30 Ingenious Reusable Products to Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly
Things are tough right now and, in case you missed it, our planet agrees. Fortunately, you can do a good deed for Mother Earth and stop fretting over disposable product inventory, thanks to the plethora of eco-friendly items on the market. If you’re ready to get a head-start on a more sustainable home, just read our round-up of reusable products—all of which pass the muster in terms of cost, functionality and environmental footprint.
1. ReZip Reusable Storage bags
Swap your single-use baggies for these ReZip reusable storage vessels and you’ll never look back. Made out of 100 percent food-grade PEVA material—sans any iffy stuff like PVC, BPA and lead—this handy storage product boasts extra durability and all the same functionality as your standard plastic bag. The double-seal technology on these guys ensures leak-proof storage as well as excellent results when it comes to freezer storage. (Not today, freezer burn.) Their smart collapsible, stand-up design makes it easy to keep your freezer or fridge organized, while also guaranteeing they don’t take up too much space in your kitchen when they aren’t in use. Plus, said stand-up design also means that it’s a cinch to clean every nook and cranny...but maybe leave that work to a trusty appliance instead, because this one will do just fine on the top rack of your dishwasher.
2. Any Mug Reusable Drink Covers
No more must you rush out the door and leave your oh-so delicious and highly necessary morning beverage behind. Better still, you can even return to a steaming mug of coffee after neglecting it for a hot second. Yep, that all-too familiar race to the bottom (of your mug, we mean) is a thing of the past, thanks to these clever reusable covers. These FDA-approved, food-grade silicone lids feature a flexible design, allowing them to stretch from 2 ⅞- inch diameter to 3 ¼- inch diameter—meaning they can fit most mugs, be they tall and skinny or short and stout—while still providing a snug and leak-proof seal. Bonus: These puppies are a breeze to clean, and dish-washer safe to boot.
3. Etee Beeswax Reusable Food Wrap
If you’re interested in finding an eco-friendly plastic wrap alternative, this one is all of your beeswax. (Sorry, we had to.) These reusable food wraps are composed of a combination of certified organic cotton, beeswax, non-GMO soy wax and essential oils. The end result? A biodegradable material that’s better for the health of our planet, your body (plastic enters the food chain, friends) and your pocketbook too—each wrap in this three-pack boasts between 120 and 150 uses, which translates to serious savings. It’s worth mentioning, though, that this product is not designed to be used with raw meat or the microwave, nor should it be used in the freezer for prolonged periods of time (think: more than one month). That said, beeswax food wraps like this one are lifesavers when it comes to storing all sorts of refrigerated foods—you know, like the half-avocado that survived breakfast or the unfinished rice bowl from yesterday’s lunch.
4. Maranello Reusable Mesh Pour-over Coffee Maker
The Italian coffee aficionados over at Maranello have crafted a gorgeous stainless steel pour-over filter that’s designed to last for years, while eliminating all the unnecessary paper waste that typically goes hand-in-hand with your beloved cup of brew. This dual filter brewing system consists of a fine mesh inner layer, a laser cut exterior and a base drip filter to ensure even distribution of water among the grounds. What does all that mean? Baristas and happy consumers say it translates to a supremely flavorful cup of coffee and a smaller footprint. Don’t worry, though, this handy gadget won’t put a cap on your caffeine consumption—this bad boy can brew up to four cups at once, and we hear it hear it’s a pretty solid travel companion, too.
5. DII Swedish Dishcloths
News to no one who has been to IKEA: The Swedes are sensible people full of innovative, cost-saving ideas—and you can get some of this good sense delivered to your doorstep in the form of an eco-friendly dishcloth set. Here, wood pulp (cellulose) is blended with cotton to create a durable cloth that can absorb 15 times its weight and clean like nobody’s business. By way of some strange sorcery, these soft and non-abrasive cloths can effectively pick up liquid spills, clean floors and windows, dry dishes and even wash them, too. (Yep, you can bid that stinky dish sponge adieu.) Once the dirty work is done, just toss these dishcloths in the dishwasher or clean ‘em with the rest of your laundry and call it a day.
6. Anchor TrueSeal Glass Food Storage Containers
These tempered glass storage containers have a nifty vacuum-seal feature—just press on the center of the lid to banish excess air and extend the freshness of your leftovers, whilst eliminating the possibility of a future refrigerator spill. (Ew.) Aside from being better for the planet than your plastic Tupperware go-tos, this food storage option is just plain practical. These workhorses allow you to store your leftovers in the fridge, of course, but you can also depend on them for the reheat—since they can go in both the microwave and oven once the lid is removed—and for long-term freezer storage. (You know, if you need more time before you hit that mac n’ cheese again.)
