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    28 Problem-Solving Products That Will Help You Reduce, Reuse, And Recycle

    Protect the planet and build up your bank account with these smart items 🌎

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI β€” prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A reusable swab you can use just like any regular ol' cotton one. (Read: Just don't stick it in your ear!) The plastic alternative comes in a biodegradable case (made from 🌽) and it's been engineered to last for 1,000 uses.

    LastObject

    Promising review: "I really appreciate this sustainable item! There’s a learning curve if you're used to using cotton swabs, but you will get used to LastSwab. And this is definitely on my gift list for giving to all my earth-loving friends πŸ™‚πŸ™‚" β€”Rosalinda G.

    Get it from LastObject for $12 (available in six colors and two shapes).

    2. A multipack of bra extenders because bodies change and bras are freakin' expensive. Instead of replacing your undergarments, get the right fit with these easy-to-use straps.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "I would rate these more than 5 stars if possible. These extenders are so much more comfortable than the kind without elastic in them. Really pleased with the quality (and quantity) included in this set. Would definitely order more in the future." β€”67241

    Get a pack of six from Amazon for $3.99+ (available in three different size combinations)

    3. A Blueland cleaning kit with all the essentials β€” AKA bottles and tablets β€” that allow you to whip up your own multi-surface, glass + mirror, and bathroom cleaners as well as foaming hand soap. Once you run out, just re-up on tablets and you're good to go.

    The Clean Essentials kit which comes with three spray bottles, one hand soap pump, and four cleaning tablets
    Blueland

    What's included: Three reusable cleaning bottles, one reusable foaming hand soap bottle, and four tablets (multi-surface, glass + mirror, bathroom, foaming hand soap).

    Blueland is a woman- and minority-founded brand from Sarah Paiji Yoo. She came up with the idea after her son was born and she realized just how much plastic waste is generated from everyday items like cleaners.

    I recently bought this kit after thinking about it for 6+ months and I am OBsessed. You just fill the bottles with warm water (there's a designated line), pop in a tablet, and let it dissolve. It's seriously that simple. I immediately tested everything out to see how it holds up against my usual products (Mrs. Meyer's, Clorox, and Windex) and I was really pleased with the results. The most exciting thing though is how affordable it is to refresh your stock. The more tablets you buy the cheaper they are β€” you can get a nine-tablet refill for just $14!! If I were to buy nine new bottles of cleaner from my NYC bodega or grocery store, that'd at LEAST $45!

    Get it from Blueland for $39.

    4. A set of no-waste beeswax food wraps made from fully biodegradable organic cotton, jojoba oil, and tree resin. Trust me β€” it's a whole lot easier than trying to tame cling wrap.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Bee’s Wrap is a woman-founded B corporation that's been handcrafting their eco-friendly product in Middlebury, Vermont since 2012. The company works closely with a number of environmentally conscious groups including 1% for the Planet, The Bee Cause, The Rozalia Project, and National Geographic.

    Promising review: "Can't recommend these beeswax wraps enough. The antimicrobial aspect of the beeswax keeps fruits and vegetables super fresh for much longer than plastic bags. They keep bread soft and fresh for much longer than Ziplocs. They are so much better for the environment, and they can be reused for months. We have been using our set for almost two years and they are still as good as new. No waste! Just make sure to wash them with cool water, as warm/hot water will melt the wax." β€”Publisher

    Get a pack of three from Amazon for $18.

    5. A pair (or seven) of Thinx period underwear that can hold up to four tampons’ worth of your flow. If you're sick of shelling out serious $$$ on period products that really aren't all that comfortable, give these a go.

    A model wearing the black Super Hi-Waist underwear which have mesh sides
    Thinx

    PS: Reviewers also say they're a postpartum lifesaver!

    Promising review: "I have a heavy flow, so I was a bit skeptical that just the underwear will be able to hold it since I have leaked through pads before. But I’m pleasantly surprised! No leaks and it’s a great feeling not having a pad on." β€”Kelly M.

    Get them from Thinx for $42 (available in women's sizes XXS–3XL and three colors/patterns)

    6. A bottle of dye ready to breathe new life into your faded black jeans. They still fit like a glove, so there's no reason to toss them quite yet.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Promising review: "This dye works really well. Follow the directions and you won't have any issues. I used about 3 gallons of boiling water, 1 cup of salt, a teaspoon of Dawn dish detergent, and one whole bottle of dye for three pairs of jeans. I left them soaking while stirring for an hour. Rinsed twice, washed with my regular detergent, and let them air dry. They all came out perfectly." β€”Tracy Di

    Get it from Amazon for $4.24.

