It’s 2019 and products centered on sustainability are the name of the game. While reusable water bottles and to-go coffee cups have been front and center for years, we’re now encouraging you to go even further in helping reduce your carbon footprint. Here are the top 16 environmentally-friendly products of 2019 as selected by Bluebird Botanicals.
Have a specific area of eco-friendly that tickles your fancy? We’ve broken our suggestions out by type to help you focus your impact.
For reducing harm to the environment AND your body
1. Biodegradable Dental Floss
Did you know regular dental floss, made of waxed nylon, takes 50 to 80 years to decompose?
Traditional nylon floss is nearly impossible to recycle, meaning it most often ends up in a landfill or incinerators, producing harmful microplastics or air pollutants. Here’s a surefire way to make both your dentist and Mother Earth happy. Biodegradable and case-free dental floss takes everyone’s least-practiced dental hygiene activity and makes it undeniably eco-friendly.
Silk and bamboo currently reign supreme as eco-friendly options for squeaking between those molars, with both options being fully biodegradable and chemical-free.
Bamboo floss options don’t use preservatives, artificial colors, or artificial sweeteners - the only real “added ingredient” you might find in these babies are essential oils. Bamboo dental floss also has the distinction of being a cruelty-free and vegan option, though there is a company called Georganics that offers a cruelty-free silk floss option. The Georganics floss has the added benefit of avoiding single-use plastic containers, something zero-waste floss provider Dental Lace also offers.
2. Eco-Friendly Lotions
What is sustainability? Well, it spans the full gamut of the product production line, from vegan and sustainably sourced ingredients to biodegradable, bioplastic recyclable packaging.
The new line of CBD Lotions from Bluebird Botanicals checks all these boxes.
They’re also bottled in bioplastic recyclable, biodegradable sugarcane packaging and certified cruelty-free from Leaping Bunny.
Related Article: Bluebird Botanicals CBD - Confidence, Certified
3. Biodegradable Cotton Buds
We’re starting to see a theme, here.
It’s become apparent that single-use plastics are polluting our oceans and having catastrophic effects on ecosystems across the planet. But while plastic water bottles and soda can 6-pack rings are generally what spring to mind as the culprits, it’s important to consider other areas where you can cut back on single-use disposable items.
Enter: the biodegradable cotton bud.
For those who still want to pick up a guilt-free 6-pack, check out Saltwater Brewery in Delray Beach, Florida. They’ve created six-pack rings made of barley and wheat ribbons that are both edible and 100 percent biodegradable.
4. Solid Shampoo and Soap Bars
Solid shampoo bars are the latest and greatest advent our this eco-conscious world, but returning to the old fav soap bar (and finding an offering with a compostable and recyclable box) is also advised.
Just be careful when exploring the shampoo bar option: some of them, like these ones from Lush, are designed just like macarons and look good enough to eat!
5. Mineral-Based Sunscreen
Mineral sunscreens use Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide to block harmful UV light from reaching the skin. These sunscreens work by deflecting UV rays as opposed to the chemical varieties, which work by absorbing into deeper layers of skin, preventing sunburn by transferring UV rays into heat.
And the chemicals in these sunscreens don’t just absorb into skins - they’re also being transferred into oceans. A report published in the journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, showed that the chemical oxybenzone has toxic effects on young coral and also results in coral bleaching.
Mineral sunscreens like Blue Lizard, Goddess Garden Organics, and Coola’s Mineral Sun Silk are making it easier to enhance skin’s safety in the sun while promoting health and wellness for our marine reef friends as well.
For the savvy traveler
6. Reusable Bamboo Utensils
Reusable utensils you can take on the go? Yes, please!
This bamboo version of traveling utensils is super lightweight, chic in appearance, and good for you and the environment. Plus, you’ll never find yourself forced to eat soup with your hands! Hooray!
These durable utensils are also great to use at home, making them a truly versatile option for reducing your carbon footprint.
7. GoToob Travel Bottle
Tired of trying to figure out what in that hotel shampoo you stole is causing your luxurious locks to frizz up? Well, stress no more! The GoToob Travel Bottles are the perfect solution.
These flexible little silicone bottles allow you to bring your favorite toiletries wherever you go. They’re easy to fill and clean, available in three sizes, and come with a lifetime warranty. Flock yeah!
Bluebird’s new CBD Lotions are also great for savvy travelers as they already come in a 3.4 oz travel size!
8. Reusable, Collapsible Cup/Tupperware
A little bird told me you like to go out to eat, and that you might sometimes take home leftovers.
