Functional Low Waste Products for Your Home

Every couple of months, I do a waste audit to assess areas I can improve on. Sometimes, I find there is a technology or product available that will help me reduce waste in a new way; other times, I realize I need to find a suitable replacement for an item that has broken or has worn down. Either way, functionality, and sustainability go hand in hand for me when I am looking to bring new products into my home.

For today’s blog post, I am providing you with a list of 15 practical products that will help your home produce less waste and save you money. Remember it is important to only incorporate new solutions that will make sense for your household.

I’ve included some frequently asked questions, estimated long-term savings, and product recommendations from my Amazon affiliate links and brand partners if you are interested in supporting me!

Before looking to buy something new, you should check Kijiji or Facebook Marketplace for secondhand. Sometimes, companies sell these things after moving out.

Here’s my full list of functional low-waste products for my home:


Bidet

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I am European. A bidet is a normal thing where I come from but not so much in Canada. In Europe, a bidet looks like a toilet.

We had a Tushy for 3 years now and we enjoy it enormously. We ordered the one that has both cold and warm water and it worked great until the warm water pipe started leaking. Since then, we only used the cold water BUT we still love it. I would recommend you get the cold water Tushy if you want to save money.

What is a Bidet?

A modern bidet is a small toilet attachment or seat that works by spraying a targeted stream of water to clean up after washroom use. There are so many affordable options now available that make so it easy to integrate this ingenious French invention from the 1600s into your home.

Why is a Bidet a Better Choice for the Environment?

For starters, bidets help you cut down on a LOT of toilet paper use. On average, an attachment will help you save upwards of 380 trees worth of paper in your lifetime! Though it might seem counter-intuitive to use water to save water, a bidet only uses two cups of water, as opposed to the 592 cups of water it takes to make a single roll of toilet paper. Not to mention it helps cut down on the pollution from manufacturing, the plastic in most packaging, and the carbon emissions from transportation.



Handheld Bidet Attachment

$

 

Bidet Toilet Attachment by BREEZI Classic

$55

 

Pro Tip: To maximize both the positive environmental impact and savings, you can choose to keep a small basket of rags beside your toilet for any additional clean-up instead of reaching for a roll. The more reusable products you incorporate into your home, the less waste you create!


Cordless Vacuum Cleaner With a Reusable Canister

Since we switched out the old, energy-sucking vacuum to a cordless, light vacuum cleaner, our house is much cleaner. I do not know if it is the convenience of not having to plug the vacuum in and the cord or the bulky canister.

The canister is easy to clean and it is very convenient to use but you have to remember to change it.

Usually, a set of single-use vacuum cleaner bags are in the $30 range and you would need to get a new one every six months. With a reusable vacuum cleaner canister, you only need to buy the vacuum cleaner and you are set.

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A 3 in 1 Steamer for Multiple Surfaces

We just ordered the PowerFresh ® Slim 3-in-1 Steam Mop & Handheld Steam Cleaner and we are eager to test it out.

The reason I bought this is because it can clean multiple surfaces: floors, countertops, shower, grout, oven and pretty much everything else that needs a deep clean.

My hope is that it will help with cleaning the floors really well without any cleaning products. We have dogs and their paws absorb everything we use to clean the floor with.

My goal is also to reduce the use of cleaning products. We use only three cleaning products in our house, but still.

How can a Steamer Help the environment?

There are two great ways a steamer, whether it be for clothes or carpet, can help increase your environmental impact. Using steam as a cleaning method can help reduce the overall chemical use in your home. This helps the environment by reducing the number of chemicals that get recycled back into our water supply. Secondly, a steamer reduces your need for bottled spray products that are often packaged in plastic.

PowerFresh ® Slim 3-in-1 Steam Mop & Handheld Steam Cleaner

179 CAD

 

Handheld Multi Use Steamer

$$

 
 

Portable Deep Cleaner/Spot Cleaner

$$

 

Fun Fact: Using a clothing steamer can actually increase the life of your clothes! Steaming after washing not only removes wrinkles, it helps to prevent shrinkage and removes any remaining germs or toxins from your detergent that could destroy lesser quality fabrics over time.


Compact Outdoor Garden Compost Bin

One of the first investments we made when we decided to produce less waste was getting two compost bins for our backyard. We cook homemade meals every day and we had a considerable amount of veggies and food scraps that would fill our provincial compost bin. After some research, we realized we can make our own compost and use it in our backyard garden, both purchased from Amazon. I added some links to them below.

