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    22 Useful Products That'll Actually Help Cut Down On Trash

    Quite literally be less of a garbage person.

    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 — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. A set of produce bags to completely replace the flimsy, hard-to-open plastic ones at the grocery store. Because the less plastic everyone uses, the better.


    Promising review: "I have been using these bags for a few weeks now — they are high-quality and you really get a lot of bags in several practical sizes for the price. I've started keeping some in my car and some with my other reusable shopping bags at home so that I don't forget to use them. I also use them in my pantry to store onions, garlic, and potatoes, as they provide enough airflow for those items. Just remember NOT to use them for lettuces/leafy vegetables, as the bags make them wilt quickly. Overall, I'm pleased with this product!" —Tracy H. Slagter

    Get a set of nine mesh bags on Amazon for $12.89. (Or, if you're completely avoiding any polyester, you can get a similar set of nine 100% cotton bags for $27, also on Amazon.)

    2. A pack of reusable beeswax wraps to keep your food super fresh, no plastic wrap required. Warm it up with your hands so it's easy to shape the way you need, then when it cools it will hold its shape.


    They do need to be hand-washed with cool water though; hot water will melt the wax off.

    Promising review: "These are awesome. Keep my food fresh just like plastic wrap, without the waste. Looks super cute and easy to wash, dry, and re-use. Would recommend this to anybody—it makes a great gift, too! I have the assorted set and the sandwich wraps ($11). Love both!" —VeeCee

    Get a pack of three sizes on Amazon for $18+ (also available in pink or blue patterns).

    3. A produce saver that does exactly what it says: keeps fruit and veggies fresh longer (up to two weeks), so you actually end up eating more of your food instead of tossing it.

    Natalie Brown / BuzzFeed

    The average American household ends up throwing away $2,200 worth of food each year, so they'll save you money, too.

    I've been using a set of two of these containers since March 2018 (that's almost two years!) and STILL love them, because they actually do work — you can read my full FreshWorks produce saver review for more.

    Get a two piece set with a lettuce-sized container and a blueberry-sized container on Amazon for $15.29 (also available in a three pack of strawberry size, or six other sizes).

    4. A set of four stainless steel drinking straws because single-use plastics create unbelievable amounts of waste — plus these guys just make every drink feel extra special!


    Promising review: "I never knew these existed until I saw Oprah and her guests use them on TV years ago. I thought to myself, "How fancy!" Well, I purchased them and realized how fancy they are. They're easy to clean and can be used a million times thus eliminating more waste. For just a few bucks, I added some billionaire fanciness to my life! HIGHLY RECOMMEND for daily use or to be included in a housewarming gift basket!" —Lemar J.

    Get the pack of four on Amazon for $7.89.

    5. A countertop compost bin ingeniously designed to lock-in odors, easily transport all the scraps to the outdoor pile (or neighborhood drop-off), then clean without any scrubbing needed.


    The inside bin is smooth and gently curved so it doesn't have any sharp corners or crevices for gunk to get stuck in. And while it keep odors at bay, it's not airtight, which means it gets the little bit of oxygen it needs to prevent mold.

    Promising review: "Love this thing. Looks nice on the countertop and locks in smell fantastically — I have never noticed an odor from it as long as it is not overflowing. It's a decent size too, I don't have to empty it every day which is nice. We usually make it anywhere from three to five days before running it out to the compost pile. The lid pops off for super easy cleaning. Highly recommend." —Elethia Hart

    Get it on Amazon for $19.95+ (available in two colors and two sizes).

    For more details, read our full OXO compost bin review.

    6. A bento box set so adorable it just might actually motivate you to regularly pack your lunch for work.


    Promising review: "I love this bento box! It is the perfect size and it doesn't leak when I put liquids like salad dressing in them. It comes with its own utensils so I don't have carry my own or create waste by having to always grab fresh ones from the cafeteria. Easy to clean. Easy to carry. I would definitely recommend to others. I can now get rid of all my other lunch bags!" —Diane E. Pancoska

    Get it on Amazon for $22.88.

    7. A bag of soap berries to swap in for your laundry detergent as a natural alternative to those ubiquitous big plastic jugs.


