While we can do that through volunteering in our communities, donating to nonprofits, advocating for governmental policies that help people, participating in mutual aid, etc — one simple way to make a difference is to be thoughtful about the products we buy.
We know we’re going to buy things — so why not vote with our dollar by only choosing to purchase products that are ethically made, in line with our values, and aren’t harmful to the planet.
Every thoughtful purchasing decision means less money to bad companies and more money to good companies — plus you receive a product you can feel great about.
Sometimes it’s hard to know where to get started with sustainable swaps — so we created this guide to help bring inspiration and ideas. Remember that the most sustainable thing you can do is to keep, repair, or repurpose what you already own before you buy something new. You can always bookmark this page so you can come back to it over time.
Some of the links in this article may be affiliate links, which means we may get a commission for purchases made through these links — at no extra cost to you. As always, everything listed here is independently recommended by the Good Good Good team.
Sections in this guide:
- Living Room
- Laundry Room
Meet the Eco-Friendly Products Making Your Home and the Planet a Better Place:
For the kitchen —
Reusable Paper Towels
Once you switch to reusable paper towels, you’ll never want to go back. Wiping up spills and messes with single-use paper towels feels like throwing away money (and cutting down trees) — and it literally is. But as long as you have access to a washer and dryer, using reusable towels or rags is even more effective and affordable than their paper-based counterparts.
While you’d think that food that ends up in a landfill will naturally break down, uniquely, landfills are so compacted that it takes a long time to break down and when it does, it releases a significant amount of methane.
That’s why composting is important: it turns your food scraps into something helpful for the planet. But what’s the best way to collect food scraps throughout the week without making your kitchen yucky?
Glass is infinitely recyclable — and while we’re seeing more wine bottles, food packaging, and household glass containers being made with more recycled glass, we seldom see our actual drinking glasses made from recycled materials. Fortunately, a number of artisans are making beautiful, unique glassware you’ll love showing off.
- NOVICA’S Hand-Blown Recycled Glasses
- Our Place’s Recycled Drinking Glasses
- Topo Chico Recycled Glasses from Neutrall
Ziploc Bag Alternatives
One of the best ways to reduce food waste is to simply ensure you have functional food storage containers you’ll actually want to use. Bonus points if those containers are sustainable, as well.
Other Green Kitchenware
Once you begin making sustainable swaps in your kitchen, you’ll begin to see a million more ways to reduce waste. The biggest key is to think through how to buy high-quality items that will last a lifetime without needing to be replaced — and consider how products that will end up in landfills (like garbage bags themselves) can have a reduced negative impact.
For the bathroom —
The American Dental Association recommends swapping out your toothbrush every three to four months, but that doesn’t mean we have to send the whole toothbrush to a landfill. By swapping out your plastic brush for something more eco-friendly, you can make the planet happy while you make your dentist happy. (And it’s worth mentioning there are a number of eco-friendly electric toothbrushes these days, too!)
- Bamboo Toothbrush from Brush with Bamboo
- FOREO ISSA 3 Rechargeable Electric Toothbrush with Long-Lasting Brush Head
- Recycled & Mail-Back Toothbrush from Preserve
Zero Waste Toothpaste
Toothpaste tubes are notoriously hard to recycle (and nearly impossible to get all of the paste out of). In recent years, companies have created more sustainable alternatives. While they definitely will take time to get used to, these sustainable swaps help eliminate waste from your daily (hopefully twice a day!) routine. (These also make for a great sustainable stocking stuffer around the holidays)
- Zero Waste Toothpaste Bits from Bite
- Uncle Harry’s Toothpaste in Glass Jar
- Toothpaste Tabs from The Humble Co.
Zero Waste Shower Supplies
While 90% of packaging is recycled from our kitchens, a study found that only 50% is recycled from the bathroom. While one solution is to keep a small recycling bin in your bathroom and be intentional about changing those stats in your own home — another is more simple and more impactful.
Instead of buying a series of plastic bottles for all your shampoos, conditioners, body washes, and face washes, swap them out for zero-waste alternatives!
- Suds & Co. Shampoo Bar
- Ethique Conditioner Bar
- Shampoo, Conditioner, and Body Wash Waterless Concentrate from Everist
Disposable razors are low quality, short-lasting, and live forever in landfills. By switching to a (beautiful!) reusable razor, you can save money and the planet — all while you get a better shave.
Recycled or Bamboo Toilet Paper
It feels really weird to chop down trees specifically to… wipe our butts with. Fortunately, it’s easy, affordable, and kind of cool to shop for more sustainable toilet paper. If you can make this swap, you’re on a roll!
- 100% Recycled Toilet Paper from Who Gives a Crap
- Bamboo Toilet Paper from Who Gives a Crap
- Bamboo Toilet Paper from Reel
Bidet Converter Kit
According to Business Insider, a bidet uses only an eighth of a gallon of water — while it takes roughly 37 gallons of water to make a single roll of toilet paper. Even though many bidet users still use toilet paper to dry off, the amount of toilet paper necessary is significantly lower. Plus, bidets are more hygienic — and these days, super easy to install.
For the bedroom —
Eco-Friendly Bed Frame
An average, wooden bed frame lasts 7-10 years and metal bed frames hold up for nearly 15 years. When you’re committing so much time to a (oftentimes expensive) product, it’s worth factoring the earth into your purchasing decision.
