I know I don’t have to get into the whole “our planet is dying” lecture with you guys. I feel like at this point, everyone is aware and has noticed the growing movement of reusable products/using less plastic. Although there are a lot of different factors that cause global warming, we can definitely still do our part to be kinder to our Mother Earth and also save a little money along the way. I’ve been on the search for the perfect water bottle for a long time and I’m excited to announce I’ve finally found her! Keep reading to learn which bottle is the perfect bottle and for a roundup of some other reusable products you need to add into your routine that are affordable and environmentally-friendly!
The LARQ Water Bottle
The LARQ bottle is the world’s first self-cleaning water bottle and of course, it’s gorgeous. LARQ uses UV-C light to neutralize up to 99.9999% of harmful, odor-causing bacteria, which is fancy talk for she uses light to clean out your water bottle every two hours throughout the day. This is the issue I’ve always had with regular stainless steel bottles, after a week the steel harbors this kind of smell that just taints your water. Which is fine, I guess, just wash the bottle more often. But honestly as soon as that smell hits me, I’m completely grossed out by my bottle and avoid using it for a few days until I forget the smell. I’ve been using my LARQ bottle for two months and haven’t washed it once. Well, I do wash the rim weekly because that should be washed regardless plus sometimes I get lipstick on it. LARQ also filters your water for you with the world’s only mercury-free portable water sanitization system. You could be out in public, needing to fill up your water bottle, and be completely safe using the tap water because LARQ will purify it with the touch of a button. The battery lasts for a month, so in these two months I’ve literally only charged it twice. My water tastes so clean and pure in my LARQ bottle and I haven’t felt tempted to check out any other bottles because I honestly don’t think there’s a single feature I’m missing out on.
Cold Drink Cups
While we’re on the topic of reusable bottles, I highly recommend grabbing a reusable stainless steel cup for cold drinks next time you’re at Starbucks or Target. My water bottle is strictly for water, but I like having these cups on hand for coffee trips or for taking other drinks besides water to work! Starbucks even offers a discount when you bring your own cup! It’s something like $0.10 but hey, a discount is a discount. Right now, I’m using a plastic one from Starbucks that I bought before learning that stainless steel was more sustainable option but I’m going to use this one until it breaks or something because I don’t just want to throw it away when it’s still perfectly fine. During the week, I keep it at work so that I can just grab it and head to Starbucks. I’ll take it home over the weekend in case I happen to want Starbucks then too! I promise I don’t go to Starbucks every day….
Did you know that normal plastic toothbrushes do not decompose for hundreds of years? They just don’t. They’ll sit in a landfill for your entire life, your kid’s entire life, their kid’s entire life, and so on. It’s scary to think that a toothbrush we use for about 3 months will outlive us, but it will. That’s why Austin & I switched to the metal Quip toothbrushes and we are never going back. Not only are they functional in helping you brush for two minutes (like you’re supposed to but rarely ever do) like it’s nothing, but they’re super sleek and cute. There’s also no bulky charging station like for other electric toothbrushes, they just automatically mail you a new battery and brush head every 3 months! It’s so simple you don’t have to even think about it; we couldn’t recommend Quip more.
Shopping Bags + Produce Bag
I have a confession: I’m a fabric tote bag hoarder. I literally have a bag filled with bags in my car, ready for my “The-Apocalypse-Is-Here Costco trip”. I think I’ve only even bought a few of them (like the Orange County Whole Foods one, I mean come on I needed it), most of them I got from giveaways or free from vendors or something. They’re so convenient to keep in your car just ready for your next grocery trip and help you avoid that plastic bag fee. I also grabbed this produce bag to use instead of the plastic ones in the market. It’s great because I can just use this one bag for all of my produce, rather than covering each fruit/vegetable in plastic. I got this from Anthropologie for $20, but I recently saw them for sale for $6 at Brandless. I did the searching for you so you can get the sale I wish I got. Add this to your cart, you won’t regret it.
Re(Zip) Reusable Food Storage Bags
Ziploc bags are such a convenient product that I didn’t want to give them up when I started to use less plastic. I mean, who wants to use a whole bulky Tupperware for some grapes? I got these (Re)Zip Reusable Food Storage Bags from Thrive Market for $14, but you can find similar on Amazon or even at Target. Plastic ziploc bags are admittedly about $4 but you’ll save money in the long run and, more importantly, do your part to help the environment. They’re perfect for when you just want to bring a little something in your purse or don’t have room for an additional Tupperware in your lunch bag. They’re easy to clean by hand and even dishwasher-safe, so there’s really no excuse not to get these!
Simply Straw’s Bamboo Utensil Kit
I typically bring my lunch to work everyday to save some money and even though my work provides plastic utensils for us to use, I felt bad using them just to throw them away right after. I found this bamboo utensil kit last year at Simply Straw for $22; it includes a knife, fork, spoon, chopsticks, glass straw, and straw cleaner. It’s really everything you could possibly need! The bamboo doesn’t splinter and they’re strong enough to cut through a steak or chicken breast (I have used them for both). I keep the kit in my lunch bag so that I’m always prepared and don’t use any single-use plasticware anymore!
Simply Straw & Amazon’s Reusable Straws
I have extremely sensitive teeth and so rely on straws to drink just about anything cold. I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the pain and eventual death plastic straws can cause our turtles, so I won’t even lecture you on that. I’ve mentioned my glass straw is from Simply Straws, but I also have a set of four stainless steel straws that I purchased from Amazon for $4! That’s right, $4!!! You really could not find a better price for a quality product. I bought these straws back in April 2018 and still use them on a weekly basis. I alternate between my glass straw and these depending on what I’m drinking.
So that’s a little rundown on my favorite reusable products. I’m always on the hunt for ways to reduce my carbon footprint and there a lot of small changes we can make that aren’t an inconvenience in any way and even save us some money over time. When I first started to phase out single-use products, I bought a lot of plastic reusable items. My next step in this journey will be to switch everything to stainless steel or glass to take my efforts to the next level, but I’m not going to throw out anything until it’s just about falling apart. If you are just starting to make the transition into reusable products, you should aim to buy metal or glass instead of more plastic and here are some great ways you can get started!