Want to ‘go green’ and make your life more eco friendly?
In this post I’m going to share 51 practical eco friendly products and tips that can help you just do that.
Choosing to ‘go green’ doesn’t have to be all complicated, plus it can benefit you financially as well.
A lot of eco-friendly products are inexpensive to buy and many green tips both free and simple to put into place. And whilst they may seem like small changes individually, collectively they can bring big changes to the environment.
First, can I share a quick confession? (ok, 3).
When I was at my most frazzled as a new Mum, I used cheap and easy non biodegradable nappies! (oops).
I used bleach when I didn’t have the energy to find a natural alternative for my month long uncleaned loo, because my Little Lady had started speed crawling and I spent all day trying to find her.
And I once left a dripping tap unfixed for *cringe* months because my Little Lady had just started school, I’d walked out my job and was working all hours starting my own online business. (Please don’t tell my water company!)
But, 90% of the time I do all I can to take regular steps towards making my life greener. And you can too.
Being ‘green’ isn’t about being ‘perfect’. Like is complicated enough! It’s about taking practical steps towards a life that is more conscious and caring in terms of the eco choices we make.
So, if you want to take steps towards living a more eco friendly and ultimately healthier life for you and your family, the following 51 eco friendly friendly products and tips should help you do just that.
I’ve aimed to compile a comprehensive list of actionable tips and easy to buy products, (many with specific product recommendations) to save you time and research of your own.
Going super eco friendly overnight is likely to be overwhelming, so I’d recommend starting with one or two products or tips that most appeal and work up from there.
I bet you’re doing some already!
ECO FRIENDLY PRODUCTS & TIPS – KITCHEN & HOME
1 – Recycle, recycle, recycle
According to this recycling guide, up to 60% of the rubbish that ends up in the dustbin could be recycled. Recycling your waste is easy to do for most of us in the West and you’ll be doing the planet a huge favour. Remember to recycle your clothes and old gadgets as well as everyday waste.
2 – Invest in a water filter
3 – Use biodegradable bin liners
Switching to biodegradable bin liners is a quick and easy way to cut down on your plastic waste.
4 – Ditch the non stick cookware
Non stick cookware is big business, but it come with health implications – a main one being that poly and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) used to create non-stick surfaces are toxic. Switching to cast iron options is a much healthier option.
5 – Invest in a counter compost bin
Using a counter compost bin in your kitchen is a great way to reduce your natural waste. In the UK, some waste collection services will collect your compost. Alternatively, if you have a garden, you can create your very own, nutrient rich compost!
6 – Switch plastic storage jars and containers to glass
There are many well documented health problems associated with plastic – from BPAs to phthalates. I switched to glass storage jars (Kilner Jars are a favourite) and containers when my Little Lady was born and I haven’t looked back.
7 – Use eco friendly produce bags
Instead of buying produce pre-wrapped in plastic bags, why not buy them loose and store in eco friendly produce bags instead?
Recommendation: Organic cotton produce bags are an eco friendly, reusable choice for storing and keeping food fresh.
8 – Use bamboo ‘paper’ towels
According to Bambooee, an average household uses 1-2 roll of paper towels per week. Switching to reusable bamboo paper towels is an effective, eco friendly option that dramatically cuts down on this waste.
9 – Switch to cork or bamboo chopping boards and kitchen utensils
Bamboo is biodegradable and generally grows well without the use of fertilisers and pesticides. So replacing your plastic chopping boards and kitchen utensils with bamboo boards and utensils is a healthier and more eco friendly option.
10 – Invest in some indoor plants
Indoor plants are a great way to help clean the air naturally. Plus they look good and brighten up your home to boot. Treehugger uncovers 5 great health benefits of house plants here.
11 – Be food waste conscious
I used to be a bit of a sucker for buy one get one free offers, but if it ends up in the bin because it’s gone off, it’s not helping the environment or your pocket.
Recommendation: I find meal planning helpful, as it helps you work out exactly what you need. This can both save you money and reduce food waste. I also aim to avoid food with excessive packaging.
12 – Buy local
Reduce your carbon footprint, by buying local where possible. This not only helps support local farmers, but it’s healthier too – the food is generally fresher and it means you’ll eat seasonally, as nature intended.
