The Best Zero-Waste Products
– Our Buy Ensemble Picks –
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that individuals produce 4.9 pounds of waste on average every day. That’s almost a ton per person per year! If you’re done being trashy and want to be a more conscious consumer, then buying zero waste products is a great way to start— it not only lessens your own environmental footprint but also builds pressure on businesses to make more sustainable products and packaging.
Whether you’re looking to start your zero-waste journey or simply make some sustainable swaps, you’ve come to the right place. On this page, you’ll find a collection of Zero Waste Marketplaces for one-stop shopping, some of our favorite Zero Waste Products by category, and for those of you who want to dive deeper, we have more information on why Zero Waste matters in the first place.
Our Buy Ensemble Picks: The Best Zero Waste Marketplaces
EarthHero is a marketplace on a mission to “make buying responsibly second nature.” And it certainly does make it easy!
With a selection of sustainable products spanning 15 categories and 150+ brands, EarthHero is one of the best alternatives to Amazon on this list. Plus, it is a certified B Corp, a 1% for the planet member, carbon-neutral, and incorporates zero waste in its own operations.
Grove Collaborative is a subscription service for all must-haves in the home, from toilet paper to cleaning products.
The B Corp not only provides easy access to low-waste and ethically sourced products but also has ambitious goals for future sustainability. The currently plastic-neutral brand pledges to be plastic free by 2025, plant one million trees by 2022, and work on reducing its entire carbon footprint.
Litterless is a page run by Celia Ristow, an environmental activist and consultant sharing knowledge about zero waste and a circular economy.
Updated weekly, the “Where to Grocery Shop” and “Where to Compost” tools are incredible to find local zero waste resources for food and food scraps! Looking for places to buy unpackaged staples or want to learn how to compost near you? Check these lists out.
EcoRoots offers a variety of sustainable and cruelty-free personal care, kitchen and home, and beauty products.
The brand is a 1% for the planet member dedicated to helping its consumers reduce waste. In addition to its products, check out its Zero Waste Blog for more inspiration!
The Earthling Co. rests on the belief that products shouldn’t be harmful to you or the planet.
It offers a wide selection of sustainable and ethically sourced personal care and homeware products and is a 1% for the planet member. Plus, by signing up for their emails, you get a free “Zero-Waste Gentle Reminders” print!
Zero Waste Store is one the biggest marketplaces on this list, with an extensive array of sustainable brands and zero-waste swaps.
The plastic-free, carbon neutral, 1% for the planet member offers all kinds of products, including apparel, cleaning, and gardening—it’s a great one-stop zero waste shop!
Package Free is on a mission to make the world less trashy through its collection of home, personal care, and beauty products.
Lauren Singer, the founder and a big voice in the zero-waste space after going viral for fitting eight years of waste in one mason jar (yes, you read that right!), also produces Trash is for Tossers.
Find Zero Waste Products by Category:
Zero Waste Bathroom Products
Making some switches in your bathroom can be a simple way to kick off your zero-waste journey.
B Corp, 1% for the planet member, cruelty-free certified Plaine Products is our go-to for plastic-free personal care. Running low on a product? Simply order a refill!
Not interested in getting a bidet? Try this bamboo toilet paper! Love the concept? Upgrade your paper towels and tissues to How We Roll’s tree-free, plastic-free products, too.
Looking for an alternative to your plastic toothbrush? Every component of Brush with Bamboo’s toothbrush is plant-based! Plus, you can find a slew of other sustainable dental products on the site.
Say goodbye to your toothpaste tube and hello to these natural toothpaste tablets that come in plastic-free, biodegradable, or recyclable packaging. They also have zero waste mouth wash and floss!
Your favorite deodorant can be tough to give up. But Human Kind’s refillable deodorant can make it easier! The sustainable brand also offers a bunch of other refillable personal care products.
*Check out our full post about how to go zero waste in the bathroom for a complete rundown of your options!
Zero Waste Cleaning Products
Love it or hate it, cleaning can be much more enjoyable without a plastic footprint.
A zero-waste marketplace in and of itself, Marley’s Monsters carries the perfect eco-friendly alternative to disposable paper towels. Want to spice it up? Try out one of the many multi-colored designs!