    Promising review: "The one pound bag lasted me a year and a half. And with four of us in my family, I do about six to seven loads per week. I LOVE soap nuts and would never go back to detergent. My daughter's eczema has cleared up some because of these berries, too. I would highly recommend these to everybody, even if you don't have any sensitivities." —Morgan

    Get the box on Amazon for $18.95 (+$3.20 shipping).

    8. And pack of six wool dryer balls or two cute dryer pufferfish that will soften your clothes without any need for those disposable dryer sheets.,

    Promising review for the wool balls: "These dryer balls are wonderful. Clothes are softer and drying time has been reduced by at least 10-15 minutes (depending on size of load). They hold the smell from essential oils really well, so the clothes come out smelling great, soft and static free. Love these little things." —Ben

    Promising review for the fish: "I love these. I live in the desert and in the winter especially it gets super dry and static becomes insane here. I don't much care for dryer sheets because they stick to everything and my dog likes to destroy them, so these balls are amazing. They have completely cut down the static in my clothes and sheets. Even microfiber sheets come out with zero static. I'm impressed. They have also improved drying time by quite a bit as well. They make the dryer a bit noisy but I can live with that for all the benefits." —Siobahn

    Get them on Amazon: the six dryer balls for $12.95 or the two fish for $9.50 (also available as hedgehogs or cacti).

    9. A menstrual cup to reduce both your period's overall carbon footprint and your contribution to the 20 billion pads, tampons, and applicators that will likely be dumped in North American landfills in 2020.

    Intimina /

    If you're someone who has a period and can make the menstrual cup work, of course — for help, check out our reader's best menstrual cup tips.

    The collapsible Lily cup is super compact and easy to use, especially if you're a menstrual cup beginner. It even comes with a discreet case to keep it clean when you're not using it. Get it from Intimina for $24.95.

    (They also have an option for people with a high cervix, and a flat-fit cup that apparently lets you have mess-free period sex).

    10. A silicone zip-top sandwich bag that can replace hundreds (if not thousands!) of the single-use ones without sacrificing any of the useful function that those old-school ones offered.

    I've had a couple of these since 2016 and I LOVE them, and both use them and run them through the dishwasher all the time.

    Promising review: "I've tried a LOT of reusable bags as there are a lot of options out there all using a variety of materials. The fabric ones just get gross over time. The vinyl ones are hard to clean and aren't usually dishwasher safe. There are other silicone one that need a separate rod to close them that you can easily lose. This one is the most simple and easy to use. No separate pieces to lose. Can withstand any temperature/microwave/dishwasher/whatever. And if they get gunky they are very easy to clean." —Megan A.

    Get one on Amazon for $11.97+ (five sizes available — pocket, snack, sandwich, 1/2 gallon, or a storage-like stand-up size — in up to seven colors).

    11. An insulated, leak-proof travel mug, so you can fuel up with all the caffeine you need without all the waste of a single-use paper cup, plastic lid, and cardboard sleeve.

    All of which would need to be recycled or tossed later in the day, along with any leftover cold coffee. This keeps your coffee hot and actually lasts for years.

    Promising review: "I'm a teacher and am always taking my coffee to school with me since our lounge coffee is not very tasty. This mug keeps my coffee warm well into the afternoon. Some of the paint does come off after awhile and the handle loosens but I had my old ones for about five years before that happened. I would suggest hand washing instead of using the dishwasher. This Thermos is the only mug I've had that doesn't leak when it tips over on my desk...unless I forget to close it! It has tipped over many times in my teaching bag and no leaks. Also: Thermos stands behind their products. When the seal started getting old and coming loose, I called the company and they sent me two new lids free of charge." —teach307

    Get it on Amazon for $21.97+ (available in six colors).

    12. A stainless steel water bottle because by now we all know that the giant packs of plastic water bottles we used to buy are seriously bad news.


    Promising review: "This water bottle is awesome! I hate to admit how long I've shopped around for one. I'm very picky. I did not want plastic and hate those ones where you have to bite the straw and suck to get the water! This bottle is perfect. I read other people's reviews about it tasting like metal and I have no idea what they are talking about. I am SUPER sensitive to taste and this has absolutely none. Very happy with this purchase." —Always better at the beach

    Get one on Amazon for $14.94+ (18 colors available, most in two sizes).

