If you’re looking for sustainable products you’ve come to the right place! This is my tried and true list of the best sustainable products that I've been using for the last decade, plus a few new green brands you might not have seen before.
What are sustainable products?
Sustainable products are better for us and the environment. They are often reusable, recyclable, repairable, or made from upcycled materials. Sustainable products are sometimes made of materials that regenerate nature rather than destroy it. Some products are also designed to reduce energy usage.
Circular economy products are also sustainable, but most specifically they are designed to be returned for further reuse and recycling. They are usually designed to be repaired and refurbished to avoid landfills. This guide includes sustainable and circular products.
Sustainable product examples
Sustainable products have come a long way in the last decade. If you’re new to sustainable living, start with the basics. EarthHero* is a one-stop-shop if you're looking for sustainable products.
- Reusable shopping bags* - If you don't have three or four reusable nylon shopping bags in your purse or car, it's time to stock up. The nylon bags that you can tuck into a little pouch are the best because they take up way less space than fabric bags. The nylon bags are also super strong and durable, so you can carry way more in one bag than in a plastic or paper bag that will easily rip open.
- A reusable water bottle and coffee cup* - I like Hydroflask, but there are a lot of other sustainable brands as well.
Sustainable products at home
These sustainable products make sustainable living a snap, but they’re not just made for sustainable living. Replacing your air filters will also keep your indoor air healthier. Using good LED light bulbs from LIFX will improve the ambiance in every room you use it in, which is really the key to a good sustainable product!
Filtrete air filters* - That’s right, air filters. OK, this is not a sexy sustainable product. It’s downright boring. Replace your air filters every quarter to reduce your home's energy usage according to Energy.gov. Sometimes it's all about the simple things.
LED light bulbs - If you haven't tried the LIFX LED* light bulbs yet you are not only missing out on energy savings, but also the most flattering light for every room. I have the LIFX LED light bulbs in most rooms in my house, and I can’t say enough good things about the brightness and color.
A smart thermostat* - A smart thermostat not only looks sleek on your wall, but it also reduces your home's energy bill according to Energy Star. I like the Nest Smart thermostat. It’s easy to install and hooks up to many other smart products like the LIFX light bulbs. But there are other smart thermostats as well from brands like ecobee*.
Traditional mattresses use materials that will take thousands of years to break down in a landfill. Plus, most mattresses purchased before 2018 contain potentially dangerous flame retardants. But it doesn't have to be that way.
Avocado Green Mattress* has proved that a sustainable mattress can also be comfortable and well designed. Everything from the materials they use to the way they design it is made with the health of the planet and the consumer in mind. If you have an old mattress and only buy one sustainable product this year, let it be an Avocado Green Mattress.
Sustainable kitchen products
If you’re concerned with sustainable living you probably know your food choices matter (I’ll explain more below). But it’s also important to use sustainable products in the kitchen to reduce your environmental impact and your health.
Kids Konserve* - I’ve been packing lunches for my kids in the same Kids Konserve containers for almost a decade. They have yet to bend or break. Their lids are strong and durable even after all these years! I can only imagine how many plastic bags these containers have prevented me from using.
Lunch Skins* - For the few times per year when we need disposable baggies (field trips and summer camp), I pack their snacks and sandwiches in Lunch Skins. They’re strong, easy to close, and also compostable.
SodaStream* - If your kids are like mine, they love bubble water, yet they never seem to finish a full can or bottle. It's a waste of money and materials. Shipping those cans and bottles add to more trucks on the road and emissions. So the SodaStream carbonated soda machine is a much more sustainable option.
If you’re a foodie like me, you want the best food and ingredients. The good news is there are more sustainable foods on the market than ever before. Upcycled food ingredients and regenerative agriculture are two of the latest trends in sustainable food products. Let's start with the basics before we talk products:
What is regenerative agriculture?
Regenerative agriculture practices help make soil healthy. Healthy soil is a way to sequester carbon. Proponents of regenerative farming believe it's one tool in the toolbox it will take to slow climate change. Drawdown.org lists regenerative agriculture as the number eleven solution to draw down climate change.
