofas, sectionals, and ottomans

Features: eco-friendly, fair trade practices, easy to assemble, sustainable packaging, FSC-certified wood, use of natural and recycled fibers, made in the USA

Where to Buy: Online only

Price: $$

Sabai makes sofas that are affordable, modern, and sustainably made.

The fabrics they use are made from natural fibers and recycled water bottles. All of the wood used to make their sofas is FSC-certified. AND they use certiPUR-US certified foam (which basically means that their foam doesn’t have any scary stuff in it like mercury, lead, formaldehyde or other sketchy toxins).

To add to their sustainability factor, they also make sure that all of their sofas are made ethically and with social responsibility in mind. Everything they produce is made in High Point, North Carolina.

When you order, you are able to personalize your sofa with your choice of fabric, wood, and cushions.

If you’re ready for a super sustainable, ethically made sofa, Sabai is definitely the perfect destination for you to find that dream couch.

So, did you find the fair trade furniture you’ve been dreaming of?

Hopefully, you did! And if you did, I’d love to hear which company is your favorite on this list and why!

If you weren’t so lucky in finding the perfect furniture today, what other businesses or companies do you think need to be added to this list?

Let me know in the comments below!

Bulk Food Online: 3 Stores Review

Bulk Food Online Shopping – Pro and Contra

If you are pursuing a zero waste lifestyle, you have probably heard about bulk grocery shopping.

The concept of buying items in bulk helps minimize packaging waste. Many times, you can even bring your own container, which stops you from creating virtually any trash.

bulk food online

There’s more:

Even if you do not fill your own container, buying in bulk uses less packaging and is considered more environmentally-friendly.

Many brands are starting to offer bulk options in their stores as the waste crisis becomes more mainstream and visible.

Get this:

Packaging waste accounts for nearly 30% of all landfill trash. Yikes…

That is a huge percentage!

What many people do not realize is that decomposing trash in landfills creates methane, which is a greenhouse gas. This contributes heavily to climate change.

Think about this:

We have the ability to help the world by creating less garbage. If we are more conscious of our consumer habits, we can live more sustainably and feel better about ourselves.

bulk food

If you do not have a bulk store in your neighborhood or perhaps are just really busy and do not have time to go food shopping, consider trying a bulk online store! It is very easy and convenient to do.

There’s more:

Luckily, I have tried three different online bulk stores and I am excited to share my experiences from each of them.

The stores that I have shopped from are Azure Market, Bulkfoods, and Kauffman Fruit Farms.

Although these 3 stores do pretty much all of the same thing, they all have their differences.

I will be sharing the pros and cons of each of them.

Let’s get into it:

My Guide to Bulk Food Online

One disclaimer before we begin is that none of these stores focus on plastic-free packaging.

Although bulk buying is more eco-friendly, these brands make the economic advantage more of their marketing pitch, rather than the environmental benefits.

Get this:

Although there was plastic packaging in all of the orders I received, I do think these companies are on the right track when it comes to online bulk shopping.

We all have to start somewhere and there will always be room for improvement.

Okay, now really, let’s get into it:

1. Azure Market

bulk food online

Okay, I would have to say that Azure Market probably is my favorite from this list, but don’t completely disregard the others! Again, they all have their differences.

Here’s why I love Azure Market:

Their success story really begins in 1971 when their family decided to stop using chemical fertilizers on their farm. In the 1950s, it became the norm to use these toxic chemicals, but it eventually led to soil degradation, so this family decided to quit “cold turkey.”

They decided to change their ways in order to be better to the planet and get this:

Their food became healthier and more nutritious by doing so. It was a win-win situation! Today, they are carrying on that tradition by providing people with organic, non-GMO, delicious, and healthy food.

bulk food shopping

There’s more:

Their tagline is “Standard of Healthy and Abundant Living” and boy! That’s the truth.

Here’s what they offer:

The list seems endless, but I’ll share the top categories with you.