    7. A Tushy bidet guaranteed to get your behind squeaky clean. If you or your partner/roommate suffer from IBS (πŸ˜”) or just go through an unfathomable amount of TP, this is the way to go.

    The bidet attachment which has a bamboo dial that controls the water pressure and angle
    Tushy

    The β€” dare we say it β€” sleek attachment requires no electrical or plumbing work to install and you can have it up and running in 10 minutes or less. It fits on round, oval, and elongated toilets, too, so you shouldn't have any issue.

    Promising review: "I've been meaning to get a bidet for years and I'm so glad I finally did! The install was remarkably easy and it's been such a wonderful thing to have ever since. As someone with both IBS and lactose intolerance I spend a lot of time on the toilet, and this has already been a game-changer." β€”Kelsey W.

    Get it from Tushy for $89 (originally $109; available in eight color combinations).

    8. A roll of reusable cloth towels because despite the Brawny lumberjack/lumberlady's best efforts, this is a more cost-effective and environmentally conscious way to go.

    Etsy

    Cozy Simple Living is a Pennsylvania-based Etsy shop that sells an array of handmade items. If you're in the market for face masks, napkins, or coasters, give 'em a look.

    Promising review: "Incredibly fast shipping, I love them. They cling well to each other so there's no need for snaps. I'm officially done with real paper towels. Also they included a couple of items for free to try. I will never shop from anyone else." β€”Cassidy

    Get it from Cozy Simple Living on Etsy for $26.50 (available in five patterns).

    9. A 16-pack of reusable bamboo makeup pads so you don't have to go through sleeves and sleeves of cotton rounds. The pads are super soft and can gently remove layers of foundation, highlighter, and mascara before being tossed in the wash.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "These are GREAT! First β€” WOW they are soooooooo soft! I feel like I’m at the spa when I wash my face. Second β€” They wash very well! No pilling, no stains, no shrinkage. And I love that they come with a mesh laundry bag to wash them in! Third β€” Amazing price for such a high quality product! Great stitch work, great size, I love the soft side and the terry cloth side, and I love the low amount of packaging. It’s VERY eco-friendly. I almost bought a different product with a pretty floral box initially, but I went with these instead. SO GLAD I did. Five stars!" β€”Caitlin Mills

    Get it from Amazon for $8.49.

    10. A set of 12 reusable storage bags ready to banish boxes and boxes of one-use sandwich bags. The BPA-free bags are leak-proof, airtight, and exceptionally easy to clean, so you won't have to make any last-minute runs to Costco for backup supplies.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "These are a perfect purchase. I didn’t want to keep buying Ziploc bags in bulk and the thought of my kids throwing out their disposable bags everyday was a waste of money and bad for the environment. These reusable storage bags are the perfect solution. They are sturdy, easy to clean, and seal tight. I made my first purchase two weeks ago and realized I needed a few more and bought my second set a few days ago. It’s a no brainer β€” save money, save the environment and support this little shop!" β€”Marzipan

    Get a pack of 12 from Amazon for $15.99+ (available in three different size combinations).

    11. An all-natural, hand-harvested bath sponge that'll clean your nooks and crannies as well as any loofah but with the added benefit of being biodegradable. Once it's noticeably grubby, just toss it in the wash (with water 85 degrees or less) for a revitalizing rinse.

    The natural sea sponge which has a rope so it can be hung to dry
    Firsthand Supply

    Promising review: "This was my first time trying a sea sponge and it was better than I expected! Shipping was surprisingly fast, too. At first I was a bit hesitant because the sponge was smaller than expected but it turned out to be a benefit for me since it fit in my palm perfectly. I was also worried that it would fall apart easily since it felt so soft but it hasn't yet (I've used it more than five times now). The rope attached to it also helps a lot with keeping it dry. I really enjoy how it well it picks up my body wash, and it's also easy to rinse it out when I'm done (by squeezing NOT wringing it out). Overall, it's a great product. I plan on purchasing another one in the future." β€”Jasmine

    Get it from Firsthand Supply for $18.

    12. A sleek counter composter capable of concealing kitchen scraps (think banana peels, egg shells, and strawberry stems) without any lingering smells. You may love to cook with garlic and onion, but we bet you'd prefer not to have the highly-pungent evidence hanging around for days.

    The white biodegradable composter which has a bamboo handle and vented lid
    Amazon

    A carbon filter keeps your kitchen smelling fresh and once the bins fills up, you can take it out back to empty it into your compost pile. If you don't have your own, you can also look into community composting programs (like GrowNYC) which often have drop-off days.

