The zero-waste movement has been growing from the number of people that want to make a positive impact on our environment, and for good reason. The amount of waste in our landfills just keeps piling up year after year, and something needs to change for the earth to get better. The more people that focus on reducing their waste, the more of an effect they can have on the earth.
If you'd like to join the zero-waste movement, but aren't sure where to start, swapping out some of your household items with zero-waste products is a great place to start. There are plenty of objects all around your home that create waste that you may not even think about. Replacing those with waste-free and reusable alternatives can make a big difference.
Let's start by taking a quick look at some of the very best zero-waste products you can incorporate into your life.
Our top picks for zero-waste products
If you're just starting your zero-waste journey and want to know what to prioritize, we would recommend choosing one or more of these products. Every one of them can make a big difference in your home and in your life, and easily reduces the waste you produce.
- Best waste-free kitchen product: Lomi
- Best zero-waste bathroom product: Tushy spa 3.0
- Best zero-waste skincare product: Organic sunscreen
- Best affordable zero-waste product: Beeswrap beeswax wrap
- Best waste-free product for everyday use: Pela case
8 zero-waste products for inside and outside the home
We're always creating waste, whether we're at home or on the road. So, here are some zero-waste home products and some waste-free products to take on the road.
1. Pela case
You don't need wasteful and damaging plastic to protect your phone. All Pela cases are made with plant-based compostable materials, and are just as protective as any plastic case. Pela cases come in a wide variety of colors and designs, so you're sure to find one you'll love!
Why you need it: Everyone needs a cell phone cover to protect their devices, but plastic covers just contribute more to the waste issue. You can protect your phone with natural materials instead.
Eating out tends to mean getting a bunch of plastic cutlery that you're going to throw away as soon as you find a trash can. That's a huge waste considering you can easily carry around your own set of travel utensils. Just let the people handing you your meal know that you brought your own fork.
Why you need it: These travel utensils are made of bamboo, making them comfortable to use, and you'll be able to compost them at the end of their life.
Single-use plastic bags are another one of those products that create far more waste than necessary. When shopping at a grocery store, farmer's market, or wherever else, it's super simple to carry around these reusable produce bags with you, and you'll save on a ton of waste doing so.
Why you need it: These produce bags in particular have their tare weight labeled on them, so buying produce with these is made even easier.
If you like a coffee or tea to go, you've probably dumped quite a few disposable cups in your time. Instead of throwing away a bunch of cups, you can use this reusable travel mug. It's large, comfortable, and easy to clean! Just let your barista know you'd like them to fill this mug instead of one of their own.
Why you need it: The cork around the glass cup makes this travel mug cozy to hold, no matter how hot or cold your drink inside of it is.
While plastic water bottles are a common and cheap option, they're not great for the environment. They're also not great for your drinks, as plastic can soak in the flavor of old drinks and seep them into new ones. Unlike plastic, this glass reusable water bottle won't harm the environment and will keep your drink tasting as it should.
Why you need it: These beautiful bottles are also dishwasher safe, making them easy to take care of.
Although we may not really think about it, using toilet paper multiple times a day creates a ton of waste. Deforestation is a huge issue, and it takes lots of trees to make nice, comfortable toilet paper. You can easily cut down on your use by installing a bidet.
Why you need it: This change won't just feel great for the environment, it'll feel great for you, too. You'll always feel fresh, clean, and ready to go when you're finished with your business.
Our pets' poo isn't bad for the environment, but the little plastic bags we always use to throw it away is. Alternatively, you could use these affordable compostable pet waste bags to get the job done. These handy bags are made with natural materials, such as tree resin, instead of plastic, so they'll break down along with your pet's waste.
Why you need it: Leaving pet waste on the ground isn't an option, and cleaning it up with plastic isn't the best choice. This is a simple swap that can easily prevent waste.
If you want to be out and about during the summer, bug repellent is a must. Nothing ruins a great hike quite like a swarm of flies and mosquitos bothering you. This natural bug repellent bar is a fantastic sustainable option, as it's made with natural and organic ingredients, such as essential oils, rather than synthetic chemicals.