They sell baby food, baking products, beverages, canned goods, beans, cheese, eggs, meats, fish, frozen foods, grains, ice cream, nuts, pasta, produce, snacks, tea, and soups…

bulk food shopping

That’s not even the whole list! In addition to food products, Azure Market offers household products, nutritional supplements, and gardening supplies. It’s really your one-stop-shop to healthy, organic online bulk shopping!

I personally find their website extremely easy to navigate. They show all the different categories and it’s all laid out pretty intuitively.

You can spend hours shopping on here because they really have everything you would ever need and more.

As far as getting your goods, there are two different options:

The first would be to find your local “Drop.” Drops are locations throughout the United States where they regularly deliver. Think of them as local hubs that receive your goods. They include churches, parking lots, fields, or malls.

Get this:

They basically are a centralized location to get your products. Drops are unfortunately located everywhere in the United States except the northeast because of the far distance from their Oregon headquarters, but don’t worry:

Luckily, as long as you don’t live too remotely, you can ship products directly to your house via UPS or USPS. That’s what I did! I ordered some dry roasted peanuts from Azure Market via USPS shipping.

bulk food online

Here’s how it went:

I loved how easy it was to buy these peanuts and they tasted great, however, I was not that excited that they came in plastic. I would have loved in they came in a paper bag or some other material that could either be recycled, composted, or reused.

There’s more:

Mostly every product on their site comes in size variations.

For examples, the options for peanuts are 2LB, 5LB, and 30LB. I like this because it allows you to try the product before committing to the bulk size. It also allows you to get the amount that is best suited for your needs.

bulk food groceries

Although I wish the packaging was a bit more sustainable, I understand that plastic is unfortunately the standard for packaging in the food industry, and I do not blame them for this.

bulk food online

Consider this:

If you read over Azure Market’s core values, you would understand that they are dedicated to clean, healthy, and sustainable living.

Here’s a list of what they value:

Inspiring healthy & abundant living, quality service, building relationships, embracing change, pursuing learning & innovations, support family-owned ventures, keep it sustainable, promote healthy food from healthy soil, exemplify transparency, create joy, and do more with less.

Think about it:

By reading those, I get the sense that if there was a better solution for packaging, they definitely would be open to trying it.

Hopefully, they will move towards that in the future.

All in all, I really enjoyed my experience online bulk shopping from Azure Market and I hope you try it out, too!

2. BulkFoods

bulk food online

Bulkfoods is less of a health food store and more of a general distributer of bulk food items. Not everything on their website is committed to being non-GMO or organic.

They do not even have any information about their values, mission, or goals.

Bulkfoods does not offer as many products as Azure Markets.

They sell nuts, dried fruits, snacks, baking products, beans, cereals, grains, seeds, spices, and candy. You will not find on their website any fresh produce, dairy, or meats.

Azure Markets is best for dried, non-perishable goods.

bulk food

There’s more:

I do enjoy that again, there are choices in quantity. You can order 1LB of something or 50LB of it. I really like this because it allows you to buy bulk food online in whatever quantity makes the most sense for you.

At first glance, I would say that their website is underwhelming. It seems to be outdated and the categories of products is not that clear.

The site looks like it has not been updated since the 90s.

Get this:

There also is a lack of information. There is no pages for FAQ’s, general information about the company, or shipping information. Hmmmm….

I was a little hesitant to order from this website because it sort of seemed a little sketchy, but I tried it anyway.

I ordered a big bag of quick rolled oats and they shipped via USPS.

bulk food

Here’s the deal:

The service was good and the prices are hard to beat. They came quick and tasted great.

Just again:

Plastic packaging! It really seems unavoidable with online bulk shopping, which really stinks if you care about minimizing waste, like me. It sort of seems counterintuitive to order bulk food online to try to be more sustainable, and then receive it wrapped in plastic.

Ugh!

After trying to search the internet for some more information about this company, I came across some negative reviews.

Some people complained about receiving stale product and others said that many of their products come from countries that use toxic chemicals in production.

There’s more:

I also came across many great reviews. Some people said that they have been buying from this shop for over a decade and that they always get amazing quality, prices, and customer service.

