Earth-Friendly Products: 5 Alternatives to Disposable Household Items
Happy Earth Day! To help do our part in reducing waste, we’ve put together a collection of eco-friendly deals in our new Eco Shop. You’ll find deals on earth-friendly household swaps, all at great price points. In this blog post, we’ve also put together a list of earth-friendly alternatives to some popular disposable items you may have around your home.
Learn more about our Eco Shop in the video below and then read our blog post to find deals on alternatives to popular disposable household items!
Estimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes
Table of Contents
- Eco-Friendly Toothbrushes
- Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products
- Eco-Friendly Dog Waste Bags and Toys
- Eco-Friendly Batteries
- Earth-Friendly Paper Products
It’s a tough reality to face, but many of the products we use around the house every day are taking a huge toll on the environment. Toss away something as small and mundane as a toothbrush, and you’re suddenly contributing to all those “The Oceans Are Drowning in Plastic!” headlines keeping people up at night.
But you don’t have to be part of the problem. There are a lot of eco-friendly alternatives to your favorite waste-creating household items, and the good news? They won’t break the bank. Here are our five favorite environmentally friendly products.
These are huge waste offenders because an unnecessary amount of toothbrush manufacturers have an unnecessary amount of styles that have unnecessary features made of materials that are not recyclable (e.g. hard plastic handles, soft plastic grips, etc.). The makers of these products will insist that these features are added in the name of good oral hygiene, but there is little to no proof of that. In fact, the only features that most dentists and the American Dental Association recommend are soft bristles and a small head so that you can hit harder-to-reach areas.
Want to stop polluting for the sake of clean teeth? You can actually get biodegradable, environmentally friendly toothbrushes that offer both of these necessary features and don’t cost much at all. In fact, they are often cheaper than their wasteful counterparts. Do a quick web search for “bamboo toothbrushes” and you’ll see what we mean.
For example, Nuva Dent Eco-Friendly Reusable Bamboo Toothbrushes are on Amazon at $8 for a pack of 10. These have natural, charcoal bristles, which means they are completely biodegradable. Some bamboo toothbrushes offer a bamboo handle but still use plastic bristles. Don’t buy those. Get the ones that are all-natural, through and through.
Chemical dumping isn’t just for big companies. The average consumer dumps their fair share of pollutants every time they use an average household cleaner, from dish soap to Windex. Sure, your individual consumption may be small, but collectively, it’s huge. Think of your contribution to this kind of pollution as a kind of metaphor for how companies like Google make money. Your individual clicks on their ads and promoted links might earn the company mere cents, but with so many people clicking so many times a day, it adds up to billions of dollars a year. Pollution is fueled by “micropayments” like this too.
However, there are plenty of earth-friendly cleaning products on the market at prices comparable to traditional brands. For example, this three-pack of Meyer dish soap is $9.34 on Amazon when you apply the offered coupon. That’s comparable to regular liquid. The Meyer brand also makes a ton of other home cleaning products that have been pretty popular with consumers as well as many of us at Brad’s Deals. It can be expensive in the store, but buying it in bulk online will help you save money.
Another helpful link for products like these can be found at the Environmental Working Group, a nonprofit that links consumers to eco-friendly products.
It’s estimated that there are 78 million pet dogs in the United States, which means that nearly 25% of Americans own a dog. But dogs don’t use toilets, so that’s a lot of you-know-what to pickup. Of course, little plastic baggies make curbing your dog an easy and non-vomit-inducing task. But that’s a lot of plastic bags going into the waste stream! Think about it: Even if we assume that half of all dog owners leave their pup’s poop to fester on the street (which can attract rats and spread disease!), if the average dog does its business twice a day, that’s over 28 billion bags a year.
But biodegradable bags exist, and they’re not even that expensive. In fact, most of the bags sold for this purpose make it a point to be earth-friendly! For example, you can get these highly rated Earth Rated Dog Poop Bags for as little as $11.49 on Amazon.
Batteries are full of some pretty toxic materials, and I hope you already know it’s a bad idea to just throw them in the trash. In the long run, it’s actually more cost effective to use alternatives to your run-of-the-mill batteries.
There are two ways to go about this. The first is to invest in a rechargeable battery kit. These can be pretty cheap, like this one for $10.39 on Amazon. But you can also opt to spend a little more on brands like:
We recommend buying a kit with at least four AAA and four AA slots so your bases are covered and you can simply swap out charged ones for dead ones without having to wait. Count up how many devices you have in your home that require batteries to figure out how many you need, and then add one or two extra. That way, you’ll always have a charged battery on hand. Rechargeable batteries won’t last forever, but you’ll get a few years of use out of them, and you can recycle them at the end of their lifetime.
The second and sometimes smarter option is to use solar-powered devices whenever you can. This won’t work for everything, but it’s an excellent option for low-powered devices. For example, I use a Logitech solar wireless keyboard in my office, and it has worked flawlessly for a few years now, needing very little light to operate properly. Sometimes you might spend a few dollars more for solar-powered devices, but not having to change batteries makes it worthwhile in the end.
Here we’ll ask you to think about the number of paper products you use around the house. Of course, paper comes from trees, and trees are a renewable resource, but even the lumber industry has some pretty negative environmental costs. It’s always a good idea to reduce consumption if possible.
For many families, napkins are the biggest culprit for at-home paper waste, and these can easily be replaced by inexpensive and eco-friendly cloth napkins without causing too much upset to your daily routine. The key here is to be smart about how you use them. Having to use and wash napkins can be inconvenient, so the trick is to buy enough so that you don’t feel like you are always running out, and then you can sneak them into your regular laundry cycle so you aren’t having to do extra loads.
Paper towels can be a little too useful to give up, so the best thing to do is buy recycled paper towels. In order to save money on these, make sure to buy in bulk. Not only are these rolls made of recycled paper, but they also do not contain the chemicals and dyes that are often found in newborn rolls.
They also make environmentally friendly toilet paper, but if you prefer to skip the roll altogether, we do have a couple of bidet options for you.
Got a wasteful home product you’ve found an earth-friendly replacement for? Let us know in the comments!