A Year with Less Waste
According to the EPA, each American produces nearly five pounds of trash—every day. Plastic is one of the biggest culprits, generating 234 pounds of waste per person each year. Choosing the right products can decrease our dependence on disposable goods, preserving our planet for future generations.
Brew Coffee with a French Press
Forget disposable filters and pods. For the smoothest, most sustainable cup of joe, use a French press. Chambord’s classic press brews the perfect cup in just four minutes: add grounds, hot water, and press the steel plunger for a rich, delicious treat. The mesh filter preserves the coffee beans’ aromatic oils and flavors—and the durable design will last years. Available on Amazon; $30.95.
Swap Your Tea Bags with a Tea Infuser
Stop tossing tea bags and start infusing. Made of 100 percent stainless steel, House Again’s tea infuser is free of toxic chemicals, dishwasher-friendly, and can be used again and again. Plus, loose-leaf tea has tons of health benefits! Fine mesh holes keep tealeaves out, leaving only bold flavor in each cup. Available on Amazon; $15.99 for two.
Bring Your Own Utensils
Going disposable seems inevitable when traveling or camping. However, instead of tossing your plastic utensils, make a small investment in this affordable cutlery set. Made of food grade stainless steel, this 8-piece set is designed for lasting enjoyment, with an anti-oxidation finish and curved, ergonomic shape. Perfect for eating on the go. Available on Amazon; $12.99.
Use Less Toilet Paper
Upgrade your bathroom—and decrease toilet paper use by up to 80 percent!—with a modern bidet. TUSHY’s bidet attachment installs in 10 minutes and requires no electricity or additional plumbing. Cleaner and healthier than toilet paper, a bidet keep you fresh where it matters. Available on Amazon; $79.
Drink from the Tap
You’ve already stopped using polluting plastic water bottles (good for you). So why not purify your entire drinking experience? Brita’s filtration system attaches to any standard faucet and reduces lead, chlorine, and 60 other contaminants by up to 99 percent. Washing your dishes? Just switch to unfiltered water to maximize your filter’s lifespan. Available on Amazon; $25.86.
Swap Your Toothpaste Tube for Toothpaste Tabs
Every finished tube of toothpaste is another plastic item tossed in the trash. Lush toothpaste tabs are packed with healthy ingredients and require no water or unsustainable packaging. Great for travel, camping, and your on-the-go lifestyle. (Just note: tabs do not contain fluoride, which can be helpful in warding off cavities.) Available from Lush; $10.95.
Rinse Your Hair with a Shampoo Bar
More than 40 percent of plastic waste comes from packaging. Ethnique wants to shrink this statistic by eliminating plastic from their beauty products, including this shampoo bar. Ethnique’s ingredients are biodegradable and super-concentrated, which makes them good for the earth, your body and your wallet. Available on Amazon; $16.
Create Your Own Compost
Throwing out food scraps would have shocked our great-grandparents. It’s time to go back and start composting again. This stainless steel compost bin keep odors to a minimum and provides a sleek, compact place to store food waste until you’re ready to take it outside. Available from Target; $17.79.
Repurpose Mason Jars
Before Mason jars became an arts-and-crafts cliché, they served an important function for canning and preserving food. Revive their traditional role—with a twist. Use Mason jars for food storage (dry and refrigerated), as well as sturdy drinking glasses, parfait bowls, and homemade soup and sauce containers. Available from Target; $7.19 for a 12-pack.
Pick Swedish Cloths Over Paper Towels
Woven from cotton and cellulose, Wet-It! Swedish dishcloths are the smart alternative to paper towels. Each cloth lasts up to six months, can be sterilized in the microwave, and biodegrades when it’s served its purpose. Cut back on paper waste and substitute Wet-It! clothes for all your kitchen and bathroom clean-up needs. Available from The Grommet; $14.95 for a three pack.
Seal Up Reusable Baggies
Still searching for a good alternative to Ziplock bags? We recommend Rezip’s Lay-Flat reusable baggies. Made of FDA-approved PEVA material (which is PVC, BPA, and lead free), these freezer-safe bags are easy to clean and double-lock to ensure a tight seal (no leaks or escaping crumbs). Available on Amazon; $19.99 for a five pack.
Make Sustainable Choices
Make these eco-friendly swaps to start a more sustainable lifestyle at home.
To jumpstart your holiday season, check out Bob Vila's favorite affordable stocking stuffers for everyone on your list!