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According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the average American produced around 4.9 pounds of waste each day in 2018. That's over 1,700 pounds of waste per year. While food makes up 22% of that, plastic is another huge culprit and accounts for more than 12%.
Whether you're simply curious about eco-friendly items or ready to completely overhaul your home with sustainable products, thinking about how we shop is a great place to start. Simple changes like replacing disposable items with reusable alternatives and supporting brands that source their products sustainably are just some of the ways you can help make a change.
To make it easier, Yahoo contributing editor Chassie Post joined the show to share eight eco-friendly products for every area of your life. From cleaning essentials to nail polish, these sustainable and reusable items will help you be a little greener this year.
Keep scrolling to see all of her picks.
Unlike sponges, which need to be replaced every few weeks, this unique scrubber is built to last. The eco-friendly cleaning tool is made from cotton and corn cobs, which give it a slightly coarse texture that makes it tough on stains. The scrub is versatile and can be used to clean heavy-duty items, like metal and cast-iron pans. It can last up to six months and can be thrown in the dishwasher whenever it needs to be cleaned.
For a more general cleaning solution, try the brand’s All-Purpose Spaghetti Scrub, made from cotton and peach pits. Abrasive enough to be used on tough stains, yet gentle enough for everyday cleaning tasks, these are great for dishes or cookware and on wood, plastic and glass surfaces. Both come in 100% recycled packaging for reduced waste all around.
Thankfully, many restaurants and coffee shops have stopped using plastic straws. But the paper versions they've replaced them with aren't actually that functional: They get soggy after sitting in your drink for just a few minutes. The solution? A reusable metal straw that can be taken anywhere. This one from Final is collapsible, so it can fit on your keychain. It comes with a brush for easy cleaning and you can choose between a range of fun colors for both the straw and the cute carrying case.
Say goodbye to plastic cutlery with the FinalSpork. Equally as portable as the straw, you’ll never be stuck having to use plastic utensils for takeout again. Part fork, part spoon, you can eat everything from ice cream to noodles with the handy utensil.
Satisfy your sweet tooth, then grow your green thumb with these unique lollipops. Each candy contains edible flowers and herbs and they come in tasty flavors like lavender and lemongrass or sage and marshmallow. When you’re done, you can plant the biodegradable stick, water and watch your herb or flower grow.
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Cariuma was founded by two longtime footwear industry executives who came together to create a more eco-friendly sneaker. The result is a sneaker line made from natural materials in ethical factories. The brand's IBI Slip-On has the lowest carbon footprint of any sneaker and is made with sustainably harvested bamboo and recycled plastics. Plus, the stylish shoes feature a memory foam insole, so they're just as comfortable as they are earth-friendly. And be sure to use the exclusive code TodayExpress through May 20, 2021, to get free express shipping.
Just in time for pool season, you can stock up swimwear while still maintaining a focus on sustainability with Aerie’s Real Good Swim collection. All the suits in the collection are made in part with recycled nylon. And there are plenty of trendy designs and colors to choose from to fit any style.
Plant-based and cruelty-free, Nailtopia’s polishes will be your new go-to for at-home manicures. The Nail Lacquers are made with real fruits and vegetables, which deliver a mix of vitamins and minerals to nourish nails and provide long-lasting color.
For more stories like this, check out:
- Would you try a reusable cotton swab? I did and I'm never going back to Q-tips
- Ditch the bottle: 7 shampoo bars that actually work
- Interested in upcycling? Here's what an interior designer says to try at home