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Converting from disposable products to these affordable low waste swaps is one of the best individual actions you can take for the environment.
Check out my other post on SUSTAINABLE LIVING TIPS FOR ANYONE AND EVERYONE for other eco-friendly actions!
Perhaps it is a little controversial within the sustainability community to recommend purchasing these items from Amazon because of its impact on small businesses and the way they promote consumption.
However, I believe Amazon is still a great resource for many people, especially for affordable low waste swaps. The price points for many of these products are more accessible than in small, boutique low waste stores. Additionally, they are essentially available for everyone as you do not need to live in a town with a small business that carries these items.
So, here are my picks for low waste swaps available on Amazon
1. A Reusable Water Bottle
My Hydroflask is my most used low waste swap. I drink multiple bottles of water a day, and I love the straw lid because I drink way more water than with the standard open lid. I know Hydroflasks seem expensive, but they are super durable and do last forever. Plus, they are plastic free! Previously I drank from a Nalgene or other plastic reusable bottles and they always wore out and broke.
2. Reusable Straws
These reusable straws have been a low waste swap favorite for my entire family and we have been using them for YEARS. Let’s say that these were my gateway low waste swap into living more sustainably. As a straw biter, I like that these aren’t as painful on my teeth as metal straws when I forget they aren’t plastic straws. The straw cleaning brush is a major plus, too.
3. A Shampoo Bar
Paired with reusable straws, shampoo bars are another gateway product to a lower waste lifestyle. While the Trader Joe’s shampoo bar is my favorite that I’ve tried so far, this Love Beauty and Planet shampoo/conditioner bar is a close second. I also love the entire mission of the LBP brand and their goal to bring ethical hair and body products to the masses. Oh, and it smells AMAZING.
4. Reusable Coffee Pods
I love these reusable coffee pods for a college dorm especially, but I know that Keurigs are way more convenient for making coffee for anyone. If you drink at least one cup a day, that’s a whole lotta plastic in the landfills. These reusable alternatives are an easy replacement! You just dump the extra grounds in your trash (or compost!) and rinse and you’re good to go.
5. Reusable “Plastic” Bags
These reusable “plastic” bags are exactly what they say they are! While not plastic but silicone, you can use these exactly how you would normally use a plastic freezer or leftover bag. They are great for meal prep or taking a snack on the go. All you need to do is rinse them out with some warm water and soap and they are ready for the next use! Like the reusable cloths later in the this list, many of these affordable low waste swaps will save you tons of money in the long term too.
6. Beeswax Food Wraps
Plastic wrap, like plastic bags, are not recyclable, so when your roll is finished replace it with these beeswax food wraps! They mold to whatever you are covering with the heat from your hands for an air-tight seal and then rinse conveniently in the sink. Plus, they’ll last forever!
7. A Safety Razor
Safety razors are great replacements for a typical razor with replaceable plastic razorblades. With a metal handle and long-lasting metal blades, your plastic waste goes down and your blades last longer! I like this option on Amazon especially because it’s relatively inexpensive compared to other safety razors. This razor is a great way to try something new without breaking the bank before you know if you’re a fan or not.
8. Bamboo Toothbrushes
*Technically* you are supposed to replace your toothbrush every 3 months, shaking out to about 4 toothbrushes a year. That places roughly 1.3 billion toothbrushes in the landfills every year, just for the U.S. While most bamboo toothbrushes are not 100% zero-waste, you can at least compost the body of the brush. Just pull out the bristles with tweezers or pliers and throw them in the trash, then you can compost the rest!
9. Toothpaste Tablets
And to go along with your bamboo toothbrush, toothpaste tablets will complete your low-waste nighttime routine. Most toothpaste tubes are not recyclable, and I go through about a tube a month. That’s a lotta plastic. You’ll find most toothpaste tablet containers in tins like this one or glass, but regardless of what the container is made of, at least it is recyclable. That’s honestly the goal here. If tablets aren’t your cup of tea, David’s toothpaste offers the classic toothpaste tube but made of recyclable materials.