13 – Buy organic & fair trade towels and bed linen
The textiles industry makes up 10% of the planet’s carbon footprint. So choosing organic towels and bed linen, made with fibres grown without using chemicals, is a positive step to take. It helps the environment and it’s healthier for you. And if you opt for Fair Trade it also ensures the product has been produced under fair conditions for farmers and workers.
14 – Sleep easy with an eco mattress or mattress cover
We spend about a third of our life in bed, so it pays to have a good mattress! Many mattresses contain fire retardant and other chemicals, so it pays to buy an eco friendly brand, such as Plushbeds. Where an eco friendly mattress is too big an investment, an organic mattress cover can provide protection from allergens and irritants such as dust mites, bed bugs and chemicals.
Recommendation: Whilst it’s always best to do your own research, good things to look for in a mattress are 100% natural latex, organic cotton and recognised ‘green’ standard certifications, such as a GreenGuard or Oeko-Tex Standard 100. Plushbeds is one GreenGuard certified brand, which gets consistently great reviews from contented sleepers!
15 – Write, draw and print with recycled paper
Recycling one ton of paper can save 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 380 gallons of oil, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space and 4,000 kilowatts of energy! Using recycled paper is an easy switch to make at home, especially if you use paper a lot.
16 – Use a bamboo dry erase board instead of a post its and notepads
I’m always catching myself writing out a ton of post it note reminders and sticking them everywhere! On my wish list is a bamboo dry erase board – a fun and eco friendly way to cut down on paper notes.
17 – Invest in a 7 year pen
It’s estimated that 100 million pens are discarded every day! Investing in a 7 year pen will have you covered, for, er, well 7 years…!
ECO FRIENDLY PRODUCTS & TIPS – BABY & CHILD
18 – Use reusable or biodegradable diapers (or nappies!)
The UK throws away around 3 billion disposable nappies every year. In the US it’s around 20 billion. Phewy! That’a lot of nappy. Unfortunately, most of these end up in landfill. Whilst I did (mostly!) opt for biodegradable ones with my Little Lady, in hindsight, I wish I’d taken the time to to try out these reusable cloth ones.
19 – Switch to non toxic baby products
Where budget allows, glass feeding bottles, sulphate free bath and shampoo products and organic baby clothes are all options that are more eco friendly and safe for baby and the environment. They are generally a bit more expensive, but absolutely worth it in my view.
20 – Invest in eco friendly and sustainable toys
If you have kids, choose to buy from companies who produce eco friendly toys, which are made from recycled and non toxic and child safe materials.
21 – Switch to non toxic art supplies for the kids
Kids love to get messy and create. Opting for eco friendly companies, such as Eco Kids, ensures your little ones are using products, such as crayons and play dough, which are more eco friendly, natural and toxin free.
22 – Buy second hand children’s books
You can often pick up preloved kids’ picture and chapter books in great condition in second hand stores. And for a fraction of the full retail price too!
ECO FRIENDLY CLEANING PRODUCTS
23 – Switch to eco friendly cleaning products
Most cleaning products contain harsh solvents, detergents and fragrances, as well as harmful chemicals such as bleach and ammonia. I make my own general household cleaners from baking soda, lemon and white vinegar and use this natural oven cleaning recipe.
Recommendation: Micro fibre clothes are another popular option – their microscopic fibres pick up much more dirt, bacteria and germs than everyday clothes and you simply use them with water. Keep in mind, they’re not biodegradable, but as you can wash and reuse them, they should last you some time.
24 – Use eco friendly laundry detergent
Most regular laundry detergents contain harsh chemicals and leave a residue on clothing, which is both absorbed by our skin and inhaled.
25 – Use eco dryer balls
Did you know tumble dryers are often one of the most energy intensive appliances in your home?
Recommendation: Pop in an eco dryer ball or two and you’ll shorten your drying time and soften your laundry naturally.
ECO FRIENDLY PRODUCTS & TIPS – WELLNESS & BEAUTY
26 – Make you own natural care products
Most regular health care products contain a host of chemicals and additives, so why not make your own natural alternatives?
