It’s 2020 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 22 environmentally-friendly products of 2020 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.
Eco-Friendly Hygiene and Self-Care Products
1. Sustainable CBD Products
What is sustainability? Well, it spans the full gamut of the product production line, from cruelty-free and sustainably sourced ingredients to recyclable packaging.
Bluebird Botanicals CBD products check all these boxes. We make our products from 100% American and organically-grown hemp alongside selecting other organic and sustainably sourced carrier oils and natural botanicals for our additional ingredients. Likewise, Bluebird recently became one of the first CBD companies in the world to earn its B Corp™ Certification which demonstrates our commitment to the highest standards of environmental responsibility.
We recently introduced new plastic bottles for our CBD soft gels that are 100% recyclable and are manufactured using significantly less energy and resources than our glass bottles. While our glass bottles are not yet 100% recyclable, we’re working towards that goal and still invest in packaging that can be recycled and reused to reduce waste.
Related Article: How to Recycle Bluebird Botanicals CBD Bottles
2. Biodegradable Bamboo Toothbrushes
Bamboo is apparently the new black based on how many eco-friendly brands are shifting to this biodegradable material for common household goods. Bamboo toothbrushes have been on the market for several years already but have seen a recent surge in consumer interest over the past year.
For good reason, too - bamboo toothbrushes like this one from Goodwell Co. use sustainably sourced and compostable bamboo for the base along with charcoal-infused bristles for extra antibacterial, bad-breath-fighting powers. The good news about bamboo is that it is a rapidly renewable crop, meaning that it requires no fertilizer and self-regenerates from its own roots which eliminates the need for extra resources.
Plus, Goodwell Co. goes the extra mile by using 100% recyclable packaging to send you your bamboo toothbrushes anywhere in the world.
3. 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.
4. Reusable Cotton Bud
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 reusable cotton bud.
There are already a variety of biodegradable cotton buds available on the market, but one product in particular completely eliminates the single-use nature of this hygienic staple. Sustainably-minded company LastObject created the “world’s first reusable cotton swab” using non-toxic materials that can be easily cleaned with soap and water instead of tossed in the trash like the common cotton swab. Bonus - you get to save money on Q-tips for the rest of your life.
5. Solid Shampoo and Soap Bars
Solid shampoo bars are the latest and greatest advent of 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!
6. 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.
7. Plant-Based Loofah
Did you know you can grow your own shower scrubbie right in your backyard? It’s true! While the store-bought mesh loofahs you’re probably familiar with are an invention of the modern world, the inspiration for this bathtime staple came from the luffa plant, a sponge-like member of the gourd family. You can grow this plant in your backyard the same way you would grow pumpkins, melons, or squash and harvest the produce in the fall to use for a variety of purposes, scrubby-dubby time not being the least of them.
8. Plastic-Free Razors
While all razors don’t necessarily fall into the disgraced “single-use” category, many modern razors are made with plastic parts and at some point end up in the trash can, leading to the landfill to sit for eternity. The good news is that there are tons of other options available with absolutely zero plastic waste and all recyclable or eco-friendly ingredients.
One of the most prevalent options is to find a lifelong razor mate. Your options here are endless, but some brands with abundant positive reviews include Rockwell, Leaf Shave, and Bareaya. These brands build their “safety razors” using stainless steel with a lifetime guarantee. All you have to do to keep your razor sharp and fresh is recycle or mail in your used, dull blades which can be kept out of the landfill and reused for other purposes.
Eco-Friendly Travel Products
9. 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.
10. 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!
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. 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!
15. 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.
16. Zero Waste Kit
Looking for an easy way to replace your plastic food utensils and storage in one easy step? Look no further! Zero Waste Kit packs up the eco-friendly supplies of your dreams into the cutest little glass jar (sustainably sourced and 100% recyclable, of course). The kit includes a stainless steel straw with a silicone tip, a napkin made from up-cycled fashion waste, a bamboo spork, and an organic cotton produce bag. This kit is the perfect eco-friendly non-wasteful accessory for any camping trip or even just to have as a handy to-go container stashed in your car.
Eco-Friendly Household Goods
17. 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!
18. Organic Wool Dryer Balls
If you’re anything like me, laundry is the last thing you’d consider as a potential environmental pollutant. But as discussed above, not only do our polyester clothes shed microfibers that make their way to the ocean through water drainage, but our fragrant dryer sheets are also single-use items that invariably make their way into the landfills and oceans.
However, you can easily replace those single-use sheets with organic wool dryer balls for exactly the same sweet-smelling and static-ridding effect. There are a plethora of organic and sustainable options available online, including from brands like Smart Sheep, Friendsheep, and Housoft. Plus, you can choose whatever delightful scent you’d like for your clean clothes by applying any essential oil of choice to your dryer balls prior to going into the dryer.
19. Ecoflow Showerhead
Ecoflow showerheads 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 Showerhead with a 4.5 average rating, available for less than $18 (limited time only).
20. 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?
21. Seed Paper Greeting Cards
Have a friend or family member’s birthday coming up? Give them a gift that truly keeps on giving with a plantable greeting card. These cards are sold by Bloomin, Greenfield Paper, and many vendors on Etsy and are made from recycled, compostable paper embedded with wildflower seeds. After your loved one enjoys your written message, they can plant your sweet words in some soil and watch them sprout into beautiful flowers. What could possibly be a better gift than that?
22. 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 indulge in some sustainable CBD?