This year marked the 52nd anniversary of Earth Day; a great time to think about our own sustainability efforts and what we are doing to protect the environment. With growing concerns about plastic pollution, carbon emissions and more, shopping for environmentally friendly products is more important than ever — and it’s easier than you might think.
From saying goodbye to single-use products such as sandwich bags and makeup wipes to buying clothes that are certified carbon neutral, a small shift in your shopping habits can make a huge difference. Plus, many eco-friendly products won’t break the bank and might even save you money in the long run, since you won’t have to continually buy replacements.
To celebrate Earth Day, Shop TODAY Editorial Director Adrianna Brach stopped by TODAY to share some products you can shop on Amazon that can help reduce your everyday waste. From fashion to home, Brach has environmentally-friendly options for all kinds of shoppers.
Keep reading to shop these must-have eco-friendly finds.
Zero-waste beauty finds
This 100 percent plastic-free bar is a great option if you are looking to cut down on plastic consumption. According to the brand, the shampoo bar is cruelty-free and dermatologist-tested, and is formulated to prevent hair breakage for all hair types. It is also designed to lock in moisture and give hair a natural shine with the help of aloe vera and hydrolyzed oat protein. After using, you can hang your soap in the shower to dry with the attached cotton cord.
Taking off your makeup can be a wasteful affair with the makeup wipes, cotton pads and makeup removing products. This reusable and machine-washable product, however, erases all that waste. This makeup eraser just needs a bit of water and it can wipe off waterproof mascara, eyeliner, foundation, lipstick and more, and is recommended by dermatologists, according to the brand.
Based on customer feedback, Amazon recently launched their Amazon Aware brand which sells sustainable and affordable options, Brach said. This new line focuses on every day essentials that are perfect closet staples.
This short sleeve is made with organic certified materials and is designed with a flattering close fit. This white T-shirt is also certified as carbon neutral from the third-party organization ClimatePartner, which means that the carbon footprint of the product was calculated and the emissions are offset through investment into carbon renewal projects, Amazon says.
Amazon says this shirt is made with 100 percent organic certified cotton, this crewneck T-shirt is designed to have a slim, but comfortable fit and a lightweight feel. The shirt features ribbing at the collar and cuffs and is available in sizes ranging from XXS to 3X.
These slim-fitted jeans are certified carbon neutral and are made with global recycled standard certified recycled denim, according to the brand. The soft and smooth denim has some stretch to it and is designed to keep its shape. The fit is also styled to be snug through the hip and thigh and then be looser through the leg.
Similar to the above jeans, this pair is also made with certified recycled denim. These jeans are designed to sit below the waist and are fitted through the hip and thigh and finish off with a tapered leg. This stylish option is a great way to introduce more sustainable clothing into your wardrobe.
As part of Hey Dude's drive for sustainability, the brand says it uses materials like 100 percent organic cotton in the construction of the shoe, and each one has a removable cushioned insole made from recycled foam. The casual shoe also weighs under five ounces, making them a great option for traveling.
These men's loafers are a comfortable and stylish option that are made using durable materials such as recycled foam, plastic, leather and organic cotton, according to the brand. Their men's shoes are also available in 48 different designs and colors.
Affordable ways to reduce waste
Colorful and kid-friendly, these silicone straws are a great replacement for plastic and even paper options. Included in the pack are 15 straws and two cleaning brushes. These can be used in tumblers, for smoothies and milkshakes and the brand says they are dishwasher safe for an easy clean.
It is estimated that Americans use an average of 365 plastic bags a year, a steep number compared to people living in Denmark who use an average of four each year, reports a National Geographic article. A great way to cut down on plastic bag use is to buy reusable grocery bags.
With a multi-colored design, these bright bags can help organize your groceries based on color and are even designed to be able to hold up to 50 pounds, which is equivalent to three standard plastic bags, says the brand. Each bag can be wrapped into a small roll so you can tuck them into purses, pockets and the glove compartment of your car so you'll be prepared for any unplanned shopping trips.
Waste less when doing chores
Skoy, a brand based in California and run by two women, makes it affordable and simple to waste less while doing chores. Unlike paper towels, Swedish dish cloths are reusable, biodegradable and affordable. These cloths can be used for spills, dishes and for deep cleaning the house. The material, which is similar to microfiber, is made with 70 percent cellulose and 30 percent cotton, so they air dry faster and absorb more than average paper towels, the brand says. This set also comes with a scrubber.
