Save the planet — and a ton of money — with these 10 reusable finds, from just $3

·17 min read

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A photo of reusable ziplock bags, reusable ear buds, biodegradable laundry sheets, reusable K-cups, reusable mesh bags, Swedish dishcloths and a plastic bottle.
Turn over a new leaf, and save a tree. (Photo: Walmart)

Did you know Earth Day started over 50 years ago with a republican congressman and a young activist? On this day (and hopefully most other days of the year), we direct our attention to the pitfalls of our throw-away society, the impacts of pollution and how our small efforts can help.

A couple of years ago I stopped eating meat and, I'm excited to say, I've recently ordered an electric car. Not everyone can afford to take such strides, and frankly, they may not want to give up their hamburgers. I get it. But there are plenty of simple, inexpensive, everyday changes we can implement as consumers that will make a difference. Plus, Earth Day is this coming Friday (April 22nd!) so there's no better time to start making your life more eco-friendly.

Most of us have switched over to reusable grocery bags and there are plenty of other eco-friendly products on the market, including reusable makeup wipes, reusable food storage bags and lids, and plastic-bottle free laundry sheets. The best part? These changes will save you money in the long run, if not immediately, and free up that much-needed storage in your pantry.

Walmart is carrying a whole slew of eco-friendly options at affordable prices. And if you sign up for a Walmart+ membership, you'll get free shipping with no minimums. Sign up here to learn about additional benefits, including free grocery delivery and more.

One small step for man, one giant step for mankind! Helping the earth starts with you, and these excellent products won't ravage the planet or your wallet.

Dr. Bronner's Organic Pure Castile Bar Soap

Four castile bar soaps
Mix it up! A bevy of scents and unscented to choose from. (Photo: Walmart)

Back to basics. Before I run out of my shampoo, flipping the bottle to try and eek every last drop off the plastic walls, I wanted to try one of those shampoo bar soaps. Does it really work for hair? Dr. Bronner's Pure-Castile soap, which has been around for decades, looked like a great place to start, and boy was I pleasantly surprised. You've seen this brand on the shelves, claiming to be the all-in-one bar that cleans you from head to toe.

Anytime I buy a product these days, I want to know what's in it. The fewer ingredients the better, and these are right on the front of the label: all-natural organic oils, and vitamin E — the pure stuff. So you can feel good about using it on your body, and what you're washing down the drain. It's vegan and biodegradable. I love the idea of getting rid of the multitude of bottles for face, body and hair. Just a good old bar of soap (packaged in an eco-friendly wrapper) does the trick. My hair felt squeaky clean and soft after washing, and so did my skin. And why wouldn't it feel good with ingredients like coconut oil and jojoba? No sulfates and ingredients I can't pronounce, and it lathers just like a shampoo? I have fallen in love. It's gentle enough to use on my face, too.

This soap gets an almost perfect rating, and fans are diehard and have been using for years. One touts, "Such a nice smell and great for those with sensitive skin that still like to have a nice smelling product when showering. I use it every day hair and body!" Another raves, "Dr. Bronner's Bar soap is the only soap I use on my body, sometimes scalp, and hands in my bathroom. It is pure, non-drying, and most importantly my sensitive skin has no reactions... It's the best. It lasts a good amount of time as well." $8 for a large 4-by-2-inch bar, so you can stock up on all the delicious scents.

$8 at Walmart

Bamboo Cotton Rounds Reusable Makeup Remover Pads

A box of makeup remover pads and a bag of them in the foreground
Makeup remover pads you can toss in the wash. (Photo: Walmart)

I use toner daily, and was going through those little cotton pads like candy, regretting it. I had already switched to some great makeup removal face cloths, in lieu of my disposable makeup wipes, but I didn't need something so large for toner application. Good news! There's an eco-friendly solution for just about everything, and these little pads are no different.

Made of fast-growing bamboo (the quickest-growing plant in the world, I might add) these pads are naturally soft and exfoliating, as well as easy on the environment. Great for makeup removal or use on baby for applying ointments or gently cleaning their face. This set of pads comes as a pack of 16, so there's plenty to last you until laundry day. For less than $1 a pad, these are sure to save waste and money in the long run.

Says a thrilled reviewer, "These are amazing, they are soft and don't leave lint on my face like those disposable cotton pads do. These are great for the environment too, so it's a must buy. I usually wait till I use all the cotton pads and put them back in the laundry bag it comes with and just throw it in the washer and it comes out clean and ready to use!"

