I recycle. I bring my own tote bags to Trader Joe’s. I can’t remember the last time I bought a plastic water bottle. But still, I felt like there was so much more I could be doing for the sake of the planet. So I made a goal to be more environmentally conscious in my day-to-day—especially where reducing my use of single-use products was concerned. I admittedly have a long way to go, but these six products have been absolutely essential in taking baby steps toward a totally green life.
Bamboo Cotton Rounds
I use two cotton rounds per day: One to take off my mascara and one to apply toner after cleansing (The Ordinary’s Glycolic Acid Toning Solution, in case you were wondering). That’s about 60 single-use circles a month—and that’s not great. Enter these bamboo pads, which are super-soft and just as effective as the disposable kind. Plus, they come with a handy little washing bag, so they won’t get lost in the laundry.
I know everyone’s on the metal or paper straw game, but my plastic alternative of choice (at least straw-wise) is silicone. These are BPA-free, dishwasher-safe, though they also come with cleaning brushes, and don’t have that weird metal aftertaste. I'm also a fan of the subtly pretty colors they come in.
Mesh Produce Bags
Even though a bunch of grocery stores have switched to biodegradable produce bags, they’re not the sturdiest, which is why I’ve taken to stashing a few of these in my grocery tote (which, yes, is also reusable). Available in three sizes, they’re also super-effective at keeping my refrigerator nice and organized.
Silicone Food Storage Bags
These reusable bags are totally leak-proof, and are freezer-, microwave- and dishwasher-safe. They’re food-safe, of course, but I’ve also used them for skin-care and makeup. (Here are five more great reusable sandwich bag options.)
Biodegradable Dental Floss
To be honest, I never gave much thought to the eco-friendliness of my dental floss. But if you do think about it, a small roll of floss is usually packaged inside a plastic dispenser—not the greenest. This floss comes in a refillable glass container and even the packaging can go straight to your compost pile (it's made of Kraft paper, compostable transparent stickers and is printed with soybean ink).
Beeswax Food Wrap
Made from organic cotton infused with sustainably harvested beeswax, jojoba oil and tree resin, this pack of three food wraps is beyond easy to clean with cool water and soap, and actually sticks better than plastic, because the warmth of your hands helps it adhere securely to bowls and dishes.