Why you need it: This bar of repellent is both convenient and comfortable to use compared to regular insect repellent. It's moisturizing, so you won't be bothering your skin, and the compact bar is easy to carry around.
The top 8 zero-waste kitchen products
Food waste and other kitchen waste are major contributors to the world's garbage issue, so tackling your kitchen is a great way to begin tackling your own waste. Here are some of the best zero-waste kitchen products to help you with that.
One of the best ways to reduce food waste is to turn your kitchen scraps into something useful instead. Lomi makes that simple by turning your food waste into nutrient-rich dirt with just the push of a button. Throughout the day, fill Lomi with your food scraps, and when it's full, turn it on. In less than 20 hours, that waste will turn into natural fertilizer.
Why you need it: Lomi is the ideal kitchen appliance for plant lovers. Instead of waste, your kitchen scraps will turn into nutritious food for your gardens and indoor plants. And, because of how fast Lomi works, you can get a daily supply of this natural fertilizer.
10. Bamboo straw
We all know that plastic straws are terrible for the environment. However, you really need straws for some drinks. That's where reusable plastic-free straws come in. These ones in particular are made from bamboo, so they're comfortable to use, and they're compostable.
Why you need it: These zero-waste straws are made from organically and ethically grown bamboo, so you can enjoy your drinks knowing you aren't causing any harm.
If you're getting reusable straws, you'll also want to invest in a straw cleaner. While it's possible to clean them without one, it's certainly not easy. This straw cleaner is also made with bamboo and other natural ingredients, making it the perfect addition to your straw collection.
Why you need it: This straw cleaner is both flexible and durable, so you can easily and effectively clean your straws.
12. Food Huggers
One great way to deal with food waste is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Food Huggers make preventing food waste cute and easy. These silicone covers can wrap right around your fruits and vegetables, keeping them fresh for a long time!
Why you need it: Food Huggers has a variety of covers for whatever you need. You can get jar covers, avocado covers, cheese covers, and pretty much whatever else you could want.
Having food stick to your pans is unpleasant at best and can even ruin your food. Parchment paper is an okay solution to that issue, but it's a wasteful one. These silicone baking mats do an even better job than parchment paper to prevent sticking, and they're reusable.
Why you need it: While these may seem like a pain to clean, they're really not. You can easily throw them in the dishwasher and they'll fold around everything that's already in there.
14. Reusable k-cups
For coffee lovers, this is a big one. While they're convenient, disposable k-cups produce so much waste. If you've got a Keurig machine, you should absolutely grab a few of these zero-waste reusable k-cups. They work just as well, and you're saving so much waste by just cleaning them out every day.
Why you need it: There is an upside to these k-cups aside from being zero-waste. Because you're the one filling them up, you can fill them with whatever coffee you'd like, even coffee you wouldn't normally be able to get in a k-cup. Enjoy trying out new brands and flavors!
Good and reliable storage is an important factor in reducing food waste. Flimsy plastic containers are cheap and easy to find, but they're not great and are obviously bad for the planet. This set of glass containers, on the other hand, are amazing. They're sturdy, you can easily see inside them to quickly grab what you need, and the glass helps keep your food fresh.
Why you need it: This set of containers will be all you ever need. The sizes and shapes that come with this set will cover just about anything you need to store.
The Beeswrap beeswax wrap is a versatile tool in the kitchen. Much like plastic wrap, you can use the Beeswrap to cover, contain, or wrap up just about anything. Unlike plastic wrap, though, Beeswrap is completely plastic-free, as it's made from cotton, beeswax, and other natural materials.
Why you need it: Beeswax wraps are easy to use over and over again, and you can get a few in some fun patterns that you'll love to look at!
8 zero-waste cleaning products for a fresh and waste-free home
We need to clean our homes so that they can stay healthy and comfortable, but standard cleaning products tend to create a ton of waste. Instead, here are some waste-free alternatives.
