10 cult-fave Amazon items you didn't even know were good for the planet, from $4

·14 min read

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Save the planet (and a few bucks) with these finds. (Photo: Amazon)
Save the planet (and a few bucks) with these finds. (Photo: Amazon)

The Amazon community is a discerning — and vocal — bunch. That's why each week we're combing through Amazon's top-reviewed products to curate a list of reviewer favorites for you. This week, we're sharing some faves that also happen to be great for the planet. Earth Day is April 22!

The environment is on everyone's mind these days — as it should be. And while one way to keep it green is to just use less of everything, another way is to be super-conscious with anything we bring into our homes. So much of what we use for housework is 'disposable,' but as you well know, when you throw something away, there's no great outcome. (As environmental activists remind us, there's no such place as "away.")

Below are eco-friendly problem-solvers with gobs of great reviews. Remember, if you have Amazon Prime you'll get free two-day shipping on many items. Not yet a Prime member? No problem. You can sign up for your free 30-day trial here. (And by the way, those without Prime still get free shipping on orders of $25 or more.)

The walnut sponges that look good enough to eat

walnut sponges
They're just as excellent at removing grease and grime as the less Earth-friendly options. (Photo: Amazon)

The scrubby part of sponges is often made of polyester or nylon — neither of which are recyclable. These sturdy Full Circle sponges are made entirely of cellulose and walnut shells, the latter of which is abrasive enough to scrub away the remnants of the evening's dinner with ease. Plus, they can be used all throughout the kitchen, including your cabinets, counters, and appliances.

"These are the BEST sponges on the market," shared one of over 2,300 happy Amazon shoppers. "They are made of natural and biodegradable walnut shell, are gentle, but also tough. They last for weeks if not MONTHS if you keep them clean... and during this time you can actually see them start to biodegrade, so when one starts to fall apart to where it's not really usable anymore, you don't feel bad about throwing it away because it will finish breaking down and won't just sit in a landfill basically forever like synthetic sponges will!"

$4 at Amazon

The dryer balls over 44,400 Amazon shoppers can't stop raving about

Wool dryer balls
Better for your clothes, wallet, and the planet. (Photo: Amazon)

Still haven't invested in a set of dryer balls? Let this be your reminder to finally get yourself a pack! This is one of Amazon's most popular picks, and for good reason: They're made using 100 percent premium New Zealand wool, can last over a thousand loads, and replace single-use dryer sheets and liquid fabric softeners. You'll end up saving on your energy bill, too.

"These dryer balls are beyond amazing," shared one ecstatic shopper. "I've raved about them on Facebook and encouraged my friends to buy them. My laundry, even with several dryer sheets, has always required a "wrinkle free" touch of heat PLUS they come out all tangled. NOT ANYMORE!! My clothes dries in half the time. YES! HALF THE TIME! They come out smooth and don't require extra dry time to smooth out wrinkles — even if I leave the clothes in the dryer (not that I ever do that...hahaha, I do. All the time). I don't get static cling."

$18 at Amazon

Goodbye, plastic straws

Glass drinking straws
Perfect for summertime cocktails. (Photo: Amazon)

You're probably well aware that plastic straws contribute a ton of waste in our oceans, plus they seriously damage the ecosystem there, too. These glass straws are an Earth-friendly (and definitely chicer) alternative. They're infinitely reusable, easy-to-clean thanks to the included brushes, and they're made with food-grade, BPA-free high borosilicate glass.

"I love how thick the glass is which means it will be durable," a shopper reported. "Overall it just feels better in your mouth than a metal straw. It even makes my drink taste better if that makes sense. Hard to explain, but glass lovers will know what I'm talking about!"

$8 $9 at Amazon

The reusable K-Cups with over 26,800 five-star reviews

Reusable keurig coffee cups
Up your Keurig game. (Photo: Amazon)

How many single-use K-Cups do you go through weekly? These reusable cups — which are compatible with most Keurig models — can be filled with your favorite tea or ground coffee and used over and over again. Not only will you save a fortune on those expensive coffee pods, but you'll reduce your carbon footprint, too. Score!

One green-minded shopper shared: "I am thankful that I have saved a LOT of money on not purchasing disposable pods, and the amount of excellent ground coffee I can enjoy with these pods, but I am MOST content that we are not contributing to the vast amount of plastic pods produced each day that have, and will, end up in landfills and our oceans. I used disposable pods previously that were recyclable, but even then was uncomfortable, knowing that I was wasting the power that would be used to put them through the recycling process."

$10 for four at Amazon

Over 6,600 shoppers swear by these detergent sheets

Earth Breeze laundry detergent sheets
Mess-free, safe for sensitive skin, and powerful to boot. (Photo: Amazon)

Keep plastics out of your laundry, too. These sheets are a substitute for pods and plastic jugs — just toss one into the wash for a full load, and it'll clean the grime off your clothes just as well as the other stuff. Plus, these take up less laundry room real estate (one pack takes up a fraction of the space as a jug) and they're even made with plastic-free packaging. The sheets themselves are made with sensitive skin in mind, too — they're hypoallergenic, vegan, bleach-, parabenfree-, and phosphate-free.

