Among many other suggestions, Henry David Thoreau, in Civil Disobedience, wrote, “Let your life be a counter friction to the machine.” This appeal to rebellious living doesn’t require a revolution, however. Thoreau himself lived ‘off the grid’ beside Walden Pond, just a few miles from town, yet his words for the self-made man still echo today. As we move through Earth Month, it’s at once an enormous and encouraging call in the face of today’s many environmental problems. There’s a lot that needs changing, but you can easily be a part of that change.
One way to positively participate in making the world a healthier place is to simply be mindful of the everyday essentials that you use. Opting for steel straws, reusable to-go cutlery, and toiletries that arrive in biodegradable packaging goes a long way toward reducing individual impacts and promoting sustainable use among peers.
If you’re looking for a place to either begin or expand your collection of everyday essential cleaning, cooking, and grooming solutions, this guide is a great place to start.
Bite Refillable Deodorant
Jason Momoa declared his love for Bite’s toothpaste bits by trolling Henry Cavill, and why not?
Bite makes one of the best and best-looking zero-waste deodorants. Founded by former surfing teacher Lindsay McCormick, Bite has already taken a chunk out of the market with the sleek, stainless tubes that also happen to be refillable, and with recyclable packaging when of no more use.
Smell great with floral and herb fresh scents while helping to stop the flow of 15 million pounds of deodorant packaging that ends up in our landfills and oceans every year.
Fat and the Moon Aloe Lotion
Got sensitive skin and don’t have a zero-waste alternative to turn to? Give Fat and the Moon’s Zero Waste Skin Care products a try.
Made mostly organic, always cruelty- and palm-oil free, the woman-owned-and-operated grooming company concocts all their “potions” guided by traditional healer philosophies. This results in a gentle, non-toxic product that’s designed to heal through and through. All Fat and the Moon’s face products are vegan, and most of its body and crossover skin products are almost there, assisted by ethically sourced beeswax. The ingredients are kind to the skin, but show no remorse in defeating dry, parched, chapped, or withered skin. This unscented, unisex lotion can be used for face and body alike.
Products are fresh and handmade to order, so there’s no expired stock waste.
Bathing Culture Skin Care
Apropos of its San Francisco and Portland locales, “Bathing is (very much) a radical act” for these body-washing products designed for personal and planetary care.
Childhood friends Spencer Arnold and Tim Hollinger founded Bathing Culture after muddy adventures in the Northern California wilderness. Unable to get clean, the duo set about brewing thousands of batches before landing upon a soap blend that does justice to the ritual of bathing. The biodegradable mixture is certified organic and composed of skin superhealers like aloe, shea, and coconut oils. Owing to their forested background, Bathing Culture is finished off with a woodsy scent reminiscent of towering redwoods. With just nine simple ingredients, what’s in the bottle is transparent. A velvety wash comes from this minimalist approach as does the basic packaging. To top it off, Bathing Culture supports a number sustainability efforts and green partners.
Bambo Earth's Eco-Friendly Floss
Floss is one of the trickier products to tie down into your zero-waste toolkit. Alternatives tend still use harmful components like plastic or con-biodegradable lace. Enter: Bamboo Earth’s eco-friendly floss.
The organic, and 100% compostable tooth lace comes in a refillable glass container and tastes wonderful on the tongue. The lace is waxed with a hint of mint and plant-based candelilla, providing a fresh and easy glide for sensitive gums. Toss used strands in the compost pile and order easy refills from Bamboo Earth.
Package Free Airtight Stainless Steel Containers
When you’re finished eating, Package Free’s grade 316 stainless steel containers are a perfect place to store your leftovers, waste- and plastic-free.
The lids have a non-removable silicone seal that’s factory-installed without adhesive. Stainless steel latches keep food locked down and are a breeze to open for hungry kids and adults. Containers are dishwasher safe (and should not go in the microwave!). Lids need to be hand-washed in warm soapy water, and are not oven safe. The steel vessels come in a variety of individually sold sizes.
MioEco Organic Cotton Reusable Paper Towels
Paper towels are one of the most useful and wasteful single-use items. Dish towels work, but they get dirty quickly. Why not choose reusable cotton paper towels from MioEco? These towels are absorbent, washable, and bleachable, so you can sop up any kind of spill, wipe any dish, and clean any kitchen surface. After you’re, finished, throw ‘em in the dirty towel pile and grab another cloth from MioEco’s pack of ten.
MioEco towels feature a simple yet stylish pattern on the white surface makes your kitchen look professional. Bleached, they come out of the laundry white again. (The towels are made from cotton, so they will shrink when dried.) And when they’re done with their cleaning lives after months of use? These ‘paper’ towel are biodegradable.
Dropps Laundry Stain & Odor Detergent Pods
One of the fallacies of environmentally friendly goods is that they are made weaker by alternative ingredients. Dropps Laundry Stain & Odor Detergent Pods stop that misnomer in its tracks. Dropps engages plant-based formulas with natural enzymes to take on sweat, dirt, food, and other various stains that collect on your clothing. Pods are made for universal use, from regular cotton and athletic loads to permapress fabrics like linen. For delicate skin types and garments, they also make Sensitive Skin & Baby Detergent.
Dropps’ home cleaning products come in plastic-free and compostable packaging and in a variety of fresh scents like lavender, eucalyptus, and orange blossom. And a 100% carbon neutral subscription service ships monthly, so you never have to shop for cleaning products.
Stasher Reusable Silicone Food Bag
Ditch landfill-clogging zip-top plastic bags by grabbing Stasher reusable food bags instead. Made from silicone, Stasher bags not only offer a tight fit, but can withstand heat or cold. Storage four-packs offer varying sizes to squeeze in lunch sandwiches and stored veggies. The tiny act of using reusable bags can save a great deal of waste over the long haul. Your lunch will also stand out with a variety of patterns and colors available to suit your style.
Bee's Wrap Eco-Friendly Reusable Beeswax Food Wrap
The second step to ending plastic kitchen consumption is getting rid of one-use, non-biodegradable plastic wrap. Like so many other valuable goods, bees offer another option. Bee’s Wrap eco-friendly beewax food wraps give you a fun alternative to plastic wrap for covering bowls, wrapping sandwiches, storing cheese, and storing other foods. In a trick that would make Mr. Wizard proud, your hands’ heat softens the wax wraps, allowing to ply them into needed shapes before it hardens and seals.
When Bee’s Wraps are no longer useful, they are 100% compostable and (hopefully) landfill-free. Multi-size three-packs feature several snazzy designs and last for a year or longer.
Employing a zero-waste ethos in your home elevates your domestic experience. You’re more aware as you wash, wipe, and whip up food with more intention in mind. Every contribution counts and your effort in concert with thousands of others can add up to quite an impact.