Dishwashing products are commonly sold in small plastic bottles that need to be replaced on a regular basis. Unfortunately, that's pretty terrible for the earth. A fantastic plastic-free alternative to dishwashing liquid is this dishwashing block by No Tox Life. It's just as effective as regular dish soap, but coming in block form means that it's also waste-free.
Why you need it: they made completely The dish block from biodegradable and vegan ingredients, and is 100% cruelty-free.
The perfect dish brush to go with the dish block is this CASA AGAVE dish brush by No Tox Life. With a focus on being completely zero-waste, this dish brush is made from bamboo and palmyra fiber, giving it a comfortable grip and effective bristles.
Why you need it: Standard plastic dish brushes shed microplastics into the waterways, damaging life in the water and eventually making their way back into our bodies. Keep the water clean of microplastics with a plastic-free brush.
While paper towel is compostable, it isn't always guaranteed to end up as compost, and the creation of paper towel takes away from our forests. Finding a reusable alternative is always going to be the preferable choice. Thankfully, these Not Paper Towels from Well Earth are a fun, cute, and efficient alternative.
Why you need it: These reusable paper towels are beautifully handmade in Oregon, and are a great size for cleaning up all sorts of messes. Plus, as they're made from organic cotton, they'll be able to be composted.
20. Wool dryer balls
Waste often comes from places we don't normally think about, and one of those places is the laundry room. People often use a dryer sheet with every load they use, and that adds up quite a bit over time. Instead of a disposable sheet, you can actually use dryer balls. These wool dryer balls are reusable, eco-friendly, and will save you time, money, and energy over many loads.
Why you need it: If the regular wool balls are too boring for you, you can get little sheep or little penguin wool balls instead! They make an adorable addition to laundry day.
Just like with dish soap, the cleaning supplies we gather for our homes tend to come in disposable plastic bottles that will need replacing. If you want to do away with the disposables, you can invest in the clean suite kit by Blueland. The whole kit will get you a set of reusable glass spray bottles and tin cans, as well as soap tablets for everything you'd need around your house. That includes dish soap, laundry soap, multi-purpose soap, and much more.
Why you need it: Buying this one kit will get you everything you need all at once. No need to run around looking for different cleaners for different parts of your home, just make one simple order.
Unlike most laundry detergent, Tru Earth laundry detergent comes as strips of soap you can tear off and put in your washer. It's also packaged in cardboard, making this laundry detergent option completely zero-waste. What's even better is that you can pay for a subscription, so your laundry detergent will be sent to you on a regular basis and you'll never have to go shopping for some again.
Why you need it: Tru Earth offers a risk-free trial. If you order their laundry detergent and decide it wasn't for you, they'll just give you a refund, so you can test it out for yourself if you're unsure about it.
Most dishwasher pods are wrapped in plastic, which results in plastic ending up in our water. This isn't great for anyone. However, dishwasher pods are convenient. If you want convenience without the harm to the environment, you should definitely get the Dropps dishwasher detergent. Their pods are wrapped in a water-soluble casing, and their packaging is completely waste-free.
Why you need it: As a company that's truly dedicated to the environment, Dropps provides 100% climate-neutral shipping. So, you can buy this dishwasher detergent from the comfort of your home knowing that you aren't harming the environment.
Another great option for a cleaning product is this multi-purpose cleaner concentrate. Instead of buying disposable plastic bottles of cleaner, you can get this concentrate to mix with water in a reusable spray bottle. The cleaners have natural fragrances that smell wonderful, are effective, and are stored in recycled packaging.
Why you need it: If you want a zero-waste and super cheap cleaning option, this is the one to take. Not only is it affordable for a single refill, but it's even cheaper with a monthly subscription. You really can't go wrong with this choice.
8 best zero-waste skincare & beauty products to make you feel great
Taking care of your body and doing what you can to look your best doesn't need to be wasteful, either. There are plenty of self-care and beauty products you can get that are waste-free, so you can feel your best without harming the planet.