It seems like there is a bit of mystery around bulkfoods.com, but hey! Maybe that’s part of the experience.

bulk food online

I would recommend this store if you are looking for cheap, dried bulk foods, but I also do not fully trust this brand and feel left in the dark when it comes to the quality of their product.

I also have read that they sometimes make shipping mistakes and are bad at issuing refunds.

It’s quite strange how cryptic this company appears to be. When searching online for bulk food stores, it was one of the first to come up, but I guess it may be due to their generic and relevant domain name.

Here are my concluding thoughts:

This is a great lesson of “you get what you pay for.”

Cheap foods usually equate to cheap quality and that is sort of how I feel about this company.

Even though I enjoyed my oats, I probably will not order from them again.

3. Kauffman’s Fruit Farms

bulk food online

Kauffman’s Fruit Farms is a family-owned farm and orchard located in rural Pennsylvania. They planted their first apple tree in 1911 and have been serving their community high-quality food ever since.

There’s more:

This business was built on three principles: be fair, be kind, and be visionary.

This vision has carried on in the family for generations. It’s still run by the same family over 100 years later! I think that’s pretty impressive.

They have a local farm market where they sell home-grown fruits, but there’s good news if you are not local:

You can bulk shop with them online!

They sell their jams, ciders, and fruits online, but those are mostly in smaller quantities.

Their bulk section includes beans, rice, cereal, granola, chocolate, baking ingredients, flour, grains, soup mixes, nuts, seeds, and pasta.

bulk food

It gets even better:

This company is extremely transparent. Right on their site, they explain how they source all of their bulk foods from local companies and they name their top distributors.

Here’s the breakdown:

Kauffman’s might not have as large of a selection as Azure Market, but they definitely are a lot more honest and straightforward than bulkfoods.com. I also ordered oats from this site.

bulk food

Overall, it was really easy to order. Their site is intuitive and simple. My oats shipped via USPS and only took a few days. They also are organic!

You guessed it:

My only problem with purchasing these oats was that they were packaged in plastic. It is a common occurrence with bulk food online.

Unfortunately, it seems nearly unavoidable. Ugh!

Where does a girl got to go for some zero waste online food stores?

One other interesting thing about receiving the package was that it included the Gospel according to John in the box. I guess the company is religious.

It didn’t really affect my opinion on them, but I figured it would be worth mentioning.

bulk food online

All in all, I enjoyed this little online bulk food shopping experiment. It just made me realize how it’s an area of the zero waste world that totally needs improving upon. There literally is not currently such a thing as waste-free online bulk grocery shopping.

Remember:

It’s always best to shop local if you can. If you have a local bulk store or farm market, that most definitely is your best option.

Here’s the deal:

Shopping local stimulates the local economy and also is more eco-friendly because there is less greenhouse gases being emitted from transportation. However, some people simply can not bulk shop locally because it is not accessible to them.

If you do not have a bulk store near you, consider one of the shops I mentioned today, but recognize that the systems are not perfect. There still is waste being created and a footprint being created due to transportation.

Here’s a thought:

We need to dismantle this “all or nothing” mentality when it comes to zero waste. Sure, we should always be thinking of ways we can improve or better ourselves, but we also need to give ourselves and others credit for any small efforts being done.

Bulk shopping is great. I hope it becomes more accessible to people and I also hope that there is more innovation in the future regarding shopping bulk online.

One day, I think that zero waste bulk shopping can become a norm for society.

bulk food online

Until then, we just have to make due with what we have, what we are capable of doing, and what works best with our current lifestyle.

I hope you consider trying bulk shopping if you have not already!

4 Zero Waste Laundry Detergent Brands You Should Know

Do you love our planet? I sure do!

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.

zero waste laundry detergent

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 more eco-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 laundry routine, you could help the planet tremendously? Yes, just your laundry routine alone can make a huge impact on the Earth!

Here’s how:

Many traditional detergents do 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.

There’s more:

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!

Don’t worry:

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!

zero waste laundry detergent

For each product, I will tell you about why I personally love it, why it is more sustainable, and how to dispose of it.

Let’s do it:

1.EcoRoots

EcoRoots is a small business based in USA and I really love their values and their zero waste laundry detergent. They believe little hinges swing big doors and small actions add up to big changes.

