10 Reusable Items to Help You Cut Down on Waste in the New Year
Ditch single-use plastics and go for travel mugs and mason jars instead.
This time of year is all about making resolutions—eating less red meat, perhaps, or making an effort to do more random acts of kindness. One of our goals is to be more environmentally-friendly, and an easy way to start is picking up reusable items. A travel mug and water bottle cut down on single-use plastics; tea infusers, which work with loose tea, ensure you aren’t constantly throwing out tea bags. They’re small changes, but the more you use them, the more you’ll realize that everything adds up in a big way. Read on for some helpful products to buy.
More and more people (and companies) are moving away from plastic straws and toward eco-friendly alternatives. This set includes five stainless steel reusable straws with flexible silicone tips—BPA-free, safe for hot and cold drinks—along with two cleaning brushes and a portable bag.
Senneny Set of 5 Stainless Steel Straws with Silicone Flex Tips Elbows Cover, $10 at amazon.com
This travel mug will make it easier to avoid single-use cups at coffee shops when you’re on the go—just brew your own, or ask the team if they’d be willing to fill your cup.
Ello Ogden Ceramic Travel Mug with Friction-Fit Lid, $11-$22 (depending on color and seller) at amazon.com
We love Hydro Flask water bottles, which are BPA-free and can keep beverages cold for up to 24 hours, or hot for up to 12. Pick from several colors, including lemon, lilac, frost (pictured), and watermelon.
Hydro Flask Standard Mouth Water Bottle, Flex Cap, price dependent on size and color at amazon.com
Silicone tea infuser
Make the switch to loose leaf tea and tea infusers instead of tea bags—with an adorable manatee-shaped model like this one, it’s an easy choice.
Fred Manatea Tea Infuser, $11 at surlatable.com
Reusable grocery bags
If you haven’t gotten reusable grocery bags yet, these should incentivize you—they’re made from strong ripstop nylon, and come in beautiful color-blocked designs.
Hay Six Color Reusable Grocery Bag, $45 at food52.com
Beeswax food wraps
This beeswax food wrap is a great substitute for plastic wrap. You can use it to cover dishes, or wrap foods like cheese, cut fruits and vegetables, and more. Bonus: they’re plastic-free, biodegradable, non-toxic, and all-natural.
Organic Reusable Beeswax Food Wraps by Etee, $18 at amazon.com
Reusable storage bags
Instead of disposable plastic sandwich bags, go for silicone instead. This specific model is made with “natural, nontoxic, hypoallergenic and temperature-resistant” silicone—it’s safe to use in the freezer, microwave, oven, and even boiling pots, for sous vide cooking. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe, so you can keep it nice and clean.
Stasher Reusable Silicone Sandwich Storage Bag, $12 at surlatable.com
This Pyrex set, made from glass and silicone, is a clean, sleek way to store your leftovers. Despite the name, it actually includes three bowls—a 16-ounce, 32-ounce, and 56-ounce with lids.
Pyrex Ultimate 6-Piece Variety Set, $34 at crateandbarrel.com
Beyond jam and preserves, mason jars make excellent general storage containers, too. You can keep spices in it, flour, cocoa powder, loose leaf tea—whatever you can fit.
Bormioli Rocco 17-Oz. Quattro Stagioni Canning Jar, $4 at crateandbarrel.com
Yeti lunch bag
Using a lunch bag is much more eco-friendly than going through a slew of paper bags, and this Yeti model got great reviews, too—unsurprisingly, since the company is known for coolers. Pick from charcoal, navy, and “river green” colors.
YETI Daytrip Packable Lunch Bag, $80 at amazon.com