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If you’re looking for sustainable products you’ve come to the right place! I’ve been shopping for sustainable products for over a decade, and this is my tried and true list of the best sustainable products and brands I’ve found.
Truly great sustainable products used to be almost impossible to find. When I first started my search I felt like I had to compromise between products that worked and products that were sustainable. But that is absolutely not the case anymore, and I hope to show you why here.
What are sustainable products?
Sustainable products are better for 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 sustainable products are also designed to reduce energy usage.
Circular economy products are designed to reduce waste and eventually be returned to the manufacturer for further reuse and recycling. They are usually designed to be repaired and refurbished to avoid landfills.
Sustainable product examples
Sustainable products have come a long way in the last decade. If you’re new to sustainable living, start with a few of these sustainable product examples.
- Reusable shopping bags
- A reusable water bottle
- A reusable coffee cup
- One great coffee maker
- LED lights
Keep reading to learn about the next level of sustainable products.
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 filter replacements – That’s right, air filter replacements. OK, this is not a sexy sustainable product. It’s downright boring. But if you replace your air filters every quarter you’re likely to reduce your home's energy usage according to Energy Star. Sometimes it's all about the simple things.
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.
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 of these lights.
Makeup brands that make sustainable products
There are so many clean beauty brands on the market these days, which is great. But just because a company makes clean beauty products doesn’t mean they're made with sustainability in mind. BeautyCounter and 100% Pure are leaders in the clean beauty industry because not only do they make safer make-up, they also help push the sustainability movement forward.
BeautyCounter – If you’re looking for the cleanest beauty products that are also sustainably made, this is the brand for you. Many of their products come in glass containers that are easily recyclable, and they are making strides at reducing packaging waste.
100% Pure – This is another sustainability-minded beauty company. They offer customers a chance to choose to plant a tree with each purchase on their website, so I try to order directly from 100% Pure rather than on Amazon.
Sustainable products for kids
Buying sustainable products is undoubtedly most important for the next generation. These are some of the most sustainable products made for kids that I’ve found. These products are not only sustainable, they are also personal favorites in our house. My daughter wears here Natives every day, and her favorite pillow is made by Naturepedic. Both companies offer great examples of how to make sustainable products that people will love.
- Avocado Crib Mattress
Sustainable products for the kitchen
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. These are some of the most sustainable products I can think of to be honest. 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 (think field trips and summer camps) I pack their snacks and sandwiches in Lunch Skins. They’re strong, easy to close. They are 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.
Sustainable products for foodies
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 its 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. The result is deliciously addicting snack bars. Honey Cinnamon is my favorite and you can buy them on Amazon* and select WholeFoods and Sprouts.
Renewal Mill – Renewal Mill sells okara flour and 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.
You can buy Renewal Mill flour on Amazon* and at Berkeley-area grocery stores like Berkeley Bowl and Rainbow Grocery.
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.
Sustainable products for meat lovers
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.
Butcher Box – If your local store doesn't offer pasture-raised pork and grass-fed meat, Butcher Box is my favorite alternative to buying locally raised grass-fed meat.
Sustainable products by Grove Collaborative
Cleaning pouches – 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. If you’ve been thinking of switching to green cleaning products, Grove Collaborative is the only solution you need!
Foaming hand soap – The foaming hand soap by Grove Collaborative is also concentrated, effective and designed for clean living! Just add the foaming hand soap concentrate to your glass Grove foaming soap dispenser, and you have the best hand soap you’ll ever use. Plus, it reduces plastic waste! Clean and green. You can’t beat that combination.
Method makes some of the most sustainable cleaning products. You may wonder how they’re different than the other green cleaning products 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.
Sustainable products for fashionistas
I can’t lie. I love clothes and shoes. A new dress makes me feel pretty even on my worst days. The right shoes can make me feel sexy or sporty. The softest sweaters make me feel cozy and ready to snuggle up with my family, a giant bowl of popcorn, and a funny movie. 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.
Rent the runway – If you’re interested in circular economy products and you haven’t tried Rent the Runway, this is a great circular fashion company to check out. I love Rent the Runway for special occasions when I dont want to buy a brand new dress that will end up sitting in my closet for years collecting dust. It’s just so much better to rent than buy.
Marine Layer – Their ReSpun collection is made of T-shirts that customers send back to be recycled. I wear one of their ReSpun T-shirts at least once per week. It’s super soft and fits like a glove!
T-Mill – This is a truly circular fashion company. T-Mill shirts are made in a sustainable way from organic cotton using non-toxic dyes that don't harm the local water. But that’s not all. T-Mill also takes your old T-shirts back to be recycled and sold again. Now that's an example of circular economy.
Patagonia is one of the most conscious fashion brands you’ll find. They sell their own used clothes on their website, which is a great way to get a good deal on their otherwise higher price point pieces.
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 May 13, 2020