25 Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Alternatives for Your Home
In 2019, the House Method team is on a quest to be better to our world. We’re making commitments to ditch single-use plastic, swap disposables for compostables, go used instead of new when we can, and to be more mindful and conscious of not only where we put our money, but also what we’re putting—and not putting—in our garbage cans.
We’ve put together a list of 25 our favorite product swaps for the home.
1. Swap plastic toothbrushes for bamboo
Plastic toothbrushes represent more than 50 million pounds of waste in the United States annually. That’s roughly 850 toothbrushes thrown out every year. Plastic like this doesn’t biodegrade, so swap your plastic toothbrush for a bamboo alternative.
We like this bamboo toothbrush from Public Goods.
2. Go for stainless steel razors over plastic
Just like toothbrushes, all the plastic razors you’ve ever used are still sitting somewhere in a landfill. A good stainless steel razor handle will last you for decades, and replacement blades can be ordered in bulk inexpensively.
We like this stainless steel handle from Merkur.
3. Swap plastic wrap for waxed cloth wrap
Plastic wrap is a prime example of single-use plastic that gets used a lot in most households. Rather than buying a new roll every few weeks, go for the sustainable option of wax-coated fabric food wraps
We like the Bee’s Wrap as a replacement for plastic wrap.
4. Swap plastic baggies for waxed cloth or fabric bags
When storing snacks or packing lunches, ditch the plastic baggies and instead reach for waxed fabric wrap, glass or stainless steel containers, or reusable cotton food bags that can be washed. Plus, replacing plastic with stackable reusable containers will make your fridge look organized and beautiful.
We like this reusable cotton food bag from Public Goods.
5. Skip plastic grocery bags for reusable bags
Grocery stores everywhere are now stocked with inexpensive reusable shopping bags, so there’s hardly an excuse to go for the plastic. If you drive, keep a few in the trunk of your car. If you’re an urban dweller, try a collapsible bag or one that folds into a pouch. Keep it on you at all times and pull it out wherever you may shop—the grocery, the bookstore, a clothing store.
We like this canvas bag from Baggu.
6. Skip the plastic produce bags
There’s no need to wrap most produce in plastic bags. Foods like bananas, apples, lettuce, citrus, etc., simply don’t need a bag, so skip it and put the items directly into your cart and carry them home in your reusable bag. For loose items like green beans or pearl potatoes that need a little wrangling, go for reusable fabric produce bags.
7. Go glass jars instead of plastic containers
When storing food at home, opt for glass rather than plastic. But don’t immediately ditch perfectly fine plastic food storage containers for the sake of the switch, but when you’ve gotten your use out of your plastic ware, make sure to check the bottom for the recycling symbol. Many brands like Tupperware and Rubbermaid make containers that can be recycled into non-food toting items.
8. Go for local baked goods rather than mass-produced
Mass-produced baked goods like breads and pastries come wrapped in plastic bags. Support local and go sustainable by finding a local bakery that will wrap goods in paper bags rather than plastic.
9. Swap plastic picnic ware for something more sustainable
If you’re like us, hosting company is par for the course. Rather than disposable plastic picnic plates, cups, and cutlery for your next cookout, choose bamboo and compostable products or a reusable option like stainless steel or aluminum ware that can one day be recycled. Try this disposable wood cutlery and these compostable plates.
10. Swap paper coffee cups for a reusable mug
Not all municipalities are able to recycle paper coffee cups. Many have an internal plastic coating that prevents them from being recycled, the same material that prevents them from being composted.
Whether you’re a hot coffee, cold coffee, juice, or tea drinker, carry your own cup while you’re on the go. We like this ceramic travel mug from Porter.