$14 $25 at Walmart

Extra Thick Silicone Food Storage Bags

Two reusable zip lock bags with fruit inside
Save food and money. (Photo: Walmart)

Next on the list of things to consider are baggies. They're convenient, but do they need to be so disposable? I've taken to turning mine inside out and washing my Ziploc bags. If they're not ripped, they can be reused with a quick soapy rinse. But how about a set that cleans up just as easily, but will last for years to come?

These food storage bags from Zeiger are made of 100 percent food-safe silicone — that beats PEVA or PVC any day. These are microwavable, freezable, dishwasher safe and leakproof. They even stand up for easy filling, then collapse for convenient storage.

One five-star fan wrote, "A good option to cut down on waste. These bags are great. Very thick and sturdy. They wash up easily and come in eight different sizes. I feel so responsible eliminating one more single-use plastic from my home by doing away with disposable Ziploc bags." Get your hands on 8 bags for only $20.

$20 $33 at Walmart

Silicone Stretch Lids, Eco-Friendly Food Storage Covers, Pack of 6

Silicone stretch lids covering a watermelon and a variety of other dishes
Bye-bye plastic wrap. (Photo: Walmart)

Now that we know all about the attributes of silicone, it only makes sense that we use it as a plastic wrap alternative too! These stretchy covers fit most bowls, and containers — think, that pet food can, that bowl of leftover pancake batter and that mug of unfinished coffee you'll add ice to later. You can even wrap it directly around cut fruit, like citrus and melons, just as you would use plastic wrap. You get six in a variety of sizes in this super set. Use them to prevent splatter when heating leftovers in the microwave, all without the worry of carcinogens in melting plastic. Throw them in the dishwasher for easy clean-up.

Says one happy user, "They work! It doesn't work with everything but if you cut half a lemon, you can just sit it in it. Reducing plastic use in my home is important to me so we are using these to improve our health and waste. I easily hand wash them." Half off the regular price, this pack of six is only $10 at Walmart.

$10 $20 at Walmart

Keurig Refillable & Reusable K-Cup Coffee Filter Pods, 4 Count

Reusable K Cups
Better for your coffee, your wallet and the earth! (Photo: Walmart)

Standard Keurig K-cups have become something of a no-no, ever since we realized that those little pods that make your much-needed cup of octane in the morning are not biodegradable and not even recyclable. But Keurigs make such a convenient cup of Joe when you need just one serving quick. There's a way you can still have this convenience and make haste, not waste: Keurig's Single K-Cup Solo Reusable Coffee Filter Pods.

Brew any ground coffee in your Keurig coffee maker with these refillable mini filters. They work in both the 1.0 and 2.0 models of Keurig and will save you a pretty penny while keeping unnecessary garbage out of the landfills. This high-rater agrees, "Save money, use refillable K cups. If you don't mind a little extra work like filling with coffee out of a purchased can of coffee and cleaning the refillable cup, you save lots of money."

You'll also save on storage — no more bulky boxes housing dozens of little pods taking up room in your pantry and cabinets. And really, how long does it take to put a scoop of grounds in a cup? Says another responsible consumer, "Glad I bought more than one! Eco-friendly and time saving if you have more than one of these to line up and ready to go for the morning! Easy to use. Easy to clean." Grab a four-pack of these money savers for only $11.

$11 at Walmart

Mesh Produce Bags

Three sets of mesh bags, five in each. The three sets are in blue, green and red. In the front ground, mesh bags filled with produce.
No more wimpy produce bags. (Photo: Walmart)

I've always hated struggling with those single-use produce bags they offer you at the supermarket, even when they introduced biodegradable substitutes. You can never open them! Then I found these mesh bags — and they're life changing. I've given some to everyone in my family.

This mesh bag set includes 15 bags in three sizes and three colors. It's so easy to open and close with a convenient drawstring. Reusable, eco-friendly and durable, I toss them in the bottom of my grocery totes to use whenever I shop. I love that you can leave your fruit and veggies in the bags in the fridge, and I even clean them through the mesh. When dirty, toss in the wash to reuse. With 15 in a pack, I've repurposed and used these for makeup and other storage needs. They're great for small childrens' toys such as figurines and LEGO. This happy user says, "Great for your produce when shopping. I carry a few of these in the grocery store and put my produce in them. No more trying to open those thin produce bags! They're very lightweight; so I don't even worry about weighing my items at checkout. They don't make a big difference."