How can a compoSt bin Help the environment?

Composting at home is one of the BEST ways to make a difference in your environmental impact at home. By composting organic and biodegradable waste at home, you can reduce the impact of the huge greenhouse gas production created in landfills. Composting at home can also encourage you to be mindful about purchases and opt for compostable, or biodegradable packaged products such as bamboo or hemp.

Pro Tip: You can add a layer of branches or mulch at the bottom of your bin to help speed up the composting process. Be sure to check your product’s instruction manual for more details.


An Iron Fish

Source: https://luckyironfish.com/

Source: https://luckyironfish.com/

If you have anemia or are a woman who struggles with iron intake in any way due to the menstrual cycle, or diet restrictions this one is for you.

Please note: This is not recommended for everyone. Please consult your doctor before making any additions or changes to your diet and supplement needs

What is an Iron Fish?

An iron fish is quite literally, an iron fish to be used as a cooking tool to deposit iron into your food. It works by being dropped in a boiling pot of water or a liquid-based meal such as soup or pasta water for ten minutes. Iron is the nutrient that creates hemoglobin to move oxygen through our blood. It is an important one to have.

How is an Iron Fish a Better Choice for the Environment?

Definitely! Most reusable products that replace the need for ongoing manufacturing and packaging are good for our planet. Iron supplements are no different. They are sold in plastic bottles or aluminum and paper mixed blister packs. Below, is an image showing the waste amassed over a 5-year period.

Fun Fact: Some women can have different iron needs throughout the month due to their cycle. This fish allows you to safely add in more iron nutrients as needed without costing you more money. Please always consult with your doctor first before making changes in your supplement and nutritional needs.


Linen or Cotton Home Textiles

We are very careful with the fabrics we use in our home decor. Since I found a few linen curtains at Value Village, I fell in love with the texture and the feel of the curtains and I made it my goal to only get linen or cotton curtains for our home.

Cleaning is not as hard as people say. If you have a steamer, you will be fine.


Natural Fiber Cleaning Brushes

How is natural fiber cleaning brushes a Better Choice for the Environment?

Natural fiber brushes are made out of a variety of biodegradable materials like beechwood, bamboo, and palm fibers which make them virtually 100% biodegradable. Some long-handled versions with replacement heads have a wire through the body and into the head for secure scrubbing needs but can be recycled when you are finally finished with them.

How can natural fiber cleaning brushes Save You Money?

Natural fiber cleaning brushes are sturdier than their plastic-filled sponge counterparts. Not only do they work better at scrubbing out hard-to-reach spots in a gentle way, but they will also last longer if cared for properly. In my experience, a set of six pieces of natural cleaning brushes as seen below lasted 6 months+ for me and are still going strong, while a sponge and other cleaning products either started to smell, disintegrate or even break after 6 months. Taking into consideration the amount of time it lasts and how the products are disposed of after using, I am more than sure that the natural fiber brushes are a much better value for your money.

Beechwood Brush with Replaceable Heads

$

 

Bamboo and Palm Fiber Dish Scrubber

$

 

Six Piece Natural Cleaning Brush Set

$

 

Pro Tip: To keep these brushes lasting their longest and working their best, you can spray them with vinegar or lemon juice after use, and hang them to dry. Since the bristles are natural, if they are not cared for properly it can cause premature decomposition or odor. Not unlike cheap plastic dish sponges that hold onto bacteria too!


Reusable Batteries

As both Mark and I work from home, we use our mouse and another wireless tech constantly and we would have probably spent lots of money if you didn’t use reusable batteries.

are reusable batteries Better for the Environment?

Reusable batteries are a more sustainable choice than disposable batteries because it prolongs their lifecycle outside of a landfill. Batteries that are not disposed of properly cause chemical leaching from harmful metals within landfills. This contamination can be detrimental to our soil and water pollution.

How can Reusable Batteries Save you Money?

Rechargeable batteries will save you money long term because the starting price point is usually higher than disposable batteries and you also need a charger device, which will make this endeavour even more expensive to start with, BUT if you reuse the rechargeable batteries for more than 5 years, you save yourself some money and you divert so much waste from the environment.