    13. Packs of natural chewing gum — apparently plastic's in pretty much everything, including basically every brand of regular gum.


    It's actually biodegradable (unlike the conventional gum that will lurk in the landfill). It's also vegan, kosher, dairy-free, nut-free, and soy-free.

    Promising review: "This gum is simply fantastic! There is nothing harmful in it, no chemicals, no plastics! It has great flavor, and all the flavors are good. The fennel happens to be my favorite. Having changed to a clean eating diet for a year now, and being a major gum chewer, I never realized how many harmful things that are in sugar-free gum, now I will chew nothing else besides Simply Gum." —Cory Edwards

    Get six packs of assorted flavors (90 pieces total) on Amazon for $14.90 (also available in packs of six: 10 other flavors, and two other variety pack options).

    14. A compact reusable bag to slip in your purse, briefcase, or car so you never have to answer the question "paper or plastic?" ever again. Oh, and it comes in so. many. cute. patterns!


    They're totally safe to machine-wash (line dry) when they get a little gross *and* they're made from recycled fabric!

    Promising review: "These squish down to 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, groceries, beach trips, and even taking on longer trips so I can stay organized.

    The original one I bought five years ago is just now starting to come apart at a handle seam, but it is still perfectly usable, and I actually used that one my everyday bag for a long time so it's had a LOT of wear! You wouldn't think you'd get compliments on grocery bags, but even the cashiers ask me what brand they are regularly. The colors make me happy when I see them by the front door. If you want to live minimally, with beautiful, simple, multi-functional pieces, don't bat an eye about purchasing these." —Ann M. Karmol

    Get them from Amazon for $12 each (available in 28 patterns/colors).

    15. A French press coffee maker that makes it easy to enjoy an incredible cup of coffee, #NoFilter (or even worse...K-cup) required.


    I have an earlier version of this press (from like, eight years ago) and love it — it makes incredibly smooth, delicious coffee. It takes just four minutes to brew: you pour in your coffee grounds, top them with hot/not-quite-boiling water, time for four minutes, and press the grounds to the bottom.

    Promising review: "This has changed my coffee drinking experience, and for the price, I can't see going anywhere else! I purchased this French Press Coffee maker along with an automatic burr mill grinder for my fiancée for Valentines day and we both love it. It makes two great cups of coffee at once, so it's perfect for the couple or the heavy coffee drinker! I'm sure there's nicer makers out there, but this one is a wonderful price, easy to clean/manage, and gets the job done." —B. Morrow

    Get it on Amazon for $14.99+ (available in two colors and two sizes).

    16. A microwave popcorn popper because you don't want to continue to add to the piles of used microwave bags you've thrown away in all the years you've been making popcorn.

    Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed, Amazon

    Pick up the kernels from the bulk bins (using a jar or other reusable container) to cut down on waste even more. You can use this popper with or without oil, and it collapses for easy storage.

    Promising reviews: "I love this popcorn popper! Almost every kernel pops! You have to be careful and use potholders when you take it out of the microwave because the outside gets hot. It took just under 2 min in my microwave. Not one kernel burnt!" —Mystery Mom

    "This popper folds down to 2.25" high and the lid stores in it so it doesn't hog space in my cabinet. It goes thru the dishwasher with no problem, holds plenty of popcorn and it works really well for popping. You can put any unpopped corn back in the microwave. We did that last night and then had NO unpopped kernels. It comes in a really cool box which is perfect for gifting. The bowl is BPA-free." —Katawampas

    Get it on Amazon for $19.93.

    Michelle, one of our former Tasty writers, also tried and loved it; here's her full Lekue popcorn popper review.

    17. A makeup-remover cloth so magical, all you have to do is wet it to take every speck of makeup off with just a gentle rub.

    BuzzFeed Reviews

    And it'll replace all those makeup wipes and cotton balls you toss each week. Plus it took the spot for best mid-priced makeup remover when BuzzFeed Reviews tested all kinds of options.