$21 $30 at Walmart

As Seen on Shark Tank: Sheets Laundry Club Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent

A box of laundry sheets
No more heavy plastic bottles. (Photo: Amazon)

Did you know that laundry detergent is 60 to 90 percent water? Concentrated versions are still 15 to 50 percent water, and you never know how much to use. Beyond that, the bottles are large and heavy, and most of us don't want our workout to be from lugging jugs out of a big-box store. The solution? Sheets. Sheets laundry sheets are pre-formulated for the right amount of concentrated cleaning power. Safe on all of your favorite fabrics, whites, colors and your septic tank! No artificial dyes or excessive water, it will clean your clothes safely, just like liquid detergent.

You can get up to 100 loads, using half a sheet for smaller loads, in this pack of 50. And look at how compact and lightweight the recyclable packaging is!

A Shark Tank favorite, Sheets has close to 5,000 perfect reviews. Here's what one fan has to say: "At first I was skeptical. How can this little sheet clean as well as my Gain? It just took one wash to change my mind. Not only are these little guys lightweight and extremely convenient, but they clean better than the heavy jugs or the pods that I never bought because I didn’t want to worry about my kid ingesting one. They are like magic, throw one in the wash and it begins to dissolve and the only thing it leaves behind is environmentally safe cleansing."

$40 at Walmart

Swedish Dishcloth Paper Towel Replacements

A stack of Swedish dishcloths
The quicker, cheaper, safer for the planet picker-upper. (Photo: Walmart)

I've already switched to cloth napkins. What's the big deal? Just toss it in the wash instead of the trash. These paper towel replacements are already in my cart for my next purchase. Just one of these Swedish dishcloths replaces up to 17 rolls of wasteful paper towels, and this is a five-pack. These European towels can be washed up to 200 times on the top rack of your dishwasher! That's a no-brainer cleaning method I like. Or you can safely boil or bleach them if that's not clean enough for you.

These cloths, which absorb 20 times their weight in liquid, are recyclable, compostable and biodegradable with only natural dyes and fibers. I like that they come in different colors. That way I can use one for windows, one for furniture polish, one for counters and know the difference. That's a major money saver, rather than spending on expensive paper products that end up right in the trash. Think about how much room a bulk pack wrapped in plastic takes up on your shelves. Now you can regain all that space, and make room for important things, like cookies.

$10 at Walmart

Reusable Double Head Silicone Eco-friendly Cotton Swab

Reusable cotton swabs in an L shaped open container
Money saver? Music to our ears. (Photo: Walmart)

Designed to remove dirt, grease, ear wax, you name it — these little swabs do wonders. Made of silicone—a soft, safe material that's super easy to clean. After use just put a touch of soap between your fingers and rinse. Voila, ready for your next use.

This set of double-tipped swabs comes with one for your ears and one for makeup. It's all you need, and it arrives in a handy little traveling case, so you won't lose them and you can take them with you on that next trip to Cancun.

$9 at Walmart

Foldable Plastic Water Bottle

No excuses -- this water receptacle fits in your pocket. (Photo: Walmart)
No excuses -- this water receptacle fits in your pocket. (Photo: Walmart)

Last but not least, the water bottle. According to studies at Harvard University, The entire life cycle of bottled water uses fossil fuels, contributes to global warming, and causes pollution. More than 17 million barrels of oil are required to produce enough plastic water bottles to meet America’s annual demand. According to the Container Recycling Institute, 86 percent of plastic water bottles used in the United States become garbage or litter. Bottled water is about 3,000 percent more expensive per gallon than tap water and it's generally no cleaner, safer, or healthier than tap. In fact, the federal government requires far more rigorous and frequent safety testing and monitoring of municipal drinking water.

That's a lot of disheartening information, but you can do something to help. While there are seemingly thousands of reusable water bottle options on the market, I've chosen this one to highlight today because it's only $3. That's right- for less than the cost of a disposable water bottle, you can get this refillable beauty and help offset the epidemic. It holds 1 Litre of tried and true tap, is made of BPA-free plastic, and it's nothing to tote around. Foldable, this thing is flat as a plastic bag until you fill it— then it stands on its own. Covered pop top lid keeps it clean and a carabiner allows you to clip it to your bag. Here's what some responsible consumers have to say:

"This foldable water bottle is a handy bottle and a great treat to travel with. Because of covid I am not flying on a weekly basis, but when I do this will be my companion so I don't have to carry around a giant water bottle or carry around something clunky in my carry on. Best part is it stands pretty easily, so I rest it on the ground while I wait for my flight!"

For 3 bucks, you have everything to gain - more room on your shelves, more money in your pocket, and save a polar bear! (or something to that effect).

$3 at Walmart

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

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