Wool dryer balls are a classic laundry hack that can help cut down on the need for dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener. These handy balls can even cut down drying time by up to 25 percent, says the brand. These balls really do work when it comes to getting rid of static and wrinkles, Brach says, but she recommends using around four or more per load.
One of Brach's favorite tricks with the above product is to add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the dryer balls before popping them in the machine so your clothes or sheets can be infused with a subtle scent. This set of six oils includes lavender, tea tree, eucalyptus, peppermint, lemongrass and sweet orange.
Waste less in your kitchen and home
Single-cup coffee machines are great because of their convenience, but the pods are wasteful and the cost of continually buying new ones adds up over time. These reusable K cups offer an easy solution. All you have to do is fill up the cup with a few scoops of your favorite coffee grounds and you'll be good to go. Made from BPA-free, high grade stainless steel, these filters are also designed with a wire mesh to provide the freshest brew possible, says the brand.
Everyone knows the struggle of produce going bad faster than you can get around to using it, but luckily there is a solution. These freshness balls help reduce waste by keeping produce fresh up to two to three times longer, the brand says. All you have to do is put a freshness packet inside of the blue apple this product comes with and toss it in the drawer or basket where you store your produce. These balls work by absorbing the ethylene gas that naturally emits from food and causes over-ripeness. Each packet is good for three months and there are enough packets included to last a whole year, says the brand.
While you might use a light timer for the holidays, using these outlets year round can help you cut down on energy usage. These two timers allow you to schedule 30 minute intervals so you can turn off lamps, small appliances and other electrical devices.
More Amazon finds for Earth Day
Despite being compostable, these eco-friendly hair ties are designed to be long lasting, feel comfortable to wear on all hair types and be anti-slip, says the brand. They are made from organic cotton and natural rubber, which are all ethically sourced, plastic-free and the elastics are biodegradable.
Designed to be used by both men and women, the brand says its razor promotes work to clean up oceans and beaches to combat plastic pollution. The razor itself is made from recycled ocean plastic recovered through clean up efforts and has ceramic coated blades and a lubricating strip with cocoa butter and aloe for a comfortable shave. Preserve is also a certified B Crop Company and donates 25 percent of proceeds from Popi products to nonprofits working to solve the ocean plastic crisis.
From red wine stains to cosmetic smudges and pet accidents, this stain remover says that it can safely remove any type of mess. All of the ingredients used in its formula are natural, hypoallergenic, gluten-free, non-bleaching, biodegradable, vegan and cruelty-free, the brand says. This spray can be used on clothing, carpets, bedding, car seats and other washable fabrics. For every sale, the brand also donates their natural and organic products to children and families in need.
Want to cut down on single use plastics? These stasher bags are a great reusable alternative that are both dishwasher and microwave safe. Unlike traditional single-use bags, this silicone option contains no BPA, PVC or latex, the brand says. The air-tight lock helps keep food fresh and all their juices locked in. The bags are also available in a variety of sizes from snack bags to half gallons and come in 12 different colors.
Conserve water with this high-efficiency showerhead that has a powerful and consistent flow no matter what the available water pressure is, says the brand. Included are three spray functions such as needle, massage and combination. This product also has a WaterSense label, which means it has a third-party certification that it meets the Environmental Protection Agency’s specifications for water efficiency and performance. Not only does this showerhead save water, but it might also help you save on your water bill.
This six-piece set comes with two bath towels, two hand towels and two washcloths, which are all made from 100 percent organic cotton, the brand says. The woven textured pattern is designed to make the towels soft and absorbent while the double-stitched edges help with durability. The towels are available in five different colors ranging from navy to taupe and blush.
Perfect for spring and summer, this Amazon Aware dress is a stylish and environmentally conscious option. The brand says the dress is made with 100 percent certified organic cotton and is certified carbon neutral by ClimatePartner. With an empire waist, a fitted chest and flared hem, this dress is a must-have for the warm weather season.
For more stories like this, check out:
- Simple eco-friendly swaps for your beauty bag, according to a dermatologist
- Would you try a reusable cotton swab? I did and I'm never going back to Q-tips
- Furniture need a little love? Try these upcycling tips from an interior designer