    Promising review: "Honestly, I bought this compost bucket more for its look than it's effectiveness at holding food scraps but I am pleasantly surprised that it does way more for me than just look pretty. 1) It sits very compactly next to our sink, even with its handle down; 2) The top is super snug and, with the carbon filters, absolutely NO smell leaks out; and 3) easy to carry outside to our composter. I did opt for the biodegradable bags that are suggested with the purchase and they are fabulous, too, providing more peace of mind that we're not throwing more harmful plastic into the garbage. My father, whom is very anal about smells and cleanliness, gives it a big thumbs up so that says a lot. :)" β€”ckhawaii

    Get it from Amazon for $39.99 (available in two colors).

    13. A shampoo bar that'll save you loads of shower space and prevent more single-use bottles from ending up in a landfill. Each bar ships in entirely compostable packaging and you'll get 50 to 75 washes (roughly two to six months) of use. 🧼

    Hands holding five different shampoo bar scents
    The Earthling Co.

    The shampoo bars come in a variety of scents from sweet sandalwood to citrus sun. Plus, you have a choice between The Earthling Co.'s OG formula or a sulfate-free alternative.

    Promising review: "No lie, I've been recommending this bar to people since the day after I used it. I was water only for months, but it just wasn't working out, so I decided to switch to a sulfate-free shampoo bar. Someone recommended the Earthling Co/ to me, which was the best suggestion! After the first wash, my hair was SO clean. I had people complimenting my hair! I don't even need to use it every shower because of how clean it makes my hair. It lathers so easily and the quality of the bar makes it last a while. I also haven't used conditioner because it makes my hair so soft as well! I'm actually about to buy another. I highly recommend this product to those looking for a plastic-free shampoo β€” it's my favorite shampoo I've used!" β€”Erin D.

    Get it from The Earthling Co. for $15 (available in seven scents and original or sulfate-free).

    14. A set of 15 reusable produce bags so you never have to reach for another plastic produce bag again. Somehow, *without fail* I always end up wrestling three bags loose instead of just one and then I have to awkwardly put them back or buy extra broccoli that will go bad in the back of my fridge.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    Promising review: "I bought these in an effort to reduce my disposable plastic usage. They are awesome! The cashier could scan my items right through the bag. I keep them in the Jeep with my cloth grocery bags so they are easy to grab for shopping." β€”Lori S.

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in two colors and five size combinations).

    15. A stylish Baggu tote beloved by just about everyone who's ever tried it out. The ripstop nylon bag can carry up to 50 pounds of goods, it's machine washable, and once you're done, it folds up into a an ultra-portable 5 x 5-inch pouch.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "This is my sixth standard Baggu over five years β€” they are THE BEST! I have had them for years, but now I live in Seattle, the Land of the Reusable Shopping Bag, and most of my regular reusable bags are huge and cumbersome and end up getting left in the car. Baggu bags squish down so I can fit multiples in my little diaper bag so they never get left behind, and they easily hold even three gallons of milk. When I am dealing with a baby and a toddler, anything that makes life easier is a lifesaver, and my Baggus are perfect for packing for a day trip, grocery run, beach trip, or even longer trip. And the fact that I can throw them in the washing machine is incredible. I can't say enough good things about these!" β€”Ann M. Karmol

    Get it from Amazon for $12+ (available in 26 colors/patterns).

    16. A four-pack of collapsible metal straws each with their own carrying case that can be attached to your keys, belt, or backpack because let's be real β€” without it, they would never leave the confines of your home.

    A collapsible straw, cleaning brush, and four carrying cases in pink, green, blue, and grey
    Amazon

    The three-joint metal straws also come with their own cleaning brush so you never have to worry about whether water alone was enough to free the sludge from your smoothie.

    Promising review: "Best reusable straws I’ve used hands down! Totally worth the money for a four pack. Each straw comes with a individual cleaning spoolie." β€”Adriana Soto

    Get it from Amazon for $16.99.

    17. A stainless-steel pour-over coffee filter destined to replace those paper filters you've come to use oh, just three times a day, every day.

    amazon.com, Amazon

    The mesh filter can be washed and used over and over again, so it'll save you space in your pantry and trash bag. One reviewer says they used theirs for 3.5 years!

    Promising review: "Love mine! Saw a video about the waste from Keurigs and the mold issues in the water lines. I wanted to reduce waste and have something quick and easy. I'm the only coffee drinker in the house and I will never bother with a coffee pot again. The taste is better with this! And it's so easy to clean." β€”Kindle Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99+ (available in two sizes).