While some stores are paving the way for sustainability in the restaurant leftover realm - and the state of Maine recently even went so far as to outlaw styrofoam entirely - you can’t always be sure of what to-go tupperware might be available. So why not bring your own?
These reusable, collapsible cups and tupperware items are slim enough to fit in a purse or your glove box, and we’ll ensure you can always bring home the bacon to Fido - or save some savories for yourself - without ending up with the dreaded styrofoam landfill garbage.
9. Recool Coolers
Speaking of styrofoam, we’ll sure you’ll remember those “disposable” styrofoam coolers from the ghosts of barbecues and picnics past.
Retailer Igloo is working to remediate the impacts of their own styrofoam cooler with their Recool Cooler. The first cooler made from biodegradable materials, this cooler is reusable, lightweight, and can hold up to 75 pounds - and it doesn’t make that dang squeaking sound.
10. Outdoor Solar Lamp
Stay shining bright despite the plight, no matter where you happen to go.
An outdoor solar lamp is a great idea for camping, but could also help you find the pair of keys you set down next to the picnic table during your friend’s barbecue. They’re also great in case of a power outage.
Check out these inflatable options from Solar Pop - they’re easy to transport and even easier to use!
11. LifeStraw GO
Okay, so I guess a reusable water bottle did still make it on this list - but it isn’t just any water bottle.
The LifeStraw GO is your new best friend when it comes to getting potable water anywhere in the world. It’s designed to protect against bacteria, parasites, microplastics, chlorine, pesticides, and more.
It’s also long-lasting, with each bottle’s filter providing five years of safe drinking water. LifeStraw also pays it forward when you pick up this product: they’ll help provide one child with a year’s supply of clean water for every bottle purchased.
12. Synthetic Fiber Bag
Synthetic fabrics like polyester actually release microfibers into the water supply with every wash, eventually draining down into our oceans and other bodies of water. If you find you’ve got a plethora of polyester in your wardrobe but don’t want to do a full closet-cleanout, consider getting a synthetic fiber washing bag like this one from GUPPYFRIEND.
Simply toss your synthetic clothes into the bag then into the wash. Run as normal, then remove and discard the fibers afterward. Voila – you’re helping eliminate microplastic waste!
Bonus points: this bag will allow for less microfiber shedding in general, meaning your clothes will stay in better shape for a longer period of time!
13. Ecoflow Shower Head
Ecoflow shower heads are a natural next step in upgrading your sustainability efforts and reducing your utility bills at the same time.
Best of all: they aren’t even that expensive or difficult to install. Try out this Waterpik EcoFlow Chrome 4-Spray Handheld Shower head with a 4.5 average rating, available for less than $18 (limited time only).
14. Reusable Notebook
This is something I would’ve killed for as a kid, but admittedly probably not the best option for you lefties out there.
Americans consume an estimated 208 million tons of paper per year. A reusable spiral notebook can help you cut back on the ecological impact of this near-essential item for any student, diligent note-taker, or doodler.
These glossy-paper style notebooks pair well with erasable gel pens - just be sure to double-check the product description for your chosen option to ensure compatibility. You’ll essentially just want to look for dry-erase markers or highlighters - Pilot FriXion ones work particularly well.
The writing experience can be a little weird to adjust to at first, with the text remaining slick and smudgeable for the first 10 seconds or so. However, once the ink is bonded with the paper, it becomes totally smudge-proof - until you choose to wipe it off. Erase with a built-in pen tip or with a damp cloth.
You can also turn your notes electronic by scanning and saving them as a PDF. How cool and functional is that?
15. Reusable Silicone Sandwich Bags
One of the easiest ways to replace those dreaded single-use plastic items in your daily routine is foregoing plastic sandwich bags. Silicone storage bags are durable, dish-washer and freezer-safe, and also often boast handy measurement gradients, which make meal-prepping a breeze.
16. Compost Bin
This is less of a trending product and more of a lifestyle change.
But we’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: composting is a huge player in reducing your emissions and helping keep our planet habitable for future generations. While Bluebird offered our DIY-ers a make-your-own option in our Earth Day 2019 post, there’s also plentiful options for purchase if you’re a bit tight on time or want something sleeker.
From in-home kitchen countertop varieties to tumbler options for the backyard, there’s a compost bin system that will work for you.
Want to explore even more ways to sustainably upgrade the products you choose to use? Check out the DoneGood app, which helps identify ethical companies. You can even earn discounts.
In the meantime, why not slather on some sustainable CBD?