Just like with most cleaning products, standard shampoos and conditioners come in a plastic bottle that will need to be tossed and end up in a landfill. However, shampoo and conditioner can also come in bar form, like with this Sweet & Sassy shampoo and conditioner. They're made from natural ingredients, they smell wonderful, and are safe for color-treated hair. Your hair will feel, smell, and look great, and you'll have saved the environment from a few more plastic bottles.
Why you need it: This shampoo and conditioner is recommended for people with thin, coarse, color-treated, or damaged hair. This set will work wonders on your hair and leave it feeling silkier than ever.
While most of us will grab a plastic toothbrush without thinking, there really is no reason for toothbrushes to be made from plastic. Ditch those brands and go zero-waste with this bamboo toothbrush. It will work just as great as any other toothbrush while also helping to protect the environment.
Why you need it: If you've got sensitive teeth and/or gums, this is also just a great pick for you. While the bristles are firm enough for a good clean, they're also soft enough to feel comfortable on your teeth and gums.
If you're looking for a zero-waste shave, Package Free has you covered. Their Leaf pivoting head razor provides you with a seamless shave wherever you need it. The zero-waste shave bar gives you a luxurious shave cream without the needless plastic packaging. This shave kit is everything you could want without any of the plastic waste.
Why you need it: On top of the packaging being waste-free, the razor itself is also zero-waste. Instead of plastic, their pivoting head razor is made from zinc and stainless steel.
Although you may not have known that deodorant cream is an option, it absolutely is. It's also a great zero-waste option. Meow Meow Tweet's deodorant cream comes in glass packaging, and is refillable, removing all plastic waste and minimizing the total waste created. Even better is that their deodorant cream is made from natural ingredients, and leaves your pits smelling and feeling wonderful.
Why you need it: The deodorant cream comes in a variety of splendid scents, or even unscented if you're sensitive to smells. There are also some baking soda-free varieties if you're sensitive to that, as well.
Reusable and refillable options are always the way to go when trying to be waste-free. In this case, Plaine offers a refreshing refillable face wash. This product is great for all skin types and uses vitamin C to invigorate your skin. You can also choose if you want your bottle to come with a pump, and if you'd prefer a citrus scent or unscented face wash.
Why you need it: This face wash is made only with natural ingredients, and is free of harmful or toxic materials. It's also vegan and certified cruelty-free.
The best thing everyone can do to protect their skin, and especially their face, is to put on a bit of sunscreen every day, even if you're not planning on leaving the house. Of course, that much sunscreen can cause lots of waste if it's made from non-sustainable ingredients and packaged in plastic. However, when you're getting organic and moisturizing sunscreen packaged in a glass jar, you don't need to worry about your effect on the environment.
Why you need it: Not only is this stuff better for the environment, but it's better for you! This stuff is handmade with care and only safe materials are used to create this luxurious and wonderful smelling sunscreen.
At the end of the day, when it comes time to remove your makeup, it's easy to go for the disposable cotton pads that feel good on your face and are effective at cleaning your skin. Once again, though, there are better options. One alternative is these reusable cotton rounds. Just by washing and reusing these pads, you're saving on so much potential waste.
Why you need it: These reusable pads are made with bamboo, meaning they're super soft and comfortable to use. These are the ideal choice for people with sensitive skin.
When it comes to dental hygiene, your toothbrush isn't your only potential source of waste. Because most toothpaste comes as a paste, it's easiest to package that in plastic tubes. However, Bite has developed a tooth cleaner that comes in little tablets, so you just chew on the tablet and then brush your teeth with that. This is the kind of innovative zero-waste product that we love!
Why you need it: To be as zero-waste as possible, you get a single glass jar for your tablets, and future purchases will get you a paper pouch of tablets to refill your jar.
If you're going zero-waste, this list of zero-waste swaps should help get you started. To make a big difference, you should definitely focus on your kitchen to reduce food scraps. You can check out our guide on zero-waste kitchens for more help with that. However, Lomi is a fantastic tool to help you reduce waste, and it's easy to use. If you like what you see, you can order your own online. Either way, we thank you for making the decision to embrace the zero-waste lifestyle and improve the environment for everyone.
Written by: Sereana Simpson