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Just last month, our 20-year-old microwave died. We couldn’t fix it so we had to drop it off at the recycling depot and replace it with a new microwave. As usual, we looked at what Consumer Reports recommended, we decided to get the 3 in 1 microwave, oven, and air fryer. The reason is that this tool will replace three appliances that would take a lot of space in the kitchen.

how are multi-use appliances Better for the Environment?

One of the minimalist beliefs is that you should choose items that can serve multiple purposes. Not only it saves space in the kitchen, but it also avoids bringing in more possible waste that you have to deal with when the appliances break. Another way a multi-use appliance can help the environment is by reducing the resources it takes to manufacture multiple products.


how can a multi-use appliance save you money?

You can save money by buying a product that can be used for multiple tasks because you do not need to buy multiple products and supportive products to maintain and use it. Tools like this are an amazing space-saving hack for limited kitchen space too!


Reusable Coffee Filter

from 20.00

We still plenty of compostable coffee filters, but I already bought one filter (from my store) to test it out. This stainless steel is super easy to clean and allows coffee grinds to be easily removed. I always worry that the reusable cloth I’ve seen would be really hard to clean. If you’ve had a good experience with them, please let me know in the comments!

How are Reusable Coffee Filters Better for the Environment?

Using a reusable coffee filter diverts billions of pods and other types of coffee filters from the landfill, which will never disappear.

How can Reusable Coffee Filters Save you Money?

By buying a reusable coffee filter that will last for years you are replacing on average 75 million single-use pods.


Rugs that Can Be Washed at Home

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I recently bought a Rugable rug for the most used area in my house. That means that the rug gets dirty fast, especially in the spring and fall when the dogs come in with dirty paws.

By having a durable rug that you can wash at home, in your washing machine, without chemicals, you can not only save money but also have a safer home for you and your family.

To be honest, this decision was made after I spent 600 CAD washing all the rugs in my home.

How can washable rugs Save you Money?

Definitely! Switching to a washable rug sooner could have saved me so much money and effort rather than getting them cleaned. The rug with subsequently last longer now that it is easy to clean and can be maintained.


Cotton Couch Covers

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I am absolutely in love with my new couch covers. I wanted to find either linen or cotton covers for my red modern couches, which were in great shape but the color just didn’t bring me joy anymore. I searched for months until I found SureFit. Their cotton covers come in three colors and they fit amazingly on any kind of couches.

When I bought them, they also had an amazing sale.

How can couch covers Save you Money?

There’s no need to buy new furniture for the sake of changing up your interior look. Couch covers are an easy and affordable option for interior enthusiasts on a budget.


Reusable Baking Mats

If you follow me here on social media, you know that I ABSOLUTELY LOVE these baking mats. I haven’t bought parchment paper in years. The baking mats are really easy to clean. Do not worry if it is a bit oily after cooking. The baking mats reduced the amount of oil I needed to bake things and helped maintain the baking trays.


How can Reusable Baking Mats Help Save You Money?

Reusing the baking mats for a long period of time will eventually make them more affordable than parchment paper


Drying rack for the clothes

Having a drying rack in my house saved so much energy in our home. 95% of the time, we dry our clothes on the drying rack, unless we need some clothes right away, which doesn’t happen too often.

In the summer, you can dry your clothes outside, but be careful not to leave them in the sun for too long as the sun might bleach your clothes.


A Waffle Maker

We love our second-hand waffle maker. Actually, the whole neighborhood got to enjoy homemade waffles made with our thrifted waffle maker. If you enjoy a fancy breakfast you will LOVE a waffle maker. They are a great kitchen tool to have for alternative ‘pressed’ meals too! Check out Delish's article on 30 Foods you Can Make with your Waffle Maker.

How can Using a waffle maker benefit the environment?

A waffle maker will help you enjoy breakfast even more and avoid using a lot more resources that go into making store brought waffles, which usually come in plastic packaging that will most likely end as waste in the landfill. We avoided putting on average over 100 plastic bags per year (from Eggos) in the landfill.

Second Hand Waffle Maker

There you have it! Fifteen great function products that you can implement into your home. Share your favourites in the comments below!

I hope you have a great start to your week,

— Claudia

Hey, Claudia here

I am a senior graphic designer, a dog mom, an advocate for a zero-waste lifestyle, climate change, and sustainability. My articles are based on personal experience and well researched to give you the best source of information for all things zero-waste.