    18. A set of cutesy wool dryer balls worth buying for the design alone (peep the πŸ₯), but also because they speed up drying time, prevent wrinkles, and remove any pet (or human) hair that didn't come out in the wash.

    amazon.com, Amazon

    Promising review: "I think these are legit! Definitely does the job it’s supposed to do and the designs are super cute! My mom swears by these so I got her this brand as a gift to see how they do compared to the others she has! And she loves them!" β€”Jamiedu

    Get a pack of six from Amazon for $19.87+ (available in three different styles).

    19. A portable bamboo utensil set with everything you need to chow down in a zero-waste way. Forget plastic sporks and single-use straws, this roll-up kit comes with handful of a long-lasting bamboo utensils.

    Sister Collective

    Sister Collective is women-founded brand offering low-waste products that make it easier to lead a more eco-friendly life. This portable kit comes with a bamboo fork, knife, spoon, chopsticks, straw, cleaning brush, and rollable canvas carry case.

    Get it from Sister Collective for $14.

    20. A smart funnel that makes it easy and mess-free to transfer the last drops of any slow-moving liquid. Sick of throwing away hand soap dispensers with a little bit left in the bottom just because you're too impatient for them to drain into your new bottle? Check this baby out.

    Amazon, amazon.com

    The innovative gadget connects the mouths of two bottles for hands-free transfers. Just put the bottle you're looking to fill on the bottom, the bottle you're looking to empty on top, make sure everything is clipped in, and the funnel will hold things in place. Don't worry about size compatibility, either; the tool works with a variety of differently sized and shaped bottles.

    Promising review: "I purchased this for myself to try and then bought them as Christmas gifts. It gets every last drop of shampoo, lotion, soap, etc., out of the bottles. I've decided to buy another one for the kitchen for things like dressing, ketchup, mustard, and oils. Helps with clutter and will save money over time by not wasting the last bit in the containers." β€”Diane H

    Get it from Amazon for $9.99+ (available in four colors and one, two, or four packs).

    21. A pack of reusable K-Cups for those who like to grind their own beans but still enjoy the convenience of a Keurig. Just stuff your caffeine of choice into the reusable purple pod, pop it into your machine, and brew like usual. β˜•οΈ

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "I bought these refillable coffee filters over a year ago for my husband and I. We each have a coffee daily, if not two. We use them multiple times a day and this brand has outlasted others that we have purchased. Luckily, this set comes with multiple so you can rotate them pretty easily. We fill them up, empty them by tapping on the side of the garbage can (or sometimes we save the used coffee grounds and put them around our plants outside) and then rinse and wash in the sink. Don't wash them aggressively! We also will periodically run them through the dishwasher on the top rack. We haven't seen any of the netting pulling away and they still operate as if brand-new. You will not be disappointed in this brand! We love ours!" β€”Three Little Kittens

    Get it from Amazon for $7.95+ (available in packs of two, four, or six).

    22. A 36-page Rocketbook that can be filled cover to cover with notes or doodles and uploaded to Google Drive (or your preferred platform) before being wiped clean and used again.

    Amazon

    The front of the notebook has a key you can use to categorize your notes (by school subject, work topic, or whatever floats your boat) and each individual page has corresponding symbols you can check off in order to organize accordingly. Once a page is filled out β€” with the special Pilot Frixion pen, that is β€” just scan the QR code in the bottom corner in order to upload it to your desired destination be it Google Drive, Microsoft OneNote, Slack, iCloud, Evernote, or Rocketbook's iOS or Android app. After you've successfully uploaded it, you can go ahead and erase the page with the included microfiber cloth.

    Promising review: "This product amazed me and exceeded my expectations. It works exceptionally and as described. The Rocketbook app is so simple and easy to use. The scanning is perfect, it captures the colors, exposes the page with the right lighting, and crops and adjusts the page properly. Each scan takes less than a second, and you can combine multiple pages into one scan and upload them as one document. This is brilliant and I am so glad I purchased this product because it is perfect for school. I have seven classes and so I assigned each symbol in the notebook to my respective Google Drive folders. Some people say it's difficult to relate the symbols in the notebook to a class or something but what I did was just assign my first period class to the first symbol, second period to the second symbol, and so on. The Frixion highlighters and pens erase easily with the included cloth and anyways, the product is great, and definitely worth the money." β€”Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $22.17+ (available in two sizes and eight colors).

    23. A Chom Chom roller ready to replace your lint roller for GOOD. Rather than taking one swipe at your fur-filled cushions and having to immediately rip off a sheet, this roller collects pet hair in a compartment you can conveniently empty!

