14 easy product swaps to help you live a more climate-conscious life

Kai Burkhardt, CNN Underscored
Fri September 20, 2019

Today marks the first day of the global climate strikes, a week-long effort to raise awareness around the climate crisis. With the UN Climate Summit taking place in New York City on Sept. 23, young people around the world have decided to leave their classrooms and workplaces to protest. The strikes will last an entire week with events in New York, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo, and many others across the globe.

With this increased awareness around climate issues comes a demand for products that are easier on the environment. Going completely zero waste may be daunting, so we've put together a list of simple product swaps that can make your life more climate conscious. From limiting plastic use to choosing compostable alternatives, there are many substitutions you can make in your home that will benefit the planet.

And while it's hard to guarantee that these products are 100% plastic free (for instance, they could be shipped in plastic), they're definitely a strong start when it comes to living more sustainably.

Kitchen

Sponges, Ziploc bags and plastic wrap all create unnecessary waste. Look for wooden, silicone and even beeswax replacements to help make your cooking and cleaning experiences waste free.

Stasher Bags ($11.99; amazon.com)

These silicone reusable bags replace the need for plastic. Available in varying sizes, they're perfect for storing a quick snack or bulk food.

Beeswax Food Wraps ($18.00; amazon.com)

Handcrafted in Vermont, these can replace plastic wrap. Store fruit, loose food or cover a bowl with these wraps. They're washable so you can reuse them before you eventually compost.

Earth Junky Produce Bags ($16.95; amazon.com)

Instead of taking single-use plastic bags from the store for your produce, try these reusable produce bags. This 7-piece set comes with an assortment of muslin and mesh bags of varying sizes for any type of produce.

YETI Rambler 18 oz ($29.99; amazon.com)

Using a reusable metal water removes the need for plastic containers. Dishwasher safe and made with double-wall vacuum insulation, this water bottle should keep your beverage cold all day.

Hydro Flask Coffee Thermos (starting at $21.95; amazon.com)

Hand your local coffee shop a reusable bottle instead of taking a paper or plastic cup you'll throw away. This Hydro Flask is vacuum-insulated and made with long-lasting stainless steel.

Full Circle Bamboo Dish Brush ($5.99; amazon.com)

Many normal sponges contain plastic and polyurethane, which is hard to recycle. A simple replacement is this bamboo dish brush with bristles made from recycled plastic.

UNNI Compostable Trash Bags (600 for $49.95; amazon.com)

When composting, it's important to make sure every single element that goes into your compost can be broken down. These compostable trash bags are made from plant starches, and are a great way to store food scraps before they're thrown in the composter.

Bathroom

You've probably seen how harmful plastic toothbrushes can be to the ocean, but lots of other everyday plastics can be replaced, too. Razors, floss, soap and other bathroom essentials have plastic free alternatives.

Brush with Bamboo Toothbrush (4 for $16.99; amazon.com)

This soft-bristled brush is plant-based and organic. Instead of sitting in a landfill or floating in the ocean, the bristles and the packaging can be recycled, and the handle and the bioplastic wrapper can be composted.

Davids Natural Recyclable Toothpaste ($9.95; amazon.com)

This premium, natural toothpaste comes in a metal tube, so once it's cut open and rinsed, it can be recycled. Even the box and the little plastic cap are 100% recyclable.

Vikings Blade Stainless Steel Razor ($28.97; amazon.com)

Switching to a stainless-steel razor is a great way to get rid of the unnecessary waste of plastic disposables. The single blade aims to provide just as close a shave, and since the razor is made from Swedish steel, it's built to last a lifetime. The replacement blades are also stainless steel so they can be recycled when worn out.

Dental Lace Silk Floss ($13.99; amazon.com)

If you floss (which you really should), here's a great replacement for the normal plastic strings. The 100% silk floss is waxed and has a mint flavor. The packaging is recyclable and the floss itself is compostable.

Rocky Mountain Barber Company Wooden Comb ($11.99; amazon.com)

Wooden combs are an easy switch from their plastic counterparts. This anti-static, no snag, handmade brush is crafted out of pear wood, and is fully compostable.

Desert Breeze Wooden Hair Brush ($34.50; amazon.com)

Built with a pear wood handle and boar hair bristles, this sturdy hair brush is all-natural. Made in Germany by a shop with a 100-year history, this brush is a great sustainable alternative, and completely compostable.

Aspen Kay Dead Sea Mud Soap Bar ($9.45; amazon.com)

Instead of buying plastic bottles of body wash, try using a soap bar instead. There are tons of all-natural options, but we love this one because it is organic and chemical free. It's made with dead sea mud, charcoal, shea butter and other natural ingredients.