People have the tendency to dismiss environmental issues, such as global warming and water pollution, because they don't think the problems directly affect them right now. But something as simple as recycling can make a huge difference in the world.
Roughly 250 million trees could be saved each year if everyone in the U.S. recycled their newspapers, for example, and recycling one ton of plastic can save approximately 23 cubic meters of landfill space.
So just imagine how big the results would be if everyone started making even slightly greener choices! If you're looking to make small changes to live a more Earth-friendly life, here are some everyday products to consider switching to.
1. Flow Water
Believe it or not, the bottled-water industry is still booming, despite the fact that many Canadians have access to fresh, clean drinking water from their taps. Although plastic water bottles can be recycled, there's a more sustainable option.
Additionally, Canadian founder Nicholas Reichenbach noted in a 2015 press release that "products packaged in cartons are transportation efficient. Fewer trucks = less fuel = less green house gas emissions."
Though drinking tap water from a reusable bottle is the most sustainable option when it comes to bottled water, Flow is an option if you really can't stay away from packaged water.
Get it here: Flow, $23.89/case of 12
2. Decomposable vase
If you're a plant parent, you might want to consider using decomposable pots for your babies. While glass might not seem like such a bad product for the environment, the emissions during its creation can actually contribute to air pollution.
Instead of glass vases, opt for these modern, geometric pots instead. These sleek vases were 3D-printed using biodegradable plastics to minimize impact on the environment. They make great décor, they are eco-friendly and they hold your houseplants. What more could you want in a vase?
The Etsy store these pots come from does not state how long it will take for these pots to biodegrade, but it's assumed you can compost them yourself.
If you'd rather stay away from plastics altogether, you can also find biodegradable pots made with organic peat on Amazon, or simply reuse quirky containers you have at home.
Get it here: Etsy, $10+
3. Bamboo cleansing cloths
Disposable face cloths can be wasteful, especially if they are part of your daily skincare routine. But with Consonant Skincare's bamboo cleansing cloths, you can feel a little less guilty about using them.
These cloths are 100 per cent biodegradable, which means "you can pop these in your compost or green bin when you're done with them," Consonant's website explains. No more binning!
On top of being a little more eco-friendly, this product is also good for the skin. It cleanses the skin and contains ingredients like grape seed extract, ginseng and chamomile to hydrate and brighten complexion. It's never too late to update your skincare products!
For those who want to make even less of an environmental impact, a washcloth and DIY face cleanser are a great option instead.
Get it here: Consonant Skincare, $9
4. Travel yoga mat
This travel yoga mat is made of recycled plastic bottles and natural tree rubber. Considering about eight million metric tons of plastic get dumped into the ocean each year, Yoga Lab Design deserves a round of applause for taking the material and repurposing it.
This yoga mat is lightweight, foldable, and comes with a carrying strap so that it's easy to travel with. It also comes in various designs.
Get it here: Yoga Design Lab, $49
5. Adidas UltraBoost Parley
Speaking of plastic, Adidas is "spinning the problem into a solution." Last year, the sportswear company teamed up with Parley for the Oceans to create their famous UltraBoost running shoes using plastic taken out of the ocean.
The company sold one million pairs last year and each pair reused 11 plastic bottles, CNBC reports. Interestingly, the use of the plastic did not hinder the shoe's comfort or style.
As Mara Leighton of Business Insider reported, "I love them. The knit and ultra-lightweight rubber sole make them among the lightest shoes I own, as well as the most useful for my runs."
Adidas previously announced that it hopes to use recycled plastic in all of its shoes by 2020. Now that's a goal we can get behind.
Get it here: Adidas, $130+
6. Compostable iPhone case
Pela is an eco-friendly company whose main mission is to reduce the use of plastic created by consumer products. That's why their iPhone cases are made with a plant-based material called flax shive. The renewable byproduct makes the cases strong but flexible, and 100 per cent compostable. That means you can pop it into your green bin when you no longer have use for it.
According to Pela's website, the case will only biodegrade when in a composting environment as "it needs air, moisture, sunlight and microorganisms to break down."
On top of selling eco-friendly phone cases, the company also gives a portion of its sales to environmental initiatives.
Get it here: Pela, $35
7. Matt & Nat
You've likely heard of this brand thanks to its partnership with Chapters/Indigo. The Montreal-based company is committed to being sustainable and eco-friendly, which means they use vegan (or faux) leather for all their handbags.
If you must buy leather, going the faux route is the lesser of two evils since leather production creates "almost three times the negative environmental impact as its synthetic counterparts," Peta reports.
In addition to their handbags, Matt & Nat also has a shoe line, which does not use any animal-based materials. Instead, the company experiments with recycled materials including nylons, rubber and cork.
Being eco-friendly has never looked so good! And if you're looking for other options, you can always shop thrift stores to reuse and repurpose old clothes.
Shop here: Matt & Nat
8. Dryer balls
Cut down on waste and ditch the dryer sheets with these cute, reusable dryer balls. These hedgehogs help separate laundry in the dryer to allow fabrics to dry quickly and naturally. They also reduce static.
Of course, if you want to be even greener and save loads of energy, you can always skip the dryer altogether and hang dry your clothes on a laundry rack.
Get it here: Amazon, $9.99
Also on HuffPost: