5 Sustainable Substitutes for Everyday Household Items

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Sustainable living is becoming a popular lifestyle choice as people look for ways to reduce their environmental impact. Green living also seems better for your health, pocket, and society.

Charity begins at home, and that’s where your journey to healthier, sustainable living also starts.

In becoming net-zero at home, even tiny changes to your routine can make a huge difference. The smaller things also give you time to plan and save for the bigger things, such as switching to solar, renovating your home with greener options, etc.

One way to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle at home is to find sustainable substitutes for everyday household items—things you use almost daily.

Here are five sustainable substitutes for common household items and why they are better for you and the planet.


1. Cloth napkins instead of paper towels

Switching to cloth towels from paper towels is budget-friendly and better for the environment. Here’s why:

  • You can reuse cloth towels multiple times before you need to wash them. Paper towels can only be used once and thrown away.
  • Washing cloth towels uses less water than manufacturing paper towels.
  • Manufacturing paper towels releases harmful chemicals into the environment, while cloth towels are mostly made from natural, sustainable materials like cotton and bamboo.
  • Here’s the kicker. Cloth towels might save you money in the long run. Think about it; you don’t need to keep buying new paper towels all the time. Simply wash and reuse your cloth towels. Well, as long as they hold together 🙂


2. Reusable water bottle instead of plastic water bottle

reusable water bottle

There’s no denying that plastic bottles are hellishly convenient. Out running and getting thirsty, grab a bottle at the corner store. Traveling, grab some more on your way

Plastic bottles are easy to find and relatively cheap. No wonder they are so popular. However, research points to plastic being bad for you, society, and the planet

First, plastic water bottles are a major source of pollution.

Over 38 billion water bottles end up in landfills each year in the US alone. That’s at least four bottles for each of us on the planet right now! And that’s just in one year.

Because they are made from petroleum, they release harmful chemicals into the environment as they break down. They also take a long time to break down (if ever) fully.

On the other side, some reusable bottles are made from materials like stainless steel and glass that don’t leach chemicals into your water. Even the plastic variants are pretty durable and will last you a while.

And because you can reuse them indefinitely, they often end up being cheaper in the long run than disposable plastic bottles. So next time you reach for a plastic water bottle, consider opting for a reusable one instead. It’s better for you, better for the planet, and better for your wallet.


3. Reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags

Reusable shopping bags are made from various sustainable materials like cotton, jute, and canvas, which means they don’t end up in landfills like plastic bags.

They’re also sturdier; you can use them repeatedly without having to replace them as often. Plus, they look better than plastic bags and come in various sizes and shapes to fit your needs.

Reusable bags are also better for the environment because they reduce the number of resources needed to produce new bags. And, when you use reusable bags, you’re not contributing to the growing problem of plastic pollution in our oceans and waterways.

Switching to reusable shopping bags is a simple way to reduce your family’s environmental impact and save money in the long run.


4. LED light bulbs instead of incandescent light bulbs

Sustainable household substitutes: LED lightbulbs

There are many reasons to switch from incandescent light bulbs to LED bulbs for families.

One reason is that LED bulbs are more energy-efficient than incandescent bulbs, and they use less power. This means families can save money on their energy bills.

Second, LED bulbs last longer than incandescent bulbs. Families won’t have to replace the bulbs as often, which can also save money.

LED bulbs are also better for the environment because they don’t contain harmful chemicals. They provide a brighter, whiter light than incandescent bulbs, making it easier to see.


5. Bamboo toothbrush instead of plastic toothbrush

There are a few key reasons bamboo toothbrushes may be preferable to plastic ones.

First, bamboo is a sustainable and renewable resource, while plastic is not. Second, bamboo is biodegradable; it won’t add to the growing problem of plastic pollution. Finally, some people believe that bamboo has anti fungal and antibacterial properties, which could help to keep your mouth healthy.

While there is no definitive scientific evidence to support these claims, they are worth considering when deciding between bamboo and plastic toothbrushes. Ultimately, the best choice for you depends on your personal preferences and priorities.



Looking for sustainable household substitutes doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many great sustainable options available that can help you green your home. From using cloth napkins, to reusable shopping bags instead of plastic bags, there are many easy ways to make more sustainable choices in your everyday life.

By making a few simple changes, you can help make a big difference for yourself and the environment.

  • Luke Rooks

    Luke is a passionate environmental advocate based in upstate New York. When he's not sharing tips on sustainability and wellness, you can find him hiking with his dog, Max.

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