"I switched away from Tide pods, and these washer sheets do not disappoint!" a shopper reported. "My husband works in a shop, they make metal fabricated buildings, so he's welding and grinding, crawling all over dirty metal beams and these sheets actually get even his clothes clean! I have ordered them twice now and will certainly keep using them."

$16 at Amazon

The doggy doo bags that give back

Doggy doo bags
The cheeky name is a highlight. (Photo: Amazon)

These baggies for your pup's poo aren't just adorable (each one has a cute pup print) but they're biodegradable, too. They're made using cornstarch, BPAT (which is a compostable polymer), and edible glycerin, so they can go right back into the earth as opposed to annoying single-use plastic bags. These good-for-the-Earth baggies are just as easy to use as the other stuff, plus they fit all dispensers and are easy to tear even when wet. Oh, and better yet? Ten percent of profits goes directly to Soi Dog Foundation, a nonprofit organization that helps improve the lives of cats and dogs in Asia.

"Was feeling guilty about how many plastic poop bags we were going through since getting a dog so started looking for compostable options," a dog parent shared. "...These bags are incredible! Easy to tear off the roll; no more struggling and unwinding the whole roll of bags. Easy to open; no more trying to rub the bag between fingers to get it open. Holds my pitbulls very large poops with room to spare. I haven't had a single bag break or be defective (which I can't say about traditional poop bags)."

$22 for 240 bags at Amazon

The most Earth-friendly way to store leftovers

Bee's Wrap
They come in multiple sizes, perfect for all sorts of treats. (Photo: Amazon)

Forget plastic bags and Tupperware you can never find the lids for — this beeswax wrap can store your leftovers just as well as the less sustainable options. They're good for packing lunches, keeping fruits and veggies fresh, and are infinitely reusable, washable, and even biodegradeable. Plus: They're made in the USA, are made with certified organic cotton, responsibly sourced beeswax, organic plant oils and tree resin.

"Can't recommend these beeswax wraps enough," shared one happy shopper. "The antimicrobial aspect of the beeswax keeps fruits and vegetables super fresh for much longer than plastic bags. They keep bread soft and fresh for much longer than ziplocs. They are so much better for the environment, and they can be reused for months. We have been using our set for almost 2 years and they are still as good as new. No waste!"

$15 $18 at Amazon

A bidet with over 34,000 five-star reviews

You won't even miss toilet paper. (Photo: Amazon)

If the pandemic hasn't made you consider getting a bidet to offset the fear of running out of toilet paper, consider this a reminder. It not only saves you money in the long run, but it uses less water than toilet paper, places less stress on the sewer system, lasts longer than even the sturdiest roll of TP, and you don't have to chop down any trees to make them. While there are tons of different bidets on the market, this is one of the most popular ones because it's so easy to install, has different water pressure settings, and also costs a fraction of some of the bigger brands.

"This bidet has changed my LIFE!" one shopper declared. "I will never ever use any restroom without a bidet unless it's an emergency!"

$30 $38 at Amazon

Over 18,000 Amazon shoppers are obsessed with these makeup-removing pads

Makeup-removing pads
Gentle on both your skin and your wallet. (Photo: Amazon)

Makeup removing wipes aren't just bad for your skin — they're bad for the environment, too. Cotton rounds aren't much better — they can only be used one time before they need to be chucked in the trash. These eco-friendly pads can withstand years of use and are gentle on your skin, too. They're made with natural bamboo cotton, come with their own little cotton laundry bag for washing, and a storage box, too. No wonder they have an army of fans:

"These work better than the cotton ones I use to buy," shared one shopper. "One disc front and back was enough to remove all my make up, so it will be a while before I need to wash them in the baggy. They’re softer as well so I don’t feel like they’re tugging on my skin, which I HATE since it leads to premature aging."

$13 $16 at Amazon

A natural deodorant that actually works, according to over 11,800 reviewers

Each&Every deodorant
It doesn't stain your clothing, either. (Photo: Amazon)

Many of the deodorants you see in the aisles of your drugstore aren't just bad for your skin and health — all that plastic is bad for the environment, too, plus spray deodorants and antiperspirants contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that are harmful to us and the environment. This Each&Every deodorant is made without aluminum, synthetic fragrances, alcohol, parabens, baking soda, and phthalates, and instead uses dead sea salt and a mix of essential oils and other natural ingredients to leave your pits smelling and feeling fresh. It's even enclosed in pretty plant-based packaging that's derived from sugarcane.

"I work at a brewery and had a 6-hour shift in 80-degree heat, sun, and humidity," shared one happy shopper. "I had been using traditional antiperspirants but wanted to get away from the chemicals. This stuff works! It smelled good all day and my husband even commented on how good I smelled when he met me for a beer at the end of my shift. It’s also a smooth non-irritating formula."

$17 at Amazon

The reviews quoted above reflect the most recent versions at the time of publication.

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