This story is part of, CNET’s coverage of the impact of climate change on a range of financial issues.
Even small actions to increase sustainable living can have a major impact on the environment, whether you use a reusable shopping bag, whether you choose, clean with green products or abandon single-use products for , biodegradable or sustainable substitutes. Opting for environmentally friendly products and materials can reduce your , while protecting the planet and its water.
This shopping list of the best eco-friendly products available online will help you reduce your addiction to plastic and packaging,and harnessing the sun – all the things that benefit the environment.
Amazon / Kleen Kanteen
The single-use plastic straw war is escalating. Starbucks announced a possible ban in 2018, and hundreds of stores and retailers have followed suit. You can join the movement by picking up a reusable straw, like these Klean Kanteen stainless steel straws with silicone ends. The set includes a brush for cleaning.
The good pencil company
The Good Pencil Company, a B-Corp certified company that supports a range of educational and environmental causes, makes pencils from wood from responsibly managed forests. He also donates a pencil for every pencil you buy and includes a spruce seed in each package so you can plant a tree at home.
Sarah Tew / CNET
It is reported that 8 million metric tons of plastic enter the ocean from land each year, and by 2050, it is estimated that the plastic in the oceans will outweigh the fish. Green Toys makes toys from plastic that would have ended up in water, collected from coasts and waterways. It also manufactures a wide range of other toys from 100% recycled plastics, mainly milk containers. It is a sustainable system. They understand:
Sarah Tew / CNET
Americans consume around 208 million tonnes of paper per year, so even if you use recycled paper, it’s still a lot of waste. Cut costs with the Rocketbook Core Reusable Spiral Notebook. Glossy paper works with Pilot Frixion Erasable Gel Pens (and they come in several fun colors).
The writing on the pages is a little wet at first, like using a marker pen on a smooth greeting card, but after 10 seconds the ink binds to the paper and doesn’t bleed. Erase as you go with the pen tip or quickly erase an entire page with a damp cloth. (Cloth and pen are included.) The Rocketbook app makes it easy to scan and save your notes as PDF to multiple cloud storage services or email, and it can convert your handwriting to text as well.
Single-use water bottles have become an environmental scourge. Shoe company Rothy’s turns them into stylish, eco-friendly flats, moccasins and sneakers, with styles suitable for women and children. While plastic water bottles aren’t usually the most colorful items, Rothy’s comes in all kinds of bright looks with animal print designs and even flames for kids. The shoemaker says he reused more than 27 million plastic bottles that were originally intended for landfills. It’s a reusable difference.
Adidas collects recycled marine plastic litter, found along the coast, and uses it (instead of virgin plastic) throughout its Primeblue clothing line. The company currently sells Parley Ocean plastic shirts, shorts and footwear and aims to make its entire product line free of virgin polyesters by 2024.
Nimble makes these phone cases from 100% recycled plastic bottles and donates 5% of the proceeds to a range of environmental programs including Coral Reef Alliance, Carbonfund.org and SeaSave.org.
Amazon / Stasher
If you pack lunches for work or school, you may have to use an alarming number of disposable bags over the course of your life. These reusable silicone Stasher storage bags can withstand the rigors of microwaves and freezers, and are happy to hang around in a lunchbox, too. Put them in the dishwasher to clean them.
Lunch Art / Amazonia
Here’s a slightly different take on the plastic bag conundrum. These designer bags are made from cotton lined with food grade polyester. What makes them attractive are the patterns: kittens, squids, turtles and mermaid scales make eco-responsibility fun. And, yes, they are reusable and are dishwasher safe.
Amazon / Flip and Tumble
It’s not just sandwich bags that haunt your plastic house. Bags of produce may seem wispy and light, but they’re always contributing to the problem. Flip and Tumble reusable grocery bags are made of polyester and machine washable. Sheer mesh lets you see what’s inside.
Amazon / Ethics
As long as we’re thinking about cutting down on plastic and harsh chemicals used in packaging, take a look at these solid shampoo bars from Ethics. These natural cleansers are available in varieties formulated for oily hair, dry hair, and damage control. There’s even an eco-friendly dog cleansing shampoo bar. The company claims the bars are cruelty-free, TSA-compatible, and compostable. Each bar will help you feel cleaner and is said to be the equivalent of three bottles of liquid shampoo.
Amazon / Summer
Taking care of your own beeswax is a great idea when it comes to using beeswax infused food wrappers instead of wrappers or plastic bags. These Etee biodegradable envelopes are made with organic beeswax and cotton. You warm these biodegradable products with your hands before using them to wrap food or cover a bowl or plate.
Amazon / OXO
Go zero waste and turn your kitchen waste into gardening gold with a compost waste collector that can live on your countertop or under the sink. This particular design does not require the added cost and inconvenience of compostable bags. You can simply clean it with a quick scrub after emptying the disposables in your main bin.
An Alternative Choice: Bamboozle, which makes a line of eco-friendly bamboo fiber cookware, sells a dishwasher-safe composter that comes with replacement charcoal filters.
Amazon / Panasonic
Panasonic’s reusable eneloop batteries are popular for their long life. It may take a little while to recharge them, but it’s better than throwing an endless stream of exhausted batteries in the trash.
BioLite / Screenshot by Amanda Kooser / CNET
Going off the grid just got a little easier with the BioLite SolarHome 620 kit. It includes a solar panel, three ceiling lights, wall switches and a control box that doubles as a radio and gadget charger. The system could be used to light a cabin or motorhome, or act as a back-up system in the event of a power failure.
Amazon / Anker
Anker’s portable solar panels can hang on your backpack to keep your gadgets charged up on your thrilling adventures in distant lands. Or you can use them at home or at work to harvest those good solar vibrations.
Amazon / Silpat
Replace the reams of parchment paper with a reusable Silpat baking mat. It’s made from a fiberglass mesh with a non-stick silicone surface, and it’s an incredibly eco-friendly product. It can survive in the oven over and over again and will also save you from having to grease your baking sheets.
Audio maker House of Marley makes environmentally friendly products. The company’s waterproof Bluetooth speaker is made from sustainably sourced cork that is both renewable and biodegradable.
Beef production has a worrying impact on the environment, as cattle chew the earth and produce greenhouse gases. Plant-based meat substitutes like the Impossible Burger want to give people a reason to avoid beef. Even Burger King got on board with an Impossible Whopper that costs a dollar more than a regular Whopper.
If you want to gift the world to someone who cares about the Earth, MOVA decorative globes use solar cell technology to rotate silently with any indoor ambient light or indirect sunlight. No batteries or wires required.
Editor-in-chief Bridget Carey contributed to this story. Originally published earlier and updated periodically.
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