    Promising review: "I was tired of using mascara removers and washing my face and still having mascara or makeup on a makeup pad while swiping toner on my face. Well, that problem is now gone. This product seriously does what it says — it erases makeup! I could not believe the way it removed my makeup the first time I used it! You use it for a week, toss it in the wash, and use it again. I was wondering how it would clean up in the laundry, and it looked brand new. No mascara was left after it went through the wash. It is amazing!" —StaceyB

    Get it from Amazon for $20 in pink, white, or watermelon print.

    18. All-purpose kitchen towels ready and willing to substitute for as many paper towels and napkins as they possibly can.


    Several reviewers mention you have to wash them first to get them to be absorbent.

    Promising review: "These are fantastic for a variety of uses! As a family of six, we have lots of spills and wash lots of dishes! I find that we reach for these towels for everything! They are simple, absorbent, and soft and have already held up to many washings. We have also been using these in place of paper towels or napkins which has cut down on paper waste tremendously! Ordering more to keep on hand to use as napkins for informal gatherings!" —Casey Rogers

    Get a pack of 15 towels on Amazon for $15.99.

    19. A bidet because each and every time you wipe yourself clean, you're flushing "virgin" wood pulp down to the sewer.


    Unless you use some kind of alternative toilet paper (like, recycled or bamboo), that is. And no, personal wipes definitely don't count as "alternative". BTW, this hooks up to the toilet you already have, so there's no need to call the plumber to install!

    Promising review: "This thing will change your view of using a toilet. Using a bidet is so much better than just wiping. I don't ever want to be without one. It's cleaner, easier, more environmentally friendly, and way, way, way cheaper. Just spray everything away and dab dry with a few sheets of TP. It's less than $40, takes only a few minutes to install, and will cut your TP usage down to nothing. My only regret is that I've lived life without one." —Helka S. Freshour

    BuzzFeed editor Emmy also loves this bidet; read her Luxe Neo 120 bidet review for more!

    Get it on Amazon for $34.93.

    20. A set of four collapsible storage containers you can stash in your car or bag in case you have leftovers at your favorite restaurant.


    Promising review: "What a great product. They fold up nicely and fit in my purse to take restaurant leftovers home in. They store well in the cupboard too. No leaks! They do hold odor a bit, but if you pop them in the top rack of the dishwasher it gets the odor out, even with onion! I liked these so much I bought two sets." —Layne Seed

    Get the set of four on Amazon for $14.99.

    21. A pack of toothbrushes made from 100% recycled plastic that you can mail in (or, if you live near certain Whole Foods locations, drop off) at the end of their life to be recycled again.


    Recycling these really is that easy: you either go to a nearby drop-off location, or mail them in — here's all the info.

    Promising review: "I love these toothbrushes! I get the Ultra Soft, which is actually really, really soft. I didn't realize brushing was that uncomfortable for me until I suddenly noticed I wasn't wincing from the roughness and kept brushing because it was so soothing. The Preserve Ultra Soft has me brushing longer just to keep brushing my gums a little longer, it's actually enjoyable, quite relieving, and just feels good. The bristles are very flexible and fine, getting in between my teeth better, so I all around feel cleaner and better after brushing with these. It's all I buy now." —Chickadee

    Get a pack of six on Amazon for $16.53+ (available with ultra soft, soft, or medium bristles).

    22. A pack of two stretchy gift-wrap bags because it's fun to give people something nice, and even more fun when the wrapping doesn't immediately belong in the garbage when it's opened.


    They're basically big, stretchy bags with a ribbon cinch at the opening. All you have to do is put your gift in — it can be pretty much any shape! — then cinch it up and tie the bow!

    Get them on Amazon for $13.95+ (available in four regular sizes, one wine bottle size, and six colors/patterns).

    Captain Planet would be so proud!

    Warner Bros. / DHX

    The reviews in this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Shopping for something specific? Check out BuzzFeed Reviews to find the best things for every budget!


    Make your life even tidier. Check out the best all-natural cleaning products for your home, the best bathroom cleaning products, organization products perfect for neat freaks, and, of course, our ultimate guide to cleaning every single room in your house.

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