7. OXO Greensaver Produce Keepers
A storage container outfitted with adjustable vents, a removable basket for easy rinsing and a carbon filter to halt the ripening process—it’s fair to say that these guys should be your first line of defense against spoiled produce. Not only do they help reduce food waste by keeping your fruits and veggies fresher for longer, these produce keepers can also serve as an eco-friendly alternative to harmful plastic produce bags. Carry a few of these with you to the farmer’s market or grocery store and fill ‘em up with healthy stuff for a smaller footprint and better protection for your precious produce (because those pristine apples sometimes take a beating between the checkout aisle and the front door, right?)
8. Stasher Stand-up Reusable Silicone Storage Bag
Another excellent single-use bag replacement, the Stasher line is made of pure silicone with pinch-seal technology, so you can achieve a leak-proof seal without any futzing. The gusseted design allows them to stand up or fold flat, making them plenty convenient when it comes to storing, and because they’re heat-resistant, you can also safely throw them in the microwave, instant pot and even the dishwasher. Bonus: This product also boasts a fairly large capacity (56 fluid ounces or 12 cups dry), so you can stuff ‘em with quite a lot of just about anything.
9. Reusable Market Tote
The heavy duty canvas and vegan leather base here do much more than just decrease your footprint, because it just so happens this guy will protect your precious cargo a whole lot better than those unsustainable plastic grocery bags, too. Best of all, this tote features multiple different compartments for an easy way to keep food both safe and separate—so you can make a pit stop at the wine shop on your way home from the farmer’s market without another reusable bag in tow (or even a purse, thanks to the convenient key ring and phone pocket). In other words, this thoughtfully designed market bag promises to keep your food products organized (and right side-up) and your conscience clean.
10. Tomato and Onion Stay-fresh Container
Put down that plastic wrap and listen up—there is indeed a better way to deal with that tomato half you want to hold on to. This clever container can be used to store your unused tomatoes, onions, lemons and more. Its straightforward design is brilliantly simple—just snap it shut and throw your leftover piece of produce back in the fridge (or the freezer)—and fortunately frustration-free, since it is just as easy to seal as it is to open. Bottom line: If you’re currently resorting to plastic bags, plastic wrap or aluminum foil for your leftover veg, this is the cost-effective and eco-friendly improvement your kitchen needs stat.
11. Full Circle Reusable Sandwich Bags
These sandwich bags are made of food-grade plastic and, unlike your average plastic baggie, they’re not just a single-use item. The airtight seal and durable construction here make this product ideal for food storage, but we suggest you stock up since they boast limitless organizational potential, too. When you’re ready to reuse, you can get these guys squeaky clean in the top-rack of your dishwasher, or simply wash ‘em by hand before you start anew. Easy peasy.
12. Reusable Baking Cups
Attention star bakers: There’s an eco-friendly alternative to disposable muffin and cupcake liners. These reusable baking cups are made from platinum-grade silicone and then treated with a non-stick coating for effortless removal (no cupcake crumb left behind) and exceedingly easy clean-up. Safe for oven, microwave, dishwasher and freezer use—there’s basically nothing you can do to mess up these cups. The takeaway? If you like to cuddle up with a mini quiche or homemade muffin on the regular, this brightly-colored, reusable product is definitely not a half-baked idea.
13. Wegreeco Fabric Bowl Covers
If beeswax takes you a bit too far outside your comfort zone, these elasticized fabric bowl covers should do the trick. For starters, each of these covers is made from cheerfully-printed polyester—a washable and quick-drying material you are likely very familiar with, even if you don’t know it—and reinforced with an easy-to-clean lining that locks in moisture while preventing leaks and spills. This three-pack boasts an assortment of sizes, and because they are nice and stretchy, there’s a good chance that any one of these covers will fit most every bowl or container in your kitchen...which means fewer plastic baggies and cling wrap in the landfill.
14. Ecozoi Stainless Steel Eco Lunch Box
Brown bagging it is so yesterday. Our suggestion? Save the paper (i.e., trees) and opt for one of these super sleek lunch boxes instead. Made from high-quality, food-grade stainless steel with a leak-proof and air-tight silicone seal, these babies are a serious upgrade from both the classic paper bag and trendy plastic bento box. (Though, in keeping with the style of the latter, this lunch box includes an extra mini container so you can pack a well-rounded lunch without too much commingling.) Fans say this dishwasher-friendly lunchbox is easy to clean and the silicone seal on the lid holds up well, especially if you hand wash that piece.
15. Cottify 12+1 Reusable Produce Bags
Scoop up one of these mesh produce bags for a product that eliminates the need for the wasteful and fussy grocery store fare. (Is it just us, or are those thin plastic things a real pain to open up?) This alternative is made from extremely lightweight cotton, so you can weigh your fruits and veggies in the bag without breaking the bank—though the tare weight is on the label, should you need it. Best of all these breathable bags are ideal for storing produce, too, since they don’t trap the ethylene gasses known to cause overripening and spoilage as plastic bags do. In other words, this reusable product will serve you and the planet well, from grocery stores to crisper drawers.
