5 Best Reusable Products You Need In 2023
Let’s face it, people run through an alarming amount of single-use plastic daily. A container to carry our takeout, a straw on our iced latte, our disposable cups – individually, they may seem harmless. But our reliance on these products means we are accumulating waste at a staggering rate, producing up to 400 million tons of plastic waste worldwide each year.
And with more alarming statistics every day, it’s no surprise that consumers are looking for ways to reduce their plastic consumption. So if you’re looking for ways to lower your carbon footprint and make your household more eco-friendly, switching to reusable products is one of the simplest methods.
The good news is that adjusting to an eco-conscious lifestyle is much easier than you think. In case you need help getting started, we’ve compiled some of our favorite reusable products to help you kickstart your sustainable journey in this article.
What Are Reusable Products?
Reusable products, in simple words, are products you can repeatedly use. Aside from helping the environment, you’re saving money in the long run if you are a little creative. And because there are lots of eco-friendly choices on the market today, switching to reusable products is easy to incorporate into your daily routine. You don’t necessarily need to change your lifestyle significantly; small changes will help a lot.
Using reusable and recyclable materials is a crucial aspect of the circular economy concept. It aims to eliminate additional pollution and encourage sustainability by extending the span of a product through reusage.
Beeswax Food Wraps
The average family uses 24 rolls of cling wrap every year. Beeswax wraps are a natural and waste-free alternative to traditional plastic cling wrap or aluminum foil. They are 100% plastic free and effortless to clean. They can be reused several times, sometimes up to a year, before eventually disintegrating because of their natural components. These wraps are usually made of cotton and coated with food-grade beeswax, coconut oil, and jojoba oil- so the fabric sticks together.
Why It’s A Great Alternative: Compared to plastic wrap, which accelerates mold growth, beeswax wrap is more breathable and keeps your food fresher for longer. It’s also incredibly easy to use because its heat activated — so you can shape it around your plate or bowl simply by heating it with the palms of your hands. The wrap maintains its shape and seals when it’s cool.
Proper Disposal: Beeswax wraps are compostable. So once the protective wax coating has worn away, you can bury it in the backyard, and it will eventually break down into compost.
Pro-Tip: To make your beeswax wraps last longer, use cold water when washing them.
Wool Dryer Balls
As a more sustainable alternative to dryer sheets, these dryer balls are made of tightly compressed wool and are designed to go into your dryer with your wet laundry. They work by tumbling between fabrics and physically preventing clothes from clinging together. This tumbling movement also allows air to be circular better to quicken drying time. These dryer balls can be used up to 1000 times and are completely biodegradable.
Why It’s A Great Alternative: These dryer balls manually soften fabrics without using harmful chemicals and artificial additives. The friction the felted wool produces helps smooth creases and rough fabrics gently.
Proper Disposal: When the wool unravels, you can add these dryer balls to your home compost. We suggest cutting them into smaller pieces, so they break down faster.
Pro-Tip: If you miss the fresh scents from dryer sheets or fabric softeners, you can sprinkle a few drops of natural essential oils on these dryer balls before putting them in the dryer.
Reusable Bamboo Straws
Bamboo straws are a must-have if you take your drinks to-go regularly. Sustainable, stylish, and convenient — they are an appealing alternative to plastic straws.
Reusable straws are made of different materials like stainless steel or silicone. But we recommend the bamboo variety because it’s made of 100% natural components and comes from one of the most sustainable plants — bamboo regenerates from its roots, so it doesn’t need to be replanted.
Why It’s A Great Alternative: Bamboo straws aren’t just safe for the environment but also safe for you. These straws are steam-cleaned, and pressure washed, making them antibacterial and chemical-free. And unlike plastic straws that can leak harmful toxins into your drinks, bamboo straws are entirely BPA-free.
Proper Disposal: Once your bamboo straw has reached the end of its life, you can toss it into the compost heap, where it will break down and compose naturally.
Pro-Tip: To clean your bamboo straws, shake them in a jar of warm soapy water and rinse them daily. But if you want a more thorough cleanse, you can boil water with a bit of vinegar and dip them in for a few minutes.
A Swedish dishcloth or sponge cloth is an eco-friendly cleaning accessory that replaces paper towels and plastic sponges for various kitchen tasks, from scrubbing dishes to polishing silverware. These are made of either biodegradable cellulose or a combination of wood pulp and renewable cotton fibers. They’re designed to last up to 9 months, with two dishcloths equivalent to 34 paper towel rolls.
Why It’s A Great Alternative: Swedish dishcloths are super absorbent, soaking up to 15 times their weight in water. They’re thick, soft, and pliable but dry quickly between uses.
Proper Disposal: Swedish dishcloths are natural and biodegradable. So instead of just throwing them in the trash bin, you can put them in your home compost.
Pro-Tip: Always hang your Swedish dishcloth to dry so the cotton fibers don’t disintegrate quickly.
Reusable Cone Coffee Filter
If you love drip coffee, chances are you run through multiple paper filters a week. A more sustainable, and not to mention cheaper, option is to switch to a reusable coffee filter. This product is made with food-grade stainless steel, which lasts longer, requires minimal care, and reduces the paper consumption from trees.
Why It’s A Great Alternative: Paper filters are finer than stainless steel coffee filters. This means that the extracts that make up the coffee, like oil and micro fines, can pass more accessible through the filter — resulting in a more prosperous and darker brew.
Proper Disposal: Obviously, these reusable filters are not biodegradable or compostable. But they are not designed to be thrown away either — they can be easily cleaned and used indefinitely, even lasting a lifetime.
Pro-Tip: Reusable filters work best with medium-grind since coarse grounds may produce a more bitter flavor.
How Can You Help To Reduce Environmental Impact?
We have so many sustainable and reusable options available. So making the switch from single-use plastic not always has to be complicated. All it takes is a conscious decision and a step in the right direction.
Reusing and recycling go hand in hand, so if you want to kick off your recycling journey, you will find some helpful tips to upgrade your recycling game here. Aside from preferring reusable products, our shopping behavior also hugely impacts the environment.
By choosing products made from sustainable materials and packaged with minimal waste, we can reduce the amount of plastic and other waste that ends up in landfills and oceans.
Additionally, if you support companies that have environmentally-friendly practices, such as recycling and reducing their carbon footprint, it will also make a significant impact. Small changes in our daily habits and being mindful of our consumption choices can make a big difference in the long run.
Res Marty is a blogger from Switzerland aiming to educate and motivate his audience for a sustainable lifestyle and helps achieve it by thinking out of the box. He has years of experience in sustainable living and is passionate about sharing his expertise.