What are upcycled food ingredients?
Processing foods and drinks create what used to be considered waste. Today, innovative companies are turning that waste into value by upcycling food ingredients like the wheat used to make beer and the soy used to make soy milk. This is good for the economy and the environment. Drawdown lists reducing food waste as the number three solution to climate change. It's also a UN Sustainable Development Goal.
By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses."- United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 12.3
Regrained* - Breweries end up with a lot of wet left-over grains still full of nutrients and fiber. So Regrained uses this upcycled beer waste to make granola-like snack bars. Regrained dries the wet grain using a patent-pending process they developed with the USDA. From that wet grain that would otherwise have been thrown away comes deliciously addicting snacks like super grain puffs and snack bars.
Renewal Mill* - Renewal Mill sells chocolate cookies made with okara flour. Okara is upcycled from the leftover pulp of organic soybeans created during soymilk production. The result is a protein-rich, upcycled flour. That may not sound delicious, but believe me, I could have kept eating those soft-baked chocolate chip cookies.
Patagonia Provisions - Patagonia has ventured into the sustainable food products market with its Patagonia Provisions brand. I tried their organic Savory Seeds in the classic barbecue flavor and it's a savory alternative to sweet snack bars.
Patagonia has partnered with the Rodale Institute to launch a Regenerative Organic Agriculture certification. Although ROA certified products have not yet launched, it seems like it will be a natural fit when they do.
You may have heard that to live sustainably you need to eat less meat. That’s true. However, we don’t all have to go vegan. The main problem with eating too much meat is that it takes a whole lot more land to raise cows than to simply grow grains and veggies. But there are plenty of sustainable meat brands changing the meat we eat.
Land to Market certified products are grown and raised using regenerative agriculture practices that improve the health of the soil, which in turn sequesters carbon. Land to Market certified meat offers a better choice when looking for sustainable meat. If you're looking for them at the store, some of Epic Provisions* products are Land to Market certified.
Sustainable cleaning products
Cleaning concentrates* - I’m a huge fan of these cleaning pouches by Grove Collaborative! Not only are they designed to reduce plastic waste by only selling one ounce of super concentrated cleaning solution, but the cleaning solution works like a charm.
Method* makes some of the most sustainable cleaning products. You may wonder how they’re different from the other green cleaning products you can find at the store. Well, most of the products made by Method are Cradle to Cradle certified. This means every material has been carefully selected to minimize the environmental impact from beginning to end of the product lifecycle. That's a pretty good indicator that they're made for conservation.
I can’t lie. I love pretty clothes. A new dress makes me feel good even on my worst days. The right outfit makes me feel like I belong in precisely the moment that I’m in. Sadly, fashion is one of the most wasteful and polluting industries.
The U.S. alone sends about 21 billion pounds of textile waste to landfills every year."- ReMake.World.
It doesn't have to be that way. These brands are making and selling clothes in a more sustainable way.
tentree* - You may have heard of tentree. They plant ten trees for every purchase, with a goal of planting one billion trees. Not only that, but their clothes look great on as well. I'm a super fan of their sweatshirts, for both men and women. They've also just launched an activewear line!
OuterKnown* - Kelly Slater is a professional surfer turned sustainable fashion designer. The style is cool, comfortable, and beach-ready.
United by Blue* - "For every product purchased, United by Blue removes one pound of trash from oceans and waterways," according to their website. Their clothes are made using sustainable materials and made with the planet (and ocean) in mind.
Recover Brands* - My husband loves the T-shirts from Recover Brands. They use recycled water bottles to make their thread, which in turn gives you a durable and heavy-duty T-Shirt material. So if you’re looking for a T-Shirt made to last from recycled materials, this is the brand for you.
SellHound makes it easier to sell used clothes with their eBay selling assistant app. With the SellHound app you take a few pictures of the clothing you want to sell, then the app does the rest. SellHound writes the description for you, gives you an SEO optimized title, recommended selling price, and estimated shipping cost. After you approve the listing, it posts directly to your eBay account.
Updated January 2021