From brushing our teeth to brewing a coffee, from the moment we wake up in the morning, our daily routines are so full of disposable this and single-use that, that walking back and forth to the garbage can has become second nature. But with so much to do and only so much time in a day, it’s no wonder that we find ourselves stuck on autopilot. We reach for the same plastic tube of toothpaste and remove makeup with the same disposable cotton rounds. Why? Because it’s what we’re used to, and up until recently, the alternatives have been few and far between.
Thankfully, the sustainable wellness landscape has made strides in the last few years. With the wave of disruptive new brands, cutting-edge product innovations, and breakthrough sustainable materials, switching from single-use to reusable is easier than ever. In honor of Earth Month, we’re calling out our favorite low-waste alternatives to everyday wellness essentials. Keep reading for our top picks to help you build a more sustainable routine.
We’re going to go out on a limb here and say you’ve probably never seen toothpaste like this before (we hadn’t). By Humankind creates personal care products in innovative formats designed to reduce waste without compromising efficacy. These refreshingly minty tablets forgo the classic plastic tube for a refillable glass jar that looks so good, you wouldn’t dare hide it away in your medicine cabinet.
If, like us, lockdown has transformed you into a gardener extraordinaire, then this countertop gadget has your name written all over it. Not only does it cut down the number of garbage bags we go through each week, but it also creates the perfect nutrient-rich fertilizer for our flower beds. Believe it or not, we actually look forward to filling it with food scraps after every meal.
Are you currently wearing the same worn-out sweatsuit you’ve been sporting every day for the last year? No judgement, so are we. But when the time comes to branch out, we know exactly which sustainable set we’ll be reaching for. Pangaia is more than just a clothing company, it’s a hub for innovations in materials science, specializing in chic, comfortable leisurewear made from recycled fibers and materials made from recycled plastic bottles.
When it comes to cleansing and applying toner, cotton pads are absolutely essential. But when we started to think about how many of those single-use circles end up in landfills, we knew we had to find a more sustainable alternative. Well, cotton pad loyalists, listen up. This set of 14 reusable cotton pads are soft enough to use around the eyes and sturdy enough to throw in the washing machine.
5. Mesh Baggu
Baggu’s reusable shopping totes have long been a staple in any sustainable shopper’s arsenal, and for good reason. Just as packable and sturdy as the original, the brand’s newest iteration takes sustainability one step further. The Mesh Baggu is made from recycled plastic bottles and can carry up to 40 pounds—meaning it’s a lot less likely to break in the middle of the grocery store parking lot.
From the pivot and grip to the number of blades, we’ve come a long way from the disposable shaver days of yore. But when was the last time you picked up your razor and thought about the amount of single-use plastic waste? That’s where this ingenious and shockingly chic plastic-free alternative by Leaf comes in. The price tag may seem higher than the drugstore options you’re used to, but the replacement blades are significantly cheaper than traditional refill heads.
7. Bee’s Wrap
Picture this: You’re eating half an avocado—what do you do with the other half? If your instinct is to reach for the plastic wrap or pull out a ziplock bag, then think again. These reusable food storage wraps are made from beeswax-coated cotton, and can be washed, reused (again and again), and eventually composted. The perfect plastic-free alternative to help keep food fresh.