27 – Switch to more eco friendly make up and beauty products
Many regular make up and beauty products contain a host of chemicals and additives, which aren’t healthy for us or the environment. Switching to greener alternatives can be a great eco friendly way to go.
Recommendation: I always opt for non toxic nail polish and am a fan of Dr Haushka, Weleda and Neal’s Yard products. Crunchy Betty also offers a wonderful array of ethical and natural products on Etsy, which people love.
28 – Use eco friendly feminine hygiene products
Ok, so most of us girls don’t generally go around discussing which tampons we use (you do? good on you!), but did you know most feminine hygiene products contain toxic chemicals? Those super white tampons don’t get that way on their own. They’re bleached. Our skin is highly permeable, especially in the vagina area (if you’re female!), so it’s never to late to switch to a natural alternative.
Recommendation: I’ve sworn by these organic tampons for years or if you’re up of the challenge, menstrual cups have gained in popularity of late. 1000s of US ladies seem very happy with the Blossom Cup version.
29 – Brush with a recycled toothbush
Toothbrushes account for a lot of plastic waste. Why not switch to a recycled or eco friendly option?
30 – Switch to a fluoride free toothpaste or remineralising tooth powder
Fluoride always courts controversy, but whatever your view, it is classified as a neurotoxin. Studies also suggest the glycerin in toothpaste inhibits tooth remineralisation. For more in this area, The Cure For Tooth Decay is a fascinating read.
Recommendation: For a fluoride free option I used Kingfisher fluoride free toothpaste for years, but due to the glycerin in toothpaste recently switched to Laila of London Tooth Powder (UK only), which aids the natural remineralisation of teeth. Christopher’s Herbal Tooth Powder is another popular option.
31 – Use a shower filter
Up to 60% of the chlorine we absorb on a daily basis can come from showering. How? Because chlorine is re-vaporized in the shower, meaning it can easily be inhaled into the lungs. The heat of the water also opens your skin pores, allowing the skin to absorb contaminants more easily.
Recommendation: Vitamin C has been proven to neutralise chlorine in water, so using a Vitamin C shower filter is a popular option. I’m more of a bath person and use these vitamin C granules (just pop a spoonful in your bath). The Vitabath dechlorination tablets are another popular choice.
32 – Use a bidet!
Stay with me! Most developed countries actually use a bidet instead of toilet paper (if you’ve been to France you’ll know!) and many Indian people see the toilet paper user as a bit ‘backward’. Toilet paper also accounts for a huge amount of tree losses each year and even recycled toilet paper comes with hidden dangers.
Recommendation: A paperless option for your number 1 and 2s is to invest in a Biobidet! It fits on your toilet, so is an expensive option that negates the need for a full blown bidet installation. Have a look on Amazon. You’ll find 1000s of happy customers who love them!
33 – Strike a pose on an eco yoga mat
Avoid getting up, close and personal with some nasty chemical additives, during your downward dog, and opt for an eco friendly yoga mat made from more sustainable materials, such as natural rubber or jute.
34 – Use an airtube headset on your smart phone
If you use your cell phone alot, investing in an air tube headset can be a safer alternative to wired headsets or in-ear Bluetooth headsets. Air tube headsets deliver sound through an air-filled wireless tube that reduces this emission of radiation.
35 – Limit EMF exposure with a defender shield
Research suggests the negative effects of EMFS from the explosion of wireless devices are real and Dr Mercola suggests over use of a wireless laptop may be harmful. One option is to invest in a defender shield for your laptop, which can help reduce EMF exposure.
Recommendation: The DefenderPad Laptop EMF Radiation & Heat Shield is a laptop shield that comes highly rated.
36 – Eat less meat
Recommendation: For some veggie inspiration, try a delicious ‘Meat Free Monday’ recipe idea on Pinterest or invest in The World of the Happy Pear for some wonderful, meat free inspiration from former meat loving twins!
ECO FRIENDLY PRODUCTS PRODUCTS & TIPS – ‘ON THE GO’
37 – Invest in a reusable coffee cup
Did you know that every year, about 58 billion paper cups end up in landfills or are incinerated? Investing in a reusable coffee cup helps cut down on this waste. Many coffee shops also offer a discount to anyone using a reusable cup.
