In May, endurance athlete and environmentalist Ben Lecomte decided to swim 300 nautical miles through the plastic vortex that’s known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. During his trip, he was shocked to “find and swim alongside soap holders, laundry baskets and many more macro and microplastics, a lot of it originating from waste out of our own homes.”
As Lecomte experienced firsthand, single-use plastics are everywhere, but their reign may be coming to an end. It’s never been easier to buy beautiful, effective products that reduce plastic waste and, hopefully, will never end up in the Pacific Ocean. Below, find our seven recommendations.
Blueland’s Clean Essentials Kit
The idea behind Blueland is so ingenious that it seems criminal to sell home products any other way. You buy the shatterproof, BPA-free bottle once, and then the company mails you a nickel-sized tablet of cleaning products (bathroom, multi-surface, and glass + mirror), which you then mix with water. Not only does this eliminate plastic bottles, but it also means that you never have to transport heavy liquids.
cleancult’s Evergreen Glass Suite
cleancult operates on the same model as Blueland. You keep the dispenser, and they send you refills in paper-based milk cartons and 100% plastic-free paper mailers. In addition to their (wonderfully-scented) cleaners, they also offer biodegradable dishwasher and laundry tablets, and they offset the carbon impact of shipping by partnering with environmental agencies that plant trees.
by Humankind’s Refillable Deodorant
by Humankind also works on the same principle: they send you the receptacle and then you buy the refills, whether they’re for deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, mouthwash, hand soap, or cotton swabs. The company says that their deodorant is 40% better at killing the body’s odor-causing bacteria than the leading natural deodorant and that the ingredients are so safe that you could eat the bar (not recommended).
Wild Minimalist’s Zero Waste Kitchen Cleaning Kit
Throw your synthetic dish sponge into the trash. Unfortunately, unlike the products offered by Wild Minimalist, it won’t biodegrade. Made from beechwood, these brushes are tough enough to scrub away food, and when the brush heads are too gnarly to continue sitting on your kitchen counter, you can throw them in the compost heap and replace them.
Outlery’s Pocket-Sized Reusable Cutlery
Smaller than an Altoids container, this collapsible cutlery set makes having your own fork, knife, and spoon on-hand as convenient as possible. Lightweight and made of stainless steel, these utensils are also easy to wipe clean, and they’re shipping just in time for the holidays.
etee’s Reusable Food Wrap Start Pack
Instead of coating your food in plastic, use these organic, reusable, biodegradable beeswax covers instead. After warming them up in your hands, you can wrap them over pretty much any perishable food (raw meat not recommended) and then wash them in cold water afterward. Depending on use, they should last between 120 and 150 times.
Harney & Son’s Curve Teapot with Infuser
Why buy (and dispose of) individually-wrapped tea bags when you can get your Earl Grey loose leaf instead? The infuser in this tea pot is ultra-thin but not sharp, making it easy to steep your favorite tea to whatever strength you prefer. It’s also dishwasher and microwave safe, and the size, 24 ounces, is perfect for two cups.