In the House

Favorite Zero Waste Swaps

A record number of Americans are starting to get very concerned about climate change and want to know what they can do. The ‘zero waste‘ movement is focused on decreasing waste and lessening one’s personal environmental impact. The best, most environmentally-friendly approach is to use what you already have. However, if you are looking to buy something new, consider swapping the conventional option for a more zero waste version. Below are some of our favorite green alternatives to classic household items:

Eating Out

  1. Plastic straw – stainless steel straw
  2. Plastic water bottle – reusable water bottle
  3. Disposable coffee cup with plastic lid – reusable coffee cup
  4. Takeout container – stainless steel bento box or reusable 3-compartment takeout box
  5. Plastic silverware – bamboo or stainless steel reusable to-go silverware set
  6. Ziploc bag – silicone sandwich bag or organic cotton sandwich bag or unbleached wax paper sandwich bag


  1. Plastic shopping bag – reusable organic cotton tote bag
  2. Plastic produce bag – organic cotton produce bag with tare weight
  3. Plastic berry boxes – reusable ceramic berry boxes
  4. Bread in plastic bag – organic reusable linen bread bag


  1. Fabric softener sheet – organic wool dryer ball
  2. Conventional laundry detergent – organic soap nuts (compostable) or laundry detergent powder in cardboard box
  3. Dryer – hang dry clothes
  4. Disposable lint roller – reusable lint roller


  1. Aluminum foil – non-stick silicone baking mat, 100% recycled aluminum foilunbleached parchment paper (compostable)
  2. Baking cup – non-stick silicone baking cup or unbleached baking cup (compostable)
  3. Coffee pod – french pressorganic cotton reusable coffee filterunbleached paper coffee filter (compostable), or reusable K cups for Keurig
  4. Tea bag – stainless steel tea infuser
  5. Paper towels or napkin – organic cotton napkin or bamboo and sugarcane un-paper towel (compostable)
  6. Plastic food wrap – organic cotton beeswax wrap or fabric bowl cover
  7. Plastic food storage containers – glass food storage containers or glass jars
  8. Plastic dishwashing brush – stainless steel dish washing brush with replaceable wooden/natural fiber heads
  9. Plastic ice cube tray – stainless steel ice cube tray
  10. Plastic cooking utensils – organic bamboo cooking utensils
  11. Plastic cutting board – organic bamboo cutting board
  12. Plastic kitchen trash bag – potato starch kitchen trash bag (compostable) or 70% recycled plastic kitchen trash bag
  13. Microwave popcorn – metal stovetop popcorn popper


  1. Plastic toothbrush – organic bamboo toothbrush
  2. Toothpaste in a tube – toothpaste tablets with fluoride in plastic jar or without fluoride in glass jar
  3. Mouthwash in plastic bottle – mouthwash tablets in glass jar
  4. Plastic dental floss – compostable silk dental floss in refillable glass and stainless steel container or Waterpik
  5. Liquid hand soap/body wash in plastic bottle – EWG-verified organic bar soap or refillable body wash
  6. Regular toilet paper – 100% recycled or tree-free toilet paper packaged in cardboard and recycled paper or bidet attachment
  7. Plastic tongue scraper – stainless steel tongue scraper
  8. Kleenex facial tissue – organic cotton handkerchief or 100% bamboo facial tissues
  9. Plastic cotton swab – organic cotton swab with cardboard stem
  10. Deodorant in plastic tube – organic deodorant in cardboard tube (compostable)
  11. Plastic hairbrush – wooden hairbrush with bristles, organic bamboo hairbrush, or wooden comb
  12. Plastic nail brush – wooden nail brush
  13. Plastic toilet brush – wooden toilet brush
  14. Disposable contact lenses – glasses

Bath and Shower

  1. Liquid shampoo in plastic bottle – organic shampoo bar
  2. Aerosolized dry shampoo – powdered organic dry shampoo
  3. Aerosolized shaving cream – shaving soap
  4. Disposable razor – safety razor with bamboo handle or refillable razor made from recycled materials
  5. Plastic shower curtain – cotton shower curtain
  6. Plastic shower loofah – natural sea spongenatural loofah, or organic terrycloth washcloth

Feminine Hygiene

  1. Menstrual pad – washable organic cotton menstrual pad or 100% organic cotton menstrual pad
  2. Tampon – menstrual cup or 100% organic cotton tampon


  1. Pet shampoo in plastic bottle – organic pet shampoo bar
  2. Aerosolized pet dry shampoo – dry pet shampoo in cardboard tube (compostable)
  3. Kitty litter – cat litter made of 100% pine


  1. Plastic sponge – washable cotton sponge with bamboo filler or vegetable cellulose sponge (compostable)
  2. Scouring pad – coconut fiber scrub-pad (compostable)
  3. Disposable mop pad – washable cotton mop pad
  4. Rubber gloves – reusable 100% natural latex gloves (compostable if you cut them into small pieces)


  1. Disposable make-up remover pad – organic cotton make-up remover pad
  2. Makeup remover – organic coconut oil in glass jar
  3. Lip balm in plastic tube – DIY lip balm in reusable tincardboard tube (compostable), or LUSH organic lip balm in a metal container

Office Supplies

  1. Plastic pen – bamboo fountain pen
  2. Highlighter – highlighter pencil (compostable)
  3. Dry erase marker – refillable dry erase marker
  4. Post-it note – 100% recycled and recyclable post-it notes
  5. Pencil – pencils made from 100% recycled newspapers


  1. Plastic gift wrapping paper –  100% recycled kraft wrapping paper or old newspaper
  2. Plastic gift bag – reusable recycled fabric gift bag or 100% recycled paper gift bag
  3. Gift tag sticker – 100% recycled paper gift tag


  1. Plastic cell phone case – cell phone case (compostable)
  2. Portable cell phone charger – solar portable cell phone charger
  3. Conventional battery – rechargeable battery


  1. Disposable diaper – organic cloth diaper
  2. Plastic lighter – refillable Zippo lighter
  3. Plastic garden ties – reusable Velcro garden ties

If we are missing anything, please comment below! We are always looking for new ways to reduce our waste, and we’d love any suggestions.

Disclaimer: We receive no financial compensation for any of the products recommended or shared anywhere in this blog. 


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