Environmentally Safe Mattress
A lot of mattresses contain chemicals, fabrics, and components that are dangerous to the health of humans and the planet. While sustainable mattresses generally cost more than the basic mattresses you hear about in podcast ads, they’re worth considering for the sake of your well-being — and the well-being of mother nature.
Sustainable Sheets & Bedding
If you’ve already been dreaming of new sheets that actually feel like luxury, spend a tiny bit more money on thoughtfully, sustainably made bedding that will actually last you a long time. You’ll be resting responsibly in no time.
Sustainable Sex Stuff
Sex brands can care about the environment too — and that extra care can go a long way in caring for the health of your body too. Whether you’re shopping for something new to try, or just want a sustainable swap for something you use all the time, these products have you covered… and feeling good in all the right ways.
A rug is another product that you don't buy very often, and when you do, you want to make sure it’s a worthwhile investment. You can intentionally choose to purchase a rug made from renewable materials, ethically made by expert artisans, and created to last a lifetime.
For the living room —
Candles are wonderful and there is no shortage of candle companies being thoughtful about using sustainable ingredients and thoughtful (often reusable) vessels. Next time you’re purchasing a candle, try factoring the environment with your scent and aesthetic choices, too. A little extra thoughtfulness with your next candle purchase can go a long way.
- Refillable Candles from Grow Fragrance
- Candles in Whiskey Glasses from Ranger Station
- Sustainable Candles from La’ F.E.M.
Rechargeable Electric Lighter
There’s no need to rely on fuel-based lighters (or even matches) when we have access to incredible, long-lasting, rechargeable electric lighters. Use these fancy (but surprisingly inexpensive) tech lighters to light a candle, grill, or whatever else — just don’t buy another fossil-fuel-powered lighter again.
While this is a shameless plug, we really do think the Goodnewspaper is the perfect addition to any home. Each issue is filled to the brim with good news and arrives sustainably at your doorstep each month. The Goodnewspaper is printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink. We’re proud members of 1% for the Planet and we reduce and offset 100% of our carbon footprint, certified by Climate Neutral.
For the laundry room —
Ecologically Friendly Detergent
Gone are the days of needing to buy a big plastic container of detergent to effectively wash your clothes. Pods, sheets, and concentrated laundry liquid cut back on waste, all while getting out stubborn stains and smells.
If you wear any clothes with synthetic materials, the process of washing them can shed plastic fibers into the wastewater — which end up making their way into fish and aquatic animals… and eventually back into humans.
Fortunately, there are some simple, affordable options for ensuring you’re not part of the problem.
More Laundry Accessories
Laundry is bound to be a part of our lives, so why not make it fun and sustainable? Here are a few more ideas to make this chore lighter on your to-do list and the planet!
For the office (or home office) —
Sustainable Standing Desk
If you’re finally ready to upgrade your work-from-home setup, make sure to keep the planet in mind as you make your purchase. There are a number of great options available, but we really recommend shopping with Fully — a B Corp that always keeps sustainability at the center of its products.
Recycled and Paper-Free Stationery
Writing letters and thank you cards can make all the difference in personal and business relationships. And being extra thoughtful about the stationery you choose can make all the difference for the planet.
Most of us have probably owned hundreds of pens in our lifetime — only for them to somehow disappear at some point (or to run out of ink eventually). Usually, we lose pens because they’re not important enough to keep track of — but that habit can lead to a lot of waste over time.
One solution is to swap out our low-quality pen purchases for one singular beautiful, special, refillable pen.
Conscious Apps That Help the Environment
If you’re spending your whole workday online, you might as well turn your internet browsing into positive environmental impact. Fortunately, there are a number of web apps that do this… for free.
Outside the home —
While a mini greenhouse is definitely a nice-to-have, not a need-to-have, these easy-to-assemble habitats make it easy to grow more of your own food all year round. Plus, they’re cute!
Biodegradable Dog Poop Bags
For those of us trying to be conscious about reducing the amount of plastic in our lives, it can feel weird to use a brand new plastic bag just to wrap dog poop in and immediately send it to a landfill to live forever. Fortunately, more sustainable options are available for lovers of dogs and the planet.
Eco-Friendly Phone Case
Phone cases don’t last forever — so it’s worthwhile to be extra thoughtful about which ones we buy. Instead of a virgin plastic case that will live forever in a landfill, opt for something recycled or compostable.
- Pela’s Compostable Phone Case
- Oakywood’s Tree-Planting Wood Case
- CASETiFY Compostable Bamboo Fiber Case
Sustainable & Ethical Watch
Thanks to our phones, watches have moved from functional tools we use to tell the time — to unique accessories that make a statement. Why shouldn’t that statement be centered around caring for people and the planet?
Too many gifts end up as waste, but consumable gifts — gifts that can be used up one way or another — will never end up in a landfill. Think: food, drinks, soap, gift cards, candles, and even audiobook credits. They’re the perfect gift for minimalists, environmentalists, or the person who has everything.
Amazon is a great, accessible tool for making shopping simple — but its giant operations don’t come without an environmental impact. When you have the chance, consider shopping for select items on other platforms that center their values above their profits.