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Earth Day is an annual reminder of what should be on our minds year-round — planet Earth needs our TLC. But even if we have every intention of living mindfully, old habits die hard.
Whether you tend to over-buy single-use plastics, always forget to turn off the lights when you leave the room or take extra-long showers to decompress, there’s a product out there that will help you curb your guilty pleasure and reduce your impact on the environment. The ones we’ve picked will save you a lot of money in the process, too.
We calculated just how much you can save if you make the switch to these nine sustainable products. You’ll wonder why everybody doesn’t already use them.
A shower head that improves water pressure while reducing water use
If you enjoy a luxurious shower or you’re a stickler for routine, cutting back on your time in there can be hard. Save some water — and some money on your water bill — by switching to the Full Low Flow Shower Head. It’s designed to minimize water use, and you might even find that it ironically improves your water pressure in the process.
Standard showerheads use 2.5 gallons of water per minute, but those that meet the EPA’s WaterSense standards use no more than two gallons. According to the EPA, switching to a WaterSense low flow showerhead saves the average family over $70 per year on water and fuel.
A food storage container that makes your produce last longer
The average American wasted $34 worth of fresh fruit and $43 worth of fresh vegetables in 2010, according to a study from the U.S Department of Agriculture. That’s over $91 when adjusted for inflation. If a produce container can decrease your food waste by half, you’ll save $45 a year on your grocery bill.
The GreenSaver produce keeper by OXO works with a carbon filter that absorbs ethylene gas to help keep fruits and veggies fresh for longer. It is made from BPA-free plastic and contains a basket that doubles as a colander.
A machine-washable pad that removes your makeup using just water
If you cleanse your face with makeup remover on disposable cotton pads, you might not realize how much you’re spending on your routine — or how much waste it creates. If you use two cotton pads every night, you probably spend over $40 a year on the pads alone, not to mention the cost of your face wash and makeup remover.
You can cut both of those costs down with a reusable pad that eliminates the need for your face wash entirely. The Face Halo comes with three double-sided, machine-washable pads that remove your makeup and cleanse your skin using just water. Made from super plush microfiber, the pads erase mascara, lipstick, and everything in between, using fine fibers to lift makeup from deep within your pores.
Chemical-free wool dryer balls that cut your drying time in half
Your dryer sheets are doing harm. You may not know it now, but it’s true. The chemical-laden sheets tend to cost about $6 for a box of 160, and they still sometimes leave your clothes staticky.
Switch to Parachute Wool Dryer Balls, and you’ll cut out the chemicals, decrease your drying time by about 50 percent, and soften fabrics better than your favorite fabric softener. You can use each wool dryer ball for about 1,000 tumble dries — and save a ton on your energy bill.
A motion sensor light switch that turns off the lights for you
Forgetting to turn off the lights when you leave the room is a habit that can be hard to break. It’s always a bummer to go back upstairs and find that the overhead lights have been burning away all day.
A motion sensor light switch will save you the anguish and encourage peace of mind. This Lutron Maestro switch works with every type of bulb and features an ambient light sensor to prevent it from turning on when there’s already enough light in the room, so it will save you so much on your energy bill.
A feminine hygiene product that lasts up to 10 years
If you’re reluctant to try a menstrual cup, we get it: they’re a little daunting. But they’re also incredibly convenient. Once you make the switch, it’ll be hard to go back. Menstrual cups eliminate the risk of toxic shock syndrome and can be worn for up to 12 hours, keeping you fully protected whether it’s a light or super heavy day. They even see you through intense physical activities and swimming with your period.
The Saalt Organic Reusable Menstrual Cup has a capacity of three to four times more than that of a tampon, and it will last you up to ten years. That’s about 2,400 tampons and $1,410 saved.
A water bottle with a built-in filter
The average American uses 156 single-use plastic bottles in a year, and only 23% of them get recycled. If you’re one of those people who loves to have a cold bottle of water in hand, you probably know you’re long overdue to trade up for a reusable one.
Invest in a water bottle with a built-in filter like the Bobble Classic Water Bottle to make a real impact while staying hydrated.
A laundry detergent dispenser that lasts for 210 washes
The Sustainable Living Mineral Laundry Egg is a totally natural detergent alternative that will cut the chemicals out of your washing routine without sacrificing stain-fighting and cleaning ability.
If the average household does 415 loads of laundry per year with a leading laundry detergent, it spends about $185 a year on detergent. At that rate, you’ll only need two laundry eggs each year—and you’ll save almost $150.
A candle that burns longer and cleaner
If you love to be surrounded by the glow of candles, you’ve probably also realized how quickly they burn. Soy candles last much longer than traditional versions, and they burn much cleaner than paraffin. Instead of petroleum oil, they’re made from vegetable oils, which don’t increase the CO2 level in the atmosphere the way paraffin candles do.
Soy candles also burn 50% longer than regular candles, making them more cost-efficient in the long run. Shop Homesick to score an oversized soy candle that’s branded after your own home state.
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