10 Eco-Friendly Products for a More Sustainable Lifestyle

These eco-friendly products will help you live a more sustainable life.
These eco-friendly products will help you live a more sustainable life.
Rocketbook/Hills & Valleys/Earthwise/Amazon

With climate change standing at the forefront of global concerns among world leaders, it’s important to take steps on your own that will help make your lifestyle more sustainable. And doing your part to help the environment doesn't have to be expensive; in fact, you can even save money in the long run by making the switch. Here are some eco-friendly products that will help you cut down on plastics, reduce waste, and lessen your impact on the environment.

1. These reusable shopping bags; $14

These reusable grocery bags feature National Geographic prints on the side. Earthwise/Amazon

According to the United Nations, humans produce more than 330 million tons of plastic waste every year, and those single-use plastic shopping bags you get at grocery stores are one of the worst culprits, with an estimated 5 trillion being used annually. Consider making the switch to these reusable bags, which are actually made from recycled plastic. They're sturdy enough to carry 30 pounds of groceries on their own and big enough to fit a week's worth of food in just one or two of them (three come in each order). Each set comes decked out in National Geographic prints on the sides and are perfect for shopping, storage, and day trips.

Buy it: Amazon

2. Hills & Valleys Reusable coffee cup; $14

Ditch the disposable coffee cups for this reusable one from Amazon.Hills & Valleys/Amazon

To avoid contributing to the cycle of disposable plastic cups in the world, especially as iced coffee season approaches, consider switching to this attractive reusable coffee container made from biodegradable rice husks. If you're making your coffee at home and bringing it on the go, it's a much more eco-friendly alternative than drinking out of something plastic that will get thrown out an hour later. And if you're heading out for coffee, some chains even offer discounts if you bring in your own reusable cup.

Buy it: Amazon

3. Zero Waste Cookbook; $20

Learn how to waste less and eat better with this cookbook.Uncommon Goods

Though estimates vary on the exact amount, the average U.S. household wastes a lot of food. According to researchers from the United States Department of Agriculture, Americans throw away about 150,000 tons of food a day, equivalent to wasting 30 million acres of cropland, 4.2 trillion gallons of water, and nearly 2 billion pounds of fertilizer a year. This cookbook aims to help you minimize food waste by providing more than 100 recipes for cooking the food scraps you might normally toss away. Learn how to make vegetable stock from corn husks, biscuits from apple skins, and soup from cauliflower stems and potato skins. Reducing food waste won’t just help the environment—it can also help you save some money in the long run.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

4. Beeswax reusable food wraps; $22

These beeswax food wraps are a sustainable way to preserve your food. Uncommon Goods

If you frequently use plastic wrap or plastic bags to store food in the refrigerator, go for these reusable beeswax food wraps, instead. This set comes with three wraps in different sizes that you can use to wrap a sandwich or cover a casserole dish. Once you’re done using them, just wash them with cold water and soap, and they’ll be ready to go again.

Buy it: Uncommon Goods

5. Brita reusable Water Bottle with filter; $36

A metal water bottle is far better for the environment than going through dozens of plastic bottles a week.Brita/Amazon

Globally, more than a million plastic water bottles are sold every minute, National Geographic reports. And in the United States, at least, only about 30 percent of those plastic water bottles are properly recycled. Reduce your plastic waste by opting instead for a reusable water bottle. This insulated stainless steel water bottle from Brita even comes with a built-in filter, keeping your tap water as fresh as it can be.

Buy it: Amazon

6. Water-saving shower head; $40

Waste less water with a shower head like this one on Amazon.High Sierra Showerheads/Amazon

Standard shower heads emit about 2.5 gallons of water per minute, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency. To conserve both money and water, switch to a more efficient low-flow shower head like this one, which uses about 1.5 gallons of water per minute.

Buy it: Amazon

7. Solar portable charger; $37

A portable, solar phone charger sold on Amazon.Feelle/Amazon

About 40 percent of all energy in the United States is used to generate electricity, the Environmental Protection Agency reports—meaning that electricity usage is a significant part of a person’s individual carbon footprint. To reduce your own electricity usage, even by a little, switch to this solar-powered portable charger, which can charge two devices at the same time.