This plastic-free, cruelty-free, refillable all-purpose cleaning spray bottle is a no-waste solution for all of your hard surfaces. Meliora is also a great place for other laundry and cleaning needs! Plus, you can support a B Corp and 1% for the planet member!
Yep, your laundry detergent can be zero waste, too! In addition to its other sustainable laundry and kitchen products, Dropps produces powerfully effective, plant-based pods that come in compostable packaging.
BioBags can be a great swap on your zero-waste journey. While hopefully one day you won’t need a BioBag at all, this compostable alternative can help you avoid plastic garbage bags. Find them among their collection of other waste and storage bags!
This sturdy, plastic-free broom is sure to sweep you off your feet. Find it in Wild Minimalist’s cleaning section among its wide range of zero waste, sustainable products.
*Coming Soon!* Our full list of Zero Waste Cleaning Product
Zero Waste Kitchen Products
The kitchen is another spot where easy switches can make a big difference in just how trashy we are on a day-to-day basis.
Looking for effective food storage wrap without the plastic waste? With Bees Wrap, a B Corp, you can wash and reuse its compostable, biodegradable wraps for a zero-waste plastic wrap alternative.
Eco Bags is there for any of your zero waste bag needs. Already have your reusable grocery bag? Go a step further with this highly accredited B Corp’s reusable produce bags.
Stashers’ endlessly reusable silicone storage bags have prevented over one billion single-use plastic bags from ending up in our oceans and landfills. Help the brand prevent even more by making the switch!
If there isn’t a bulk store near you (check out Litterless’s Where to Shop), Gneiss Spice, the only full-service zero waste spice retailer out there, is an amazing alternative. Its magnetic jars can even help you declutter and spice up your kitchen while you’re at it!
Parchment paper, coffee filters, and cupcake cups can all add up in the kitchen trashcan. If You Care’s line of compostable products makes it easy to rid your kitchen (and the environment) of this waste.
*Coming Soon!* Our full list of Zero Waste Kitchen Products
Zero Waste Beauty + Personal Care Products
You—and the planet—deserve some plastic-free pampering!
Elate is a favorite in the zero-waste community and for good reason! It’s hard to beat refillable, bamboo packaging for beautiful, vegan, cruelty-free products. The brand is 75% waste free right now and working to raise that number even higher.
Now that you have your zero-waste makeup, how are you going to get it off? Try Croon’s reusable, plastic-free, machine-washable facial microfiber to exfoliate and remove makeup using water alone. Plus, the packaging can be kept and reused, too!
Bandages are a surprising source of plastic waste. This Australia-based B Corp makes an assortment of natural, compostable, bamboo bandages that are good for you and the planet. You can even find them in local stores across 41 countries!
This Environmental Working Group top-rated sunscreen is reef-safe and plastic-free. Check out the brand’s zero-waste line and products that come in aluminum metal packaging!
Meow Meow Tweet, plastic negative and cruelty-free certified, makes a host of low waste personal care products. Its lip (and body) balm comes in a compostable tube—a real smile brightener!
Aisle, a certified B Corp, offers a line of reusable alternatives to single-use pads and tampons: washable cloth pads, leak-free period underwear, and menstrual cups for a zero-waste period!
*Coming Soon!* Our full list of Zero Waste Beauty + Personal Care Products
Zero Waste Lifestyle Products
A zero-waste lifestyle can carry on outside of the home in some of the acts that we do every day, whether we’re drinking, grocery shopping, or protecting our phones.
These straws hold up for years, work well in hot drinks, and are dishwasher safe. When you’re done with the product, simply compost it or burn it into biodegradable ash. Plus, the straws come in compostable packaging!
Trying to avoid using single-use plastic utensils on the go? Looking for the perfect camping utensils? To-Go Ware’s bamboo utensil sets come in a utility sleeve with an attached carabiner for easy transportation.
KeepCup, a certified B Corp, offers the first barista friendly reusable coffee cup. Bring your KeepCup to your local coffee shop and enjoy a zero-waste cup of joe.
For Days offers a closed-loop approach on its 100% recyclable products to create a zero-waste system. Once you’re done with one of its products, simply swap in your old piece to be upcycled for something new!