10. Dryer Balls
Dryer balls are amazing for a number of reasons. Environmentally, these are not made with synthetic fibers, but instead with wool. They are also reusable for hundreds of loads. In terms of health and safety, they are great for sensitive skin and have no additives. They are also better at softening and de-staticking your clothes than traditional dryer sheets!
11. A Tote Bag
Big tote girl here. Tote bags are great to use instead of a smaller purse because it fits EVERYTHING and then leaves room for more. They are great for when you’re out and about and maybe stop into the grocery store or another shop because they prevent you from needing whatever plastic bag they would give you otherwise. I also think they make me look very cool and mysterious so there’s that.
12. A Menstrual Cup
Period-havers, this one’s for you! I personally have never used a menstrual cup, and I’ve heard mixed reviews about their comfort. It sounds like you either love them or you hate them, but it’s definitely something I’ve wanted to try for awhile. I thought I’d add it to this list in case you want to try as well!
14. Silicone Baking Mats
Silicone baking mats are great alternatives to parchment paper for all of your baking needs. These come in different sizes if you have different sized pans. Silicone mats are also oven and microwave safe, and easy to clean making them a convenient replacement to parchment paper.
15. A Yeti Tumbler
Perhaps you might think getting a Yeti tumbler is extra, but I beg to differ. While $30, they are like the Hydroflask in the sense that they are super durable and will last forever. This tumbler is definitely an investment, but you probably won’t need to buy a second one EVER. They are great for transporting your hot coffee, or your cold coffee, or whatever beverage you so please to transport. The reusable straws earlier on the list fit through the sip hole perfectly too!
16. A Plastic-Free Dishwashing Set
This plastic free dishwashing set as all you need to cut down on a huge chunk of plastic waste in your kitchen. This high-quality bamboo derived scrub brushes last longer than their plastic counterparts and take way less time to decompose when they hit the end of their rope. They are also v aesthetic and make for a nice looking sink space!
17. Reusable Paper Towels
I’ve seen these reusable “paper” towels all over the Internet recently and I am pleased to announce they are available on Amazon! Apparently the U.S. is the only place unfamiliar with these staples everywhere else in the world, and it’s such a bummer. These dishcloths are amazing alternatives to paper towels because they are super absorbent like sponges, but then easily wash in the washing machine for repeated use. Paper towels are such an essential (and hard to find these days), so these reusable cloths will end up saving tons of money in the long-run too. I think these might be my favorite affordable low waste swaps on this list.
18. Reusable Produce Bags
Fortunately, some grocery stores have converted to compostable produce bags, but for those who haven’t, these organic cotton reusable produce bags are perfect! This set is so affordable and comes with as many bags as you’ll possibly need. These are great to just throw into your tote bag (!) to carry with you wherever you go.
19. Water Pick
I am fully obsessed with my water pick. They are so good for your teeth and more effective than floss. Better yet, they produce no waste! Water picks are like an all-inclusive spa for your gums and feel so good to use. With replaceable heads, they are super easy to share with your partner or siblings!
20. Low Waste Laundry Pods
While I haven’t personally used Dropps laundry pods, I have used other laundry pods and they are a lifesaver. Especially for college students, these are so convenient so that you don’t need to lug a heavy jug of detergent with your laundry to the laundry room. However, these are much better for your skin and the earth’s waters and come in a compostable cardboard package! Plastic free laundry whoop whoop!
And voila, there you have it! 20 affordable low waste swaps available on Amazon! A reminder: wait until whatever you have currently to run out before you replace it with a lower waste alternative because the most sustainable item in the world is what you already own!
So, before you get those toothpaste tabs, finish your toothpaste now. Before you hit up that dishwashing set, wear out those plastic brushes you already have.
Happy sustainable living!
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