This is a guide to highlight zero waste products for the home that you need to know about. These swaps, on a fundamental level, will change your behavior naturally so you don’t even feel like you’re switching your habits. You just naturally live in a more planet-friendly way because of the way you set up your home – how powerful.
Lucky are those who live in the zero-waste mecca cities like the Bay Area or NYC. These individuals have their pick of farmer’s markets, dedicated zero waste stores, bulk bins, and curbside compost services.
The rest of us make do by piecing together different resources and services to make it work the best that we can.
I sometimes feel discouraged when I see the Instagram life of these zero-wasters with their one year of Mason jar trash. Here I am with a kitchen full of empty packaging boxes. I’m not going to feel bad by dwelling on where I am compared to other, though! We are all at different stages in this less waste process. We all have different circumstances. If I’m continuously improving myself, I’m happy with myself.
I don’t need to prove anything else to anybody.
What If I Have No Stores Selling Zero Waste Products Around Me?
One of the most popular questions that I get from people interested in living a more eco-friendly, zero-waste lifestyle is where to find products if there are no local zero-waste stores. In many cases, the answer is to turn to the internet. Amazon sometimes gets a lot of hate because it’s a behemoth of a company, but realistically, it is one of the best resources for fair prices and reliable product reviews for eco-friendly products.
As such, I’ve put together a list of the best zero-waste products on Amazon for the home. Living a zero-waste lifestyle is not about revamping your entire house and personal life with new “eco” items to look the part in some Instagram fantasy land. It also does not mean going on a perpetual spending freeze and developing an anti-consumerism mentality.
Those are two sides of equally unproductive attitudes.
Sustainable Living is More Than Living ‘Zero-Waste’
A healthy attitude is one that balances these two extremes. It’s buying something that will make a net positive impact on your life and the planet. If investing in a plastic salad spinner is going to get me to eat more salads and less meat, that is a net positive environmental impact. Go for it!
However, if you already have a closet full of fast-fashion clothes but want to replace it with all-natural fibers because you’re now ashamed of what your fellow eco-lovers will think, don’t do it. Don’t buy a whole new wardrobe to “look the part” – this is a net negative.
Below are some of my favorite picks for the best eco-friendly, zero-waste products on Amazon, for each section of your home.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase or sign up for a program, I may earn a commission. This is at no additional cost to you.
Zero Waste Amazon
Amazon is a major multi-national corporation that a lot of people love to hate on, but when it comes down to it, as consumers, we mostly love it.
At it’s worst, it brings out the instant gratification of consumerism in us by offering us one or two-day shipping, which is not good from a transportation emissions perspective. The company indirectly pressures supplier margins as those who can off the best prices for consumers rise to the top of the website search rankings.
At it’s best, the company has established so many distribution centers that the distance from the distribution center to a customer’s home is minimized. So many people order from Amazon that when I’m waiting for my package, the Amazon location tracker tells me that there are 7 deliveries before mine, even though the truck is only 2 blocks away – this is inarguably efficient and beneficial for the environment (from a delivery perspective).
The key is to clearly evaluate the difference between what you need / what will actually improve your life and align with your values, versus what you want because it happens to be on sale or everyone else seems to have it.
Stay strong! Shop with intention! With that said, here are some cool zero waste products on Amazon that might help you live a more sustainable lifestyle.
- This handheld bidet is a classic example of where it makes sense to buy something to avoid buying many more disposable items – in this case, toilet paper. You can save rolls and rolls of toilet paper from the septic system from this one investment. It’s also way more hygienic because, let’s be real, toilet paper is not going to remove everything that you want it to.
- You use the toilet. Sometimes there are stains – it’s unavoidable! However, a plastic toilet brush IS avoidable. You can get this natural toilet brush made with coconut fibers for a pretty reasonable price. If you can splurge a bit, here’s a nifty natural toilet brush (though not vegan) with a convenient stand.