*Coming Soon!* Our full list of Zero Waste Lifestyle Products
The Benefits of Zero Waste: Why it’s Important
We don’t want to waste your time, so we’ll cut right to the chase. Our growing landfills are a problem. Landfills emit greenhouse gases, such as methane and carbon dioxide. Toxins leak out of landfills and can contaminate our water supplies and surrounding ecosystems. Plus, these garbage masses are hard to clear and last for generations!
Zero waste gives us the opportunity to mitigate future landfill risk!
42% of greenhouse gases come from the production, use, and disposal of consumer goods. Production of plastic—already one of the biggest contributors of waste build-up, as it is an extremely resilient material—requires an exorbitant amount of fossil fuels to produce.
Zero waste curbs the greenhouse gases needed in this kind of production as the need for single-use consumer goods dwindles.
Wildlife and Human Health
Waste consistently ends up in the natural environment. Our trash often ends up in oceans and waterways, harming the habitats and wildlife in those spaces. Even closer to home, plastics can exist in our clothes and food, affecting human health directly, as we unknowingly expose ourselves to toxins.
If you’re curious about how plastic gets in the ocean, the effects of plastic pollution on human health, or other related questions, check out our page on plastic pollution!
If the environmental and health effects of our waste don’t convince you, then perhaps economic benefits will be the kicker. Zero waste promotes a circular, regenerative economy. A 2020 EPA report shows that zero waste creates jobs and generates tax revenue. In addition, although only tangentially related to zero waste, nearly $11.5 trillion is lost when recyclable material is trashed every year.
Plus, on a personal note, a zero-waste mindset helps banish meaningless shopping and promotes buying goods you’ll have for a long, long time. Feeling generous with your newfound extra cash? Reinvest it in the community to further these economic benefits!
While the individual differences we can make while restraining our waste shouldn’t be discounted, the vital impact that collective action could have is particularly exciting— hypothetically, for example, if everyone stopped using plastic spoons, businesses would stop producing them.
The more of us that opt for zero waste options, the greater the pressure will be on businesses to adapt, and the less waste will be produced in the first place.
Zero Waste Products FAQs
What Makes a Product Zero Waste?
A zero-waste product is, simply, a product that won’t end up being thrown out. It could be reusable, repurposable, compostable, or consumable. As a last resort, a zero-waste product can be properly recycled.
In a perfect world, you’d have products that don’t contain any plastic or other harmful materials.
How Do You Start a Zero Waste Lifestyle?
Zero waste sounds scary… and getting started can be the toughest part! Bea Johnson, author of Zero Waste Home and widely accredited with jumpstarting the zero-waste movement, provides a simple framework with her five Rs:
- Refuse what you don’t need (for example, single-use plastic utensils, plastic bags, coffee cups, non-biodegradable garbage bags)
- Reduce what you do need (for example, buy fewer new clothes and cut back on upgrading to the latest smartphone)
- Reuse by either buying secondhand, repurposing, or reusing
- Recycle what you can’t refuse, reduce, and reuse
- Rot (compost) what’s left
We’re also huge fans of simple swaps! Subbing products out for others, such as plastic baggies for stasher bags or plastic wrap for Bees Wrap, is a wonderfully simple way to kick your plastic habit.
Remember, you don’t need to be perfect! Compost, buy fewer packaged products, choose reusable products, and rethink what you use and how you buy, and you’ll make a massive personal contribution to the zero-waste movement.
Is Going Zero Waste Expensive?
Zero waste products may be more expensive upfront, but in the long term, many of these swaps will be better for your wallet.
For example, a reusable Klean Kanteen water bottle may cost $30—a major step up from the $2 plastic bottles you can get at your local gas station—but if you skip out on a plastic water bottle more than 15 times for your Klean Kanteen, you’ll start to save a pretty penny.
Why can’t we just recycle more?
Did you know that only 9% of what we put in recycling bins actually gets recycled? There’s just too much to process and too much contamination for recycling to be a reliable zero-waste solution in our current system.
Plus, recycling discounts the energy and externalities associated with getting that single-use product into your hands!
Recycling should be more of a last resort for zero wasters, but it can still be productive if you do it right.
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