A Plastic Free You & Me: Sustainable Kitchen & On the Go

Welcome to the last installment of my plastic-free, sustainable living series! This post’s focus is on kitchen and “on the go” items. We naturally consume a lot of plastic when we’re on the move and in the kitchen because it’s convenient. It doesn’t have to be that way, though! There are plenty of options out there that will help you consume less and still maintain a level of convenience. 

On the Go

Reusable water bottles and reusable grocery bags are the easy ones here. I’m confident to say that we all probably have a bunch of these lying around. I usually keep some reusable grocery bags in the trunk of my car so if I forget to bring them with me, they’re right there. I also keep a water bottle at my desk to bring if I go out to lunch so I don’t need to use a cup. 

At some point in your life, you’ve probably received a reusable water bottle with a random company logo on it. I’ve taken to getting some cool stickers (like when I visit a national park!) and using them to cover up the logo.

Taking reusable grocery bags a step further, I was gifted a set of reusable produce bags. These have been really useful at the grocery store when purchasing small piece produce – think brussels sprouts or green beans. In general though, I typically use a bag for produce very rarely. In my opinion, you don’t really need it for larger items like tomatoes, potatoes, even if you’re getting a few. I don’t even use one if I’m only getting like one jalapeno. But if you’re buying small things like brussels sprouts, you do need a bag. These are really useful and I have them live in my grocery bags so if I don’t remember to actively bring it, chances are there’s one in one of the bags I’ve brought. I also keep a few in our cabinet to use for storing produce at home like potatoes or a half head of cauliflower.

I also carry a set of bamboo reusable utensils I bought off Etsy to keep in my backpack that I bring to and from work. It’s been really great to use when I need a utensil and the only ones available are plastic. It came with a handy holder, so I usually just wipe whatever utensil I used off with a napkin and wash it when I get back to my office. It’s also been great for using at the airport and traveling! 


I think in general I typically do a good job keeping my kitchen plastic free. I rarely use cling wrap, and we have a variety of different tupperwares that we use to store food. The things I find myself using most in the kitchen are aluminum foil, plastic bags, and paper towels/napkins. 

I reuse plastic bags as much as possible and invest in compostable ones for items I know I won’t want to wash (like meat). Depending on your location, you can likely find compostable sandwiches and snack bags at your grocery store. They’re a bit more expensive, but my suggestion is to only use them for things where you know you’re going to throw the bag away. I’d really like to try Stasher bags eventually, so stay tuned on those. 

Food Wraps

Etee is a great site that has a bunch of plastic free items for your home. I’ve purchased their vegan food wraps twice and they work really great. With moderate use, my first set lasted for over a year. They work well for covering bowls that don’t have a top, covers for the ends of produce (like half of a cucumber), and transport for things like hard boiled eggs (vs using a baggie). The best part is that when they’ve reached the end of their life, they’re compostable!

A tip: Use a milder dish detergent and cold water to wash and they’ll last longer. 

Reusable Napkins

I was gifted these and I really love them. They’re definitely worth the investment and we use them fairly often. I usually use one for a day or two and then will wash it when I’m ready to do a load of towels. In the in-between time, we usually use the napkins we’ve received from takeout if we have them.  

Reusable Paper Towels

There are a lot of options out there for reusable paper towels! One option is Swedish dish towels. I was also gifted these (yes, same time as the reusable napkins!). They work surprisingly well, but do get a little gross-looking after a while (so I’ve spared you the picture). I haven’t quite figured out what their lifespan is yet, but despite their looks, they seem to still be working well after around nine months.

I was also gifted (can you sense a pattern here?! No complaints though – I love it!) a complete roll of reusable bamboo paper towels. In my first few uses, these have worked very well and wash easily. They feel like regular paper towels, but much stronger!

All of these reusable napkins and towels have come in handy during COVID since there have been multiple bouts of paper towel shortages. I’ve been able to go a while without needing to buy paper towels, saving money and the environment! I have a bag hanging in my laundry room that I throw reusable items into and when it’s fairly full, I’ll do a load to wash them. 

In Conclusion…

I’m only one person, but I believe strongly that if we all make small changes in our behavior it will make a difference. I hope these posts were helpful and provided you with some ideas to invest in plastic and waste-free options for your own home! I have some other products I’d like to try – like eco-friendly hair ties and the Stasher bags. It’s just a matter of making the investment and also depleting my current stock of what I have on hand before buying the new, eco-friendly version! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for more!

A Plastic Free You & Me: Cleaning, Laundry, and Pets

I think it’s safe to say that we have a plastic problem. Plastic is everywhere and virtually impossible to avoid these days! The build up of plastic is harming the environment and ourselves. We’ve all seen the pictures of birds, fish, turtles (list goes on) with bags over their heads or straws up their noses. Plastic particles are making their way into our drinking water and plastic is increasingly being rejected for recycling

I’ve recently been making a conscious effort on how I can reduce my plastic consumption. I truly believe change starts with yourself. Your dollar speaks. The success of plastic free companies is often a support for a small business and makes a positive environmental impact. Where your money goes, the big companies will eventually go too. 

It hasn’t been easy reducing plastic, and there are still times where I do use plastic products out of necessity or lack of other options. However, the companies and products I’m highlighting in this post offer effective reusable, plastic-free, and eco-friendly options if you’re looking to “go green.” This particular post will cover Home Cleaning, Laundry, and Pet Care. I’ll cover Beauty, Kitchen, and “on-the-go” in future posts. 

Home Cleaning

Home Cleaning was where I found the most available and comprehensive options for going plastic-free. Cleaning supplies take up a lot of waste! There are a number of companies out there that offer a suite of refillable cleaning supplies that also contain eco-friendly ingredients.  


I was drawn to Cleancult’s earth-friendly formulas and reduced-plastic containers. They will send you a starter kit that gives you containers for dish soap, hand soap, all purpose cleaner, dishwasher tablets and laundry tablets. (Their products have changed a bit since I stopped using them, and it now looks like they offer liquid laundry detergent.) After you have the refillable containers, they will send you refills in paper packaging (for the tablets) or cartons (for the liquids). Cartons are a step in the right direction to reducing plastic use, but some municipalities don’t offer recycling for them. Also, originally their cartons had no plastic top, but it seems now they do.

I used Cleancult for a little over a year, but ultimately stopped my subscription for a few reasons. First, their laundry tablets would often not break down completely in cold water or with a larger load. Part of being environmentally-conscious when doing laundry is washing in cold water, so I thought there was a bit of a disconnect there. Second, my fiance didn’t care for their dish soap. He felt it was hard to wash off things. Third, I think they sent me dish soap labeled in an all purpose cleaner carton once. And lastly, they continuously would ship my subscription without sending me an email about it to make changes. Every other subscription service I’ve had sends an email to allow you to make changes for that month’s subscription. There were a few instances where this email was nowhere to be found (I literally looked everywhere in my email), so I ended up not being able to edit my subscription for that period and ended up with a lot of duplicate products. 

It looks like Cleancult has gone through a branding update, but I still wouldn’t recommend their products because there are other options out there that have better packaging.

The remaining things I had from my Cleancult subscription – dish soap and laundry tablets.


Blueland is another refillable home cleaning company that I’ve been using since stopping Cleancult. I’ve had a better experience with Blueland so far. One major difference is that their products are in more sustainable packaging. Instead of sending cartons, they send tablets that are wrapped in compostable paper packaging. In your first order you’ll receive refillable containers and a few tablets. You fill the containers with warm water, drop in a tablet and