- This is a natural hand-woven rug made of eco-friendly materials (jute) that is also totally reasonable in price. I’m thinking of purchasing one myself, but I’m always a bit afraid of how rugs will look even one week after my two cats have had their way with it as a gigantic scratching post. I’m currently rug-less with my hardwood floors. [vertical-spacer]
- Indoor plants can be used to brighten up your living room. A bonus is that greenery will work to clean up your indoor air, acting
likea natural air purifier. This cat fern would look great in a modern home while this coral cactus adds an interesting twist to a minimalist home. Loads more to choose from, or visit your local nursery!
- This learning thermostat is a great way to manage your energy usage and better control your heating and cooling bill. Instead of paying to heat an empty house, it will detect when you’re away and adjust itself automatically. Instead of sweating through your duvet in the winter, it’ll learn as you adjust it. Eventually, it will lower the temperature at night and raise it in time for when you wake up. It is an investment up front but the company claims it will pay for itself within two years. Beyond two years, it’s all upside for you!
- To clean the toilet and for general household cleaning, I have some 100% cotton auto-shop towels. They’re not the softest, nor the prettiest, but they do an adequate job for their purpose. I recommend purchasing a set of white rags. This way, there is no chance that colors will bleed if you wash it with your other laundry. This advice is from personal experience purchasing the orange set! [vertical-spacer]
- A Cuban mop is a great, low-profile way to clean hardwood floors. Instead of relying on a mop head, you can use towels – I use ones similar to these, which are large (25″ x25″) and absorbent (100% cotton). I make my own cleaning solution (see below) and simply spray the area right before I’m about to mop it. When it gets too dirty, flip it over to use the reverse side, then toss it in the laundry machine. [vertical-spacer]
- I have a DIY cleaning solution made from white distilled vinegar and essential oils. I combine vinegar and water in a 50/50 solution and add between 5-10 drops of essential oils. Initially, you might be a bit hesitant to use vinegar for cleaning given the strong smell. I know I was! However, I’m here to assure you that with the diluted vinegar and the essential oils, whatever vinegary smell you can still discern during your cleaning will be unnoticeable once the cleaning solution is dry. If you have pets, you should only use pet-friendly essential oils (and decrease the number of drops of essential oils to the minimum that you can).
- For dusting small areas, I often find that a hand brush is more effective than a broom because you can more easily target particular areas and navigate around items. In this case, this Dutch-style brush is a nice option made from rice straw.
- This latex mattress is consistently one of the lowest-priced latex mattresses available on the market. It doesn’t skimp on any of the eco-credentials (i.e., it’s 100% natural latex, organic cotton, organic wool, no fire-retardant chemicals); it simply doesn’t have a fancy marketing campaign. If you don’t believe me, check out your other latex mattress options here. [vertical-spacer]
- These fair trade organic cotton bedsheets are my recommendation for eco-friendly bedsheets. I always advocate that if you can’t buy organic materials for everything in your home, buy them for those closest to your body. If it’s not in my budget to purchase both organic bedsheets and an organic blanket, I would prefer organic cotton bedsheets over the blanket because the sheets will always be in direct contact with my skin. Here is more on why I prefer organic bedsheets. [vertical-spacer]
- For more information on an eco-friendly bedroom, make sure to check out this post where I provide more details and scientific-research on what I recommend, and why.
- Initially, I had planned on getting cardboard hangers made from 100% recycled material. However, when I thought about how I often hang washed laundry from hangers on my shower rack when my drying rack is full, I realized it wouldn’t work.
- Cardboard wouldn’t be good for this purpose, but steel would be perfect. I decided to instead invest in these super sturdy stainless steel hangers that can be passed on to one user to the next. These aren’t your cheap and thin dry-cleaning hangers that bend at the weight of a sweater. I’m really happy with the ones I received because they are super thick and sturdy. I consider this zero waste because I have no doubt they will last for decades! Also, if they ever need to be disposed of for any reason, steel is infinitely recyclable.