We all have the power to choose. I love to use products that empower people to choose sustainability, without compromising convenience.

Each EcoRoots eco-strip packs ultra-concentrated, convenient, eco-friendly cleaning power into a tiny, pre-measured strip of laundry detergent that you just toss in the wash.

1 strip = 1 load! Each package is enough for 32 loads! 

zero waste laundry

A few things that I love about this zero waste laundry detergent:

  • The compostable packaging
  • No measuring & no mess
  • Dissolves completely in Hot or Cold Water
  • 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?

I highly recommend checking them out!

2. Dropps

Dropp`s Naural Laundry Detergent Pods (13-31.99$)
 

 

When I first discovered Dropps Natural Laundry Detergent Pods, I first fell in love with it because of the packaging.

It was the first plastic-free detergent I ever came by, so I was impressed that it came in a cardboard box.

There’s more:

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, Dropps packaging is made from cardboard. It can either be recycled or composted.

Remember:

Dropps Natural Laundry Detergent Pods are safe and easy to use.

3. NaturOli

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.

There’s more:

Not only is NaturOli more 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 be reused or composted.

Try it out:

NaturOli Soap Nut Laundry Soap is a true zero waste laundry detergent solution!

4. TerraWash

Terra Wash Laundry Sachet – Detergent Substitute (49.90$)

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.

It gets better:

One Terrawash packet is good for 365 washes.

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!

There’s more:

Terrawash is very easy to dispose of.

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!

Here’s a recap:

Dropps, TruEarth, NaturOli, and Terrawash are all amazing zero waste laundry detergents for different reasons.

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.

Thanks for reading!

How to embrace natural living – [Easy 10 step guide]

Today I want to talk to you about natural living,

Have you ever wondered how to increase your overall health and your impact on the environment?

Do you care about your well-being and want to make an impact on your body as a whole?

If so, it may be time to learn how to embrace natural living.

Living naturally can significantly benefit both your health and the environment.

Just by making a few simple and conscious changes in your life, you can embrace natural living and start making a more positive impact on both yourself and the planet.

What Does Natural Living Mean?

 

natural living

When you think of the words natural living, it is likely that you are confused about what this vague statement means.

In general, living naturally involves getting back to the basics.

Natural living goes back to the roots of humans by avoiding everything that is not naturally and ethically made on Earth.

Why Should I Embrace This Change?

By including green habits and nature as a part of your everyday life, you are more likely to experience greater physical and mental health benefits.

Not only will this benefit you, but it will positively impact the environment as well.

Aspects of natural living include avoiding chemicals and excessive waste and adding more sustainable habits in your life. If you do this, you will not only be happier, but you’ll reduce your impact on the planet.

Here are my 10 Steps to embrace natural living:


When you have a guide to tackle transitioning to natural living, the process could not be easier!

Here, you can follow this detailed guide in the best ways and steps to take to begin living naturally.

Let’s start!

1. Change Your Diet Habits

We are what we eat and we all know that a healthy diet is an important part of our lives.

Switching what you eat to organic, naturally grown foods, you can avoid putting unnecessary chemicals into your body.

The best way to do this is to shop from the farmers market or local food markets and to look for USDA labels.

These labels indicate whether the food you purchase is organic or naturally grown without pesticides.

Additionally, by focusing less on meat and eating less processed foods, you will reduce your own carbon footprint impact.

Just by reducing or removing animal products from your diet, you are saving the world of its horrendous water waste.

Statistically, it takes 53 gallons of water to produce a single egg, 468 gallons of water for a pound of chicken, and 1,800 gallons of water for a pound of beef.

Compared to this, growing a pound of crop or fruit only uses an average of 15 gallons of water. Because we only have a small amount of drinkable water available on Earth, it’s important to conserve it.

Keep this in mind the next time you reach for the meat instead of healthy vegetables! Consume responsibly and support the farmers.

2. Avoid Purchasing and Using Plastics

One of the major issues that humans contribute to on the planet is the amount of waste they produce.