Buy it: Amazon

8. Power strip with timer; $26

This power strip will turn off based on a timer to save electricity. BN-LINK/Amazon

Even when electronic devices are turned off, they still suck up electricity—and a lot of it. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that about 25 percent of the power used by home electronics is consumed while devices are powered off but still plugged in (according to 2008 data). These so-called “vampire loads” are sometimes unavoidable—appliances like refrigerators are impractical to turn off, after all, and certain TVs and other devices exist in a perpetual standby mode.

But you can conserve electricity by switching to a power strip with an on-and-off-switch that easily cuts off the juice to your other devices. This power strip from BN-LINK comes with a row of four outlets on a programmable timer so you can automatically turn off vampire loads while you’re away from home. The other row consists of always-on outlets for the gadgets that need constant power.

Buy it: Amazon

9. Clothing repair kit; $13

Bangbreak/Amazon

The fashion industry produces about 10 percent of global carbon emissions, according to the United Nations Environment Assembly, and only about .1 percent of clothing donated to charities and take-back programs is ever recycled. By keeping your clothing in wearable condition, you can avoid contributing to a growing trend of textile waste. This miniature sewing kit, which contains scissors, needles, buttons, and 18 spools of thread, will help you take care of most minor repairs, so you're not always replacing your clothes.

Buy it: Amazon

10. Rocket Reusable Notebook; $35

The Rocketbook smart notebook allows you to scan your notes, save them in cloud storage, and erase the page so you can keep writing without wasting paper.Rocketbook/Amazon

If you're still attached to your traditional pen-and-paper note routine, the Rocketbook is the best compromise for you and the environment. It looks and feels like a regular notebook (it's even spiral-bound), but because of the unique paper used, a single drop of water can erase all the writing, allowing you to keep taking notes without going through book after book of paper in the process. And those notes you erased don't just disappear; the Rocketbook is paired with an app that allows you to scan your pages and send them to cloud storage. This particular model, the Rocketbook Fusion, also includes a calendar template, grids, OKR checklists, and more.

Buy it: Amazon

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

Amazon Customers Are Swearing by a $102 Mattress

Linenspa
Linenspa

Before you go out and spend hundreds—if not thousands—of dollars on a new mattress, you may want to turn to Amazon. According to Esquire, one of the most comfortable mattresses on the market isn’t from Tempur-Pedic, Casper, or IKEA. It’s a budget mattress you can buy on Amazon for as little as $102.

Linenspa's 8-inch memory foam and innerspring hybrid mattress has more than 24,000 customer reviews on Amazon, and 72 percent of those buyers gave it five stars. The springs are topped by memory foam and a quilted top layer that make it, according to one customer, a “happy medium of both firm and plush.”

Linenspa

Perhaps because of its cheap price point, many people write that they first purchased it for their children or their guest room, only to find that it far exceeded their comfort expectations. One reviewer who bought it for a guest room wrote that “it is honestly more comfortable than the expensive mattress we bought for our room.” Pretty impressive for a bed that costs less than some sheet sets.

Getting a good night's sleep is vital for your health and happiness, so do yourself a favor and make sure your snooze is as comfortable as possible.

The mattress starts at $102 for a twin and goes up to $200 for a king. Check it out on Amazon.

[h/t Esquire]

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Keep Your Clothes Clean in Apartments and RVs With This Portable Washing Machine

The ZENY portable washer.
The ZENY portable washer.
Amazon

A washer and dryer set is among the most useful appliances in any household. (A waffle maker runs a close second.) But not everyone has the room or the ability to have a pair installed. If you live in a small apartment, dorm, or RV, you can still get your wardrobe clean with the ZENY Portable Mini Laundry Washing Machine, which is $70 on Amazon.

The ZENY can easily be carried anywhere.Amazon

The compact unit stands just 22.8 inches tall and is lightweight for easy portability. A drain hose connects to standard kitchen faucets for getting water in and out of the tub. The washer holds up to nine pounds of clothing, ideal for light loads with shirts, socks, and other items. (Jeans are not recommended.) It also runs relatively quietly with no vibration, according to the company, so you won't have to worry about all the banging and noise of traditional machines.

The ZENY can be found at Amazon and Walmart for $70.

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.