Trash bags

What happens to your trash after you take it out? If your bag is plastic, it photodegrades, breaking into toxic bits that contaminate soil and waterways and eventually enter the food chain. Instead, try trash bags made from biodegradable materials such as non-GMO cornstarch.

Try: If You Care Certified Compostable Tall Kitchen Bags

Cleaning products

Avoid phosphates, sulfates, and bleach, irritants that can wind up exactly where you don’t want them—on your plate. Biodegradable and plant-based ingredients, particularly extracts of orange, rosemary, and parsley, clear germs naturally.

Try: Earth Friendly Products DuoDish, Method Smarty Dish Dishwasher Detergent Tabs

Sponges

Neon colors and a supersoft texture may appeal to the senses but often mean the sponge was made with chemical dyes and plastics, neither of which is good for you or the environment. Choose sustainable sponges made from unbleached, undyed plant materials. Though they can feel more abrasive, they’re easier on the planet and biodegrade when their scrubbing days are over.

Try: Twist Loofah Sponge

Towels

Did you know that it takes 17 trees and 20,000 gallons of water to make 1 ton of paper towels? Or that the United States produces more than 3,000 tons of paper towel waste per day? Translation: Mopping up your mess with paper creates quite the mess of its own, contributing to deforestation, water pollution, and even global warming. A sustainable solution starts with reusable towels made from organic cotton or bamboo.

Try: PeopleTowels reusable organic cotton towels