16. Silicone Can Covers
Finally, a solution for that leftover pet food you typically have loosely-tented with plastic wrap in the fridge. These silicone can covers are designed to fit the standard cans of food—both small and large—that you feed to your furry friends, while sealing in both odor and freshness. Three cheers for tasty food that your pet won’t snub the next day and a not-so stinky fridge. Oh, and did we mention that Mother Earth will thank you for not wrapping that can of Fancy Feast with non-biodegradable material?
17. Reusable Bread Bags
Aside from being downright adorable, these country-chic gingham bags are a practical and 100 percent reusable way to tote your favorite fresh loaves from the farmer’s market to your front door. This set of two bags has been thoughtfully designed to accommodate your standard long and skinny baguette as well as an average boule—and the drawstring closure makes it a cinch (literally) to protect your fresh-baked bread from the elements, and from drying out in general. Pro tip: Once you stuff a lovely loaf of bread in one of these charming rustic bags, stuff it into your daypack along with some cheese and head straight to the park for a picnic. When all’s said and done, just wash your bread bag with the rest of your laundry and you’ll be ready for take-two.
18. Stojo On-the-Go Collapsible Coffee Cup
Don’t get us wrong, we love a good thermos—it’s just that hefty travel mugs tend to take up precious real estate in our shoulder bags (and let’s be honest, there’s already a lot going on in there). Introducing the collapsible silicone coffee mug: This on-the-go cup by Stojo is made from food-grade silicone and recyclable materials, so no BPAs, phthalates, leads or other questionable (read: toxic) substances here. Whether you’re a fan of your own home-brew or a regular at the local coffee shop, this 12 -ounce wonder will keep your cup of joe piping hot (or ice cold if you prefer) and it’s no bigger than a standard, disposable cup. Plus, it’s considerably smaller when you collapse it for your return trip and can be tossed straight in the dishwasher.
19. Yeti Rambler Insulated Stainless Steel Lowball
Not all water bottles are created equal, friends—and the oh-so trendy Yeti has certainly earned its place at the top. Aside from its undeniably sleek aesthetic, the Yeti tumbler boasts double-wall vacuum insulation to keep cold drinks hold and hot drinks hot for a very long time. There’s also no risk of toxic chemicals leaching into your beloved beverage, since these puppies are made from kitchen-grade stainless steel. (Hint: They won’t puncture, dent or rust either—just don’t drop one on your toe.) Best of all, the no-sweat design means that this water bottle won’t leave a ring no matter where you set it down so you can skip the coasters. Plus, its small size makes it easy to slip into your purse, and obviously a lot better for the environment than a throw-away plastic water bottle, too.
20. Reusable Coffee Cup Covers
Let’s be honest, we’ve all been guilty of letting our reusable coffee cup linger a tad too long in the sink. Fortunately, you can still visit your favorite local coffee shop and minimize your footprint at the same time with these reusable coffee cup covers. Designed to fit standard-sized coffee and soda cups, these guys are made of European food-grade silicone so you can wash ‘em by hand or on the top rack of the dishwasher. Plus, you’ll be doing the earth a favor by not contributing yet another plastic lid to the landfills—and the cheery colors might even make your morning a little bit brighter (or maybe that’s just the caffeine talking).
21. Stainless Steel Cocktail Straws
Whether you’re visiting a dive bar, diner or coffee shop, you’ve probably noticed that plastic straws are on their way out. Our suggestion? Don’t be the last to bid these bad-for-the-planet beverage staples adieu. Instead, get your sip on with these stainless steel cocktail straws—sure, they’re downright glamorous when compared to the candy cane-striped standard, but these beauts are a good look in more ways than one. This set of four comes in three different colors (copper, silver and gold) so you can pick the style that suits your taste. Best of all, they are dishwasher safe—though if you’re using these guys for, say, smoothies, we do recommend giving the interior a quick clean with the handy brush that’s included.
22. Foldable Make Your Own Six-pack Caddy
If only there were a way to please everyone at a backyard picnic with a mix-n-match six pack. Oh, wait, there is—and it doesn’t involve six random bottles of brew clinking together in your beach tote. The solution is this collapsible six-pack caddy—a reusable product that eliminates the typical waste of cardboard carriers while allowing you the freedom to curate your own cold drink selection. These handmade caddies, crafted by a Portland woodworker, are expertly designed with durable canvas handles, and the magical ability to basically disappear when not in use. Bottom line: This is a BYOB must-have.