38 – Invest in a glass water bottle
The health implications of plastic bottles leaching chemicals are well documented, so investing in a reusable glass water bottle not only ditches the plastic, it also reduces the need to buy bottles of water on the go.
Recommendation: I use (and love) my MUI Glass Bottle, which comes complete with a handy bottle cleaning brush.
39 – Pop your leftovers in an eco lunchbox and take them to work
Using a stainless steel sustainable eco lunch box is an eco friendly food option for lunch at work or on the go.
40 – Shop with a reusable shopping bags
Plastic bag waste is responsible for many marine animal deaths, plus plastic bags can take hundreds of years to fully biodegrade. Switch to an inexpensive cloth or cotton reusable shopping bag for a more eco friendly option.
41 – Switch to eco friendly ‘poo’ bags
According to the ASPCA, it’s estimated there are 78 million dogs owned in the USA alone. That’s a whole lotta dogs and a whole lotta poo! Opt for eco-friendly biodegradable ‘dog poo’ bags or invest in a ‘poop’ scoop, wrap the waste in newspaper and dispose of it in the trash.
ENERGY SAVING ECO FRIENDLY PRODUCTS & TIPS
42 – Use energy saving lightbulbs
According to Energy.gov, switching to energy-efficient lighting is one of the fastest ways to cut your energy bills. Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light emitting diodes (LEDs) are both recommended as energy saving option.
Recommendation: LED bulbs are generally a bit more expensive, but tend to last the longest, so overall are often the best choice. CFLS also contain a small amount of mercury so always recycle.
43 – Unplug electrical appliances at night
Many appliances are still ‘energy vampires’ when on standby or even switched off. So switch off appliances at night and ideally, completely unplug them. Also, switch off your WIFI at night – research has shown that EMFs suppress the production of melatonin, the hormone which helps you sleep.
44 – Turn down your thermostat by one degree and bundle up
Turning down your thermostat by just 1 degree can help reduce your energy costs by 5%. Plus popping on an extra layer means you’ll be warmer naturally without ramping up the thermostat again. Here are some more energy saving tips for the colder months.
45 – Use an energy efficient washing machine
If you have one, using the eco setting on your machine will conserve energy and save you money on bills long term. Or if you’re planning on buying a new machines, opt for an energy efficient one.
46 – Use a solar phone charger
We all know cell phones are far from eco friendly. But they are a reality and most people have one. So charging your cell phone with a solar charger is a more eco friendly option for all those endless hours of charging.
47 – Use a low flow shower head
Low flow shower heads are an inexpensive way to reduce the amount of water you use, as well as cut down on your monthly energy usage. Less water being used = less water being heated in the shower.
48 – Turn off the tap (or repair that leaky faucet)
According to Water Wise, leaving the tap on unnecessarily, wastes 6 litres per minute. So simple changes, such as turning the tap off, when brushing teeth, or fixing that leaky faucet, can mean big water savings. If you’re home is attached to a water meter it will save you money too.
ECO FRIENDLY PRODUCTS & TIPS – GARDEN
49 – Garden with biodegradable plant pots
If you have green fingers, why not go even greener with biodegradeble plants pots?
50 – Grow your own food
Between 20% and 40% of fruit and vegetables are rejected by supermarkets because they’re misshapen, lumpy or a bit weird looking! A simple vegetable patch or raised bed in your garden is a great way to bypass the supermarkets bizarre obsession with a vegetable’s appearance and grow your own produce.
Recommendation: Square foot gardening is a popular option if you are limited on space or a bit wary of your green fingered potential! Even a few herbs in the kitchen is a start. An allotment or community garden are additional options.
51 – Dry your clothes naturally
If you don’t have one already, why not invest in a clothes line for spring & summer? If you usually use a tumble dryer, you’ll save on energy costs, plus your clothes will smell extra fresh! There are lots of indoor dryer rack options available too.
So that’s it! 51 practical and (mostly) inexpensive eco friendly products and tips to help you ‘go green’ at home. If you try any, let me know how you got on.
Have some eco friendly tips of your own for the home or garden? I’d love to hear them below.
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