    Chelsea Stuart / BuzzFeed, amazon.com

    I have two cats who shed like it's their full-time job and let me tell you β€” this thing is amazing. I used to vacuum my bed/rug/their favorite chair multiple times a week and follow that up with a traditional lint roller that I'd have to use 10 to 15 sheets of in one go. With this nifty tool, I give whatever I'm cleaning a few good rolls and then empty out enough fur to felt them few cat toys (I don't *actually* do that, but I could if I wanted to).

    Promising review: "I've had it in my possession for like two hours and I've cleaned everything. The couch, the blinds, the cat tree pad, the chair, I'm obsessed. I feel like this thing should win an award for being so awesome. I feel like it should be in raffle baskets and giveaways and silent auctions for every event that highlights 'things cat people need.' It's better than those sticky rollers, it's better than the one-directional velvet wand thing that I always use the wrong way and make a mess. It's the best. I don't have any 'before' pictures because as soon as I started rolling stuff I went crazy." β€”Meowser

    Get it from Amazon for $24.95.

    24. A silicone dish brush built to outlast the sponges and nylon brushes you've come to rely on. Grease is no match for this guy β€” and it won't get moldy or stinky like your other waterlogged tools, either.

    Amazon

    Promising review: "First time with a silicone brush. Quarantine has necessitated I wash a lot of dishes and was looking for something new. Love this. The head it tiny yes, but works well for all kinds of things. Love the way it feels. Use if for cleaning plates as well as nasty water bottle crevices. Feels like it is more sanitary than nylon bristles. Try it!" β€”Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $6.99+ (available in three colors).

    25. A set of reusable rubber twist ties you can organize cords or β€” if you're anything like me β€” use them in place of the bread bag clip you lost.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "These things are SO great! As a frequent traveler, all of my charging cords and headphones get very tangled up all the time from constantly taking them in and out of bags. I saw a coworker using these little guys, decided to try for myself and my bags are now much more organized! I use them for my my numerous charging cords. Such a great thing to have! Even great to use for headphones if you are someone like me who carries a pair on you at all times! Keeps them from getting tangled inside your purse or pocket! Highly recommend." β€”Kristina C.

    Get a pack of four from Amazon for $3.06+ (available in nine colors and four sizes).

    26. A set of makeup spatulas because you spent $40 on that color-matching foundation and you'll be damned if even one drop goes to waste.

    amazon.com, amazon.com

    Promising review: "Thrilled with this affordable tool. At first glance, I was worried the small spatula wouldn’t be small enough to fit into my Burt]s Bees Day Lotion bottle opening, but I was pleasantly surprised when I was able to easily slip it through and scrape the sides of the bottle. I wonder why I have never thought to get this? All this time I have been living in ignorance, believing that the last bits of my precious face cream were a lost cause. This mildly life changing product is totally worth it!" β€”AmazonGirl777

    Get a set of two from Amazon for $6.99.

    27. A set of silicone baking mats that'll replace reams and reams of parchment paper. If Netflix's 10+ reality cooking competitions have inspired you to spend more time in the kitchen, they'll pay for themselves in no time.

    amazon.com, Amazon

    Promising review: "These baking mats are absolutely fantastic. The quality is superb, and SUCH a good price. I use them for just about everything I put in the oven. From oven pizzas, cookies, you name it! I also love that besides food sliding easily off the non stick surface, that they help protect all my baking sheets and such. It’s also super handy to just throw them in the top shelf of the dishwasher or even just wipe clean. Update: I’ve had these mats and used them almost daily for nearly a year now. They still look brand new and I have had no problems with staining, melting, or wear. When using them, I cook most items at 375 degrees but have used them at up to 425 degrees several times with no issues so far. These things are fantastic and have paid for themselves many times over in the superior non stick surface, ease of clean up and the cost of parchment paper and or/aluminum foil I used prior to discovering these." β€”Jezzhani

    Get it from Amazon for $13.99.

    28. And a cup caddy so you can stop relying on those flimsy cardboard ones your fave coffee shop hands out. Keep this in your car or everyday tote and you'll have no trouble transporting your flat whites, frappes, and lightly sweetened teas.

    The foldable four-cup caddy in colorful dots
    Amazon

    Promising review: "This is one of the most useful products I have ever bought. My local baristas are always asking me where to get one. It’s very sturdy and reliable." β€”Lily

    Get it from Amazon for $21.99 (available in three colors/patterns).

    In conclusion, follow the sage advice of Ilana Wexler and practice the four Rs:

    Comedy Central / Via giphy.com

    Some reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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