23. Cart Daddy Reusable Shopping Cart Grocery Bags
As you probably already know, bringing your own reusable bags to the store is the eco-friendly way to stock your kitchen. Alas, it typically involves a sacrifice in the convenience department...unless, of course, you scoop up these brilliant reusable shopping bags. This set of three brightly-colored canvas bags makes organizing groceries a breeze, and they conveniently hang on the edges of any standard shopping cart. Fans can’t say enough good things about this grocery store hack and, as an alternative to disposable grocery store bags, it’s hard to go wrong with a product that features sturdy strap handles and can manage a combined 120 pounds of weight.
24. If You Care Reusable Paper Towels
Anyone who goes through a shameful number of paper towel rolls in a week (raises hand) needs to know about this reusable substitute for the classic household staple. From spilled sippy cups to dirty stove tops, this handy picker-upper can tackle most any job—namely because it can hold up to 16 times its weight in water and plays nicely with your favorite cleaning products. Although it doesn’t last forever, this fully compostable product—made from 95 percent cotton and 5 percent cellulose—is durable enough to replace 18 paper towel rolls at a fraction of the price, which means it will give both your pocketbook and our planet a much-needed break. Consumers give these reusable paper towels rave reviews for absorbency and overall functionality—and let’s be honest, no one gushes that way over a run-of-the-mill rag.
25. EcoBoo Reusable Bamboo Towels
We don’t mean to belabor the point, but have you ever considered how much hard-earned cash you’re spending on paper towels? No judgment here, but paper towel waste is a problem on so many levels. Fortunately, we found yet another way to break the cycle, and it doesn’t disappoint. The solution? Bamboo. Specifically, these bamboo paper towel replacements, which boast a super soft feel and ultra-absorbency (up to 20 times their weight) to boot. Use these to wipe dirty hands and faces (and stop blowing through those expensive baby wipes) or to clean up spills. When you’re done, toss them in the washing machine and start anew.
26. Reusable Microfiber Mop Pads
Ditch the not-so eco-conscious disposable pads for your sweeper mop and opt for this reusable variety instead. Happy customers say these pads are even more effective (and clearly far less wasteful) than the original pads, because the microfiber material does a bang up job of gathering dust and debris, while being considerably thicker and more absorbent. These guys are durable, too, so they can stand up to multiple washing machine cycles. The takeaway? These cost-effective reusable mop pads are the gift that keeps on giving, no matter how filthy your floors are.
27. Lunelle Reusable Bamboo Makeup Remover Pads
Make-up removal just got an eco-friendly and downright luxurious upgrade with these reusable bamboo rounds. Soft as a baby’s bottom, these guys whisk away foundation, mascara and everything else without irritating the skin. The end result is an evening ritual that feels right in more ways than one, and you won’t have to run to the drug store to replace them, either: These bamboo pads come in a dark color that won’t show unsightly stains, and they’re thoughtfully packaged in a laundry bag so you can toss them in with the rest of the wash for a fresh pad whenever you need one.
28. Ruvanti Multi-color Cloth Napkins
Yet another excellent stand-in for paper products in the kitchen, this multi-colored bundle of cloth napkins can be machine-washed and tumbled-dried countless times without ever losing their vibrant hue. The fabric itself is a stain-resistant cotton and polyester blend that feels luxuriously soft to the touch (i.e., it won’t accidentally exfoliate your face) and the high-quality design—featuring mitted corners and strong stitching—gives a decidedly upscale aesthetic to what is ultimately a bargain buy. Don’t expect these to absorb liquid the way a paper towel would, but definitely use them at the dinner table as a replacement for paper napkins that’s both luxe and budget-friendly.
29. Whiff Washable Bamboo Dish Sponge
Do not take a whiff of your current dish sponge. Do replace it with one of these bamboo numbers, however. This innovative dish sponge is made of high-density foam, wrapped up in a layer of durable bamboo fabric—and the latter boasts a tight-knit under layer (to protect the integrity of the former) along with a loop-stitched outer layer for maximum scrubbing power. The composition of these sponges makes them naturally odor-resistant, and they can be tossed in with the rest of your laundry whenever they need to freshen up. Best of all, they’re designed for maximum ergonomic comfort so you can clean a whole boatload of dishes without getting carpal tunnel.
30. Juju World Reusable Silicone Drinking Straws
Yep, those stainless steel straws sure are sleek...unless you have a little kid at home, in which case they can only be seen as a poke-your-eye-out type of hazard. Parents, do yourself a favor and invest in these flexible, silicone straws instead for an environmentally friendly alternative to plastic that doesn’t come with an unexpected ER visit. This budget-friendly pack is 100 percent BPA-free and includes straws in all the colors of the rainbow—plus duplicates, so siblings don’t fight over favorite hues—along with two cleaning brushes to banish mold or build-up and keep ‘em squeaky clean.