I only use half of my freezer for food. On the other half, I have a small container to collect my compostables. Because we are a two-person household, I have a composting service that comes biweekly at $7 per visit. I’ll accumulate my compostable items in the freezer until the day of my pick-up. The morning of, I will move everything into the compost bucket provided by the company. Doing this is a great way to avoid attracting flies if you encounter this problem in your area.
- I use this small 2.6-gallon compostable bin liner to line my container and tie everything together when I’m ready to take it out. It makes it easier and keeps things cleaner. You can also get a 6-gallon or 13-gallon depending on your needs and preferences. Of course, it is more “zero-waste” if I skip the liner altogether, but then I might be disillusioned from composting if I have to deal with cleaning my oily, messy food waste trashcan every week. A liner is a better solution for me. Perhaps it’ll work for you too.
- If you’re still washing dishes by hand, skip the plastic sponges and consider these plant-based, biodegradable sponges at a completely affordable price. When using natural sponges, it’s important to remember that they aren’t as “tough” as your plastic counterparts.
- If you can do away with a sponge, these Swedish dishcloths are my new obsession, made from 100% plant-based material (wood & cotton)! You can use them for 6-9 months and they toss them into your compost 🙂
- The best way to wash dishes is to first use a plant-based natural dish brush to scrub off
debrisand then use the sponge as a way to soap your dishes.
Have you ever considered skipping the dryer and starting to air-dry your clothes?
Growing up in the US, the idea of not using a dryer sounded crazy to me. I remember thinking that only poor people air dry their clothes to save money on energy costs. If you could afford it, why would you do so? Ignorant on my part. I apologize on behalf of old me.
Fast forward to the day I moved into my new apartment in the US. We now have a washer and dryer, but I’ve put off laundry because I don’t want to ruin my clothes in a dryer. Having lived in Amsterdam for two years without a dryer, I noted how much nicer my clothes felt. I observed how much better the quality was wash after wash. In short, I was hesitant to use the dryer again because I remembered the days when I thought clothing shrinkage was just an unavoidable part of doing laundry. On top of this, I’m saving energy! And it’s nice not to add heat to my home in the heatwave we’re currently experiencing in Greater Boston.
- If you do get a drying rack, this drying rack with 92 feet of drying line is similar to what I used in Amsterdam. *update: I purchased a refurbished one from Amazon Warehouse and it was broken so I had to send it back. Instead of ordering another one, I now have this one and love it because it’s so much more sturdy and low profile. Plus, my rationale was that purchasing two of these was cheaper than This is by far the easiest one to use because the upper layers are not dangling over the lower layers like other multi-layer racks like this one with only 20 feet of drying space. It is also long enough to try my king-size bed sheets. Plus, mine easily folds away into a slim profile when you’re not using it. Pro tip: I can usually save 10-20% by looking to see if Amazon Warehouse offers the same product.
- If you would like a smaller drying rack, try this very reasonably-priced drying rack with 30 feet of drying line.
- If you still insist on using your dryer, skip the one-use dryer sheets with artificial scents in favor of reusable wool dryer balls to naturally soften laundry and cut drying time.
My Picks for the Best Zero-Waste Products on Amazon for the Home
Going zero waste can seem intimidating in the beginning when you’re used to producing two bags of trash every week. However, as with any goal, if you simply break it down into small, incremental steps, you’ll be well on your way to making considerable progress.
This is not an overnight switch, but if you keep at it and invest in some good tools to help your new lifestyle, you’ll be cutting down your waste in no time!
Living in a suburb without a car or reliable public transportation, I’ve had to get creative with online shopping and the gig economy to still aim for a zero-waste lifestyle.
In my situation, the options made available to me through Amazon have been critical to my progress. In this post, I’ve identified some of the best zero-waste items on Amazon for the home that have either helped me and many others live a more circular lifestyle.
Hopefully, it’ll inspire you to make some small changes of your own.