When landfill builds up, the lighter waste tends to become airborne and make its way into our oceans.

For reference, there are currently five oceanic gyres of plastic that are twice the size of Texas floating in our oceans.

These plastics release chemicals into our water, and they also create harm to animals who mistake them as food.

When digested, plastic can lead to death from starvation and chemical poisoning. To prevent this, using less plastic will help the ecosystem.

In order to use less plastic, you can avoid purchasing foods, such as fruits or vegetables, that are wrapped in plastics.

It helps to buy in bulk or to purchase loose products, as you can customize how much you need and waste less. Additionally, be sure to bring your own reusable bags to the store when you shop.

This allows you to forego using tons of plastic bags that could end up in landfills polluting our fragile environment.

3. Recycle and Compost

Recycling is the process of converting waste materials into new materials and objects. It is an alternative to “conventional” waste disposal that can save material and help lower greenhouse gas emissions.

Just by recycling, you can efficiently conserve materials. Recycling involves re-purposing used materials into new products instead of tossing them away.

This can be done with any material, especially plastics. One example of recycling is composting, which involves using your food and paper scraps to create dense soil.

Compost, made of 100 percent organic matter, can save you water because natural matter absorbs up to 5 gallons per pound of compost. This means that compared to traditional soil, you’d be using less water to contain moisture for your plants.

To start composting, collect your food scraps and paper waste in a container.

Things that you can put in a compost pile include sawdust, pine needles, dried grass and leaves, shredded cardboard and newspaper, greens tea bags, coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable waste, and weeds or flowers.

Some things you should avoid putting in compost include ashes, dairy products, diseased plants, seed-bearing weeds, and either human or animal waste.

Make sure to chop the pieces into small chunks and add them to brown and green plant material.

Keeping this moist and turning the mixture will ensure your compost will form properly.

4. Consider Ethical and Cruelty-Free Beauty Products

There is often a hidden truth behind many of the beauty products you may use.

Companies tend to test their chemical composition on innocent animals.

During animal testing, laboratories either place drops of these compositions into animals’ eyes, or they’ll shave a patch of fur off the animal and topically apply the cosmetics.

In more extreme cases, force-feeding takes place. These can lead animals to get extensive rashes, have organ damage, internal bleeding, blindness, convulsions, and even death.

Protect animals by avoiding beauty products that have been tested on animals.

Some brands that test their products on animals include NARS, L’Oreal, MAC, Maybelline, Revlon, Lancome, Burberry, Almay, and many more.

Instead, check out eco-friendly and ethical beauty alternatives like Axiology, Lilah B., Josie Maran, ILIA, Kjaer Weis, Antonym Cosmetics, Elate Cosmetics, RMS and Tata Harper.

5. Avoid Fast Fashion Companies

A big issue in the clothing industry involves fast fashion companies.

This is not a common or known topic, and conditions are often hidden.

Fast fashion means that inexpensive clothing is produced rapidly and unsustainable in order to produce high turnover rates for faster sales.

In the process, a lot of water is wasted, excess clothing and carbon emissions are created, making our environment less stable.

Rapid consumption of apparel and the need to deliver on short fashion cycles stresses production resources, often resulting in supply chains that put profits ahead of human welfare.

Statistically, 12.8 million tons of clothing are sent to landfills each year in the United States alone.

The more clothes we make, the more waste we contribute.

Additionally, these fast fashion workplaces are expected to lead to a 60 percent increase in current levels of carbon dioxide emissions. The more excess carbon in the planet, the more greenhouse gases erode the ozone layer.

Examples of fast fashion companies that lead to this issue include H&M, Bershka, Guess, Forever 21, Topshop and more.

Instead, stick to sustainable stores like People Tree, Patagonia, Reformation, HARA the Label and Everlane.

sustainable clothing

These companies provide their workers with good working conditions, sustainable and ethical fabrics and they focus on improving the environment rather than harming it.

Check the documentary “The true cost” for more info in this niche.

6. Consider Purchasing Second-Hand Clothing

If you purchase clothing from a second-hand or thrift store, you are minimizing the amount of clothing that are sent to landfills every day.

One of the best ways to help the environment is by reducing the amount of garbage waste you produce and send to landfills, and this can easily be done by reusing materials.

Getting hand-me-downs, shopping at thrift shops, and using fewer materials will ensure that your carbon footprint is smaller.

An alternative to purchasing clothes is to rent them.

There are plenty of online stores that offer you to rent and return clothes for a scheduled amount of time.

Doing this allows you to use a fashion item for an event and return it, saving you both money and waste.

Check out Rent the Runway for an ethical and sustainable company that does this.

Did you know that the fashion industry itself creates 20 percent of the world’s waste?

When you shop at second-hand stores, you’ll not only save money, but you’ll meet some people with similar interests and save the environment while doing so!

7. Live a Minimalist Lifestyle

Minimalism is a new trend that’s going around the United States.

The idea of minimalism preaches that simplicity and freedom are more important than material possessions.

By minimizing the number of materials you have, you will declutter your house and your life.

Additionally, doing this means you create less waste in the world.

When you have fewer products, you’ll contribute less to landfills when its time to toss them out. This will reduce significantly your waste since you’ll be throwing out less.

To start living a minimalist lifestyle, it’s best to declutter what you currently have.

A tip to do this is the five-second rule. Take an item and take five seconds to determine if you’ll use it soon. If you will, put it in a keep pile. If not, create two separate piles – one to donate and one for recycling.

The recycling pile should only contain products that are so badly worn out that nobody else could get good use from the item. This allows you to reduce your possessions while donating or recycling what you don’t need.

This rule works with things you’re looking to purchase as well.

If you see a product that you’ll get good use out of, get it. If you think for five seconds and determine that you’ll only use it once or twice, don’t purchase it.

The key to minimalism is to buy less and to be less impulsive with the items that you do want to get.

Living a minimalist lifestyle will improve your quality of life, as well as your environmental surroundings.

8. Spend Time in Nature

Because people are beginning to rely more on technology, people often forget to spend time outside.

Spending more time in nature, such as going on a picnic or hike, will make you healthier.

Studies conducted by the University of East Anglia have proven that if you expose yourself to nature more, you reduce your risk of type II diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and even premature death.

In order to ensure you lead a healthy, meaningful life, getting outdoors is the way to do so.

Some ways to spend more time in nature include going on more walks, having outdoor picnics, meditate or even doing any work you may have to do outside.

If you find yourself riding in your car or using useless amounts of electricity inside, take a walk or a bike ride instead.

Not only does this give you the health benefits of spending time outdoors, as mentioned above, but it helps the environment.

9. Drive Less

The less you use your car, the more you reduce your environmental impact.

For every gallon of gas burned, a car produces 24 pounds of carbon dioxide and other various global-warming causing gases.

This means that about 30 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases come from driving alone.

Another option is to carpool or take public transportation. This, while still contributes to pollution levels, makes it so that on one tank of gas, multiple people get to the same place.

This saves each individual person from using copious amounts of gasoline, which would produce insane amounts of pollution.

Opting to walk or take a bike ride will reduce your carbon footprint on the planet significantly.

10. Drink Lots of Water

Staying hydrated is one of the most important features of life.

Your body is made up of cells, and each and every one of those cells needs water to function properly.

Certain functions that would be inhibited if you were to drink less water include your bodily waste production, muscle output, and the ability for your blood to carry oxygen.

The long-term benefits of drinking lots of water and staying hydrated include having proper bowel and kidney function, having clear and smooth skin, and your eyesight can even improve!

Some tips on how to drink more water include always having a reusable bottle of water handy.

If you have water, you are more likely to drink it rather than purchasing something that you don’t readily have.

Get a reusable water bottle that you love.

Whether that be because of the pattern it has or the shape, a fun water bottle will encourage you to drink more liquids.

The more hydrated you are, the better your body will perform, so be sure to drink up!

Embrace Your Natural Living Today

When you live naturally, not only will you be saving yourself from health issues, but you will be helping the environment and world around you as well.

For a healthy, beneficial way to live life, embrace natural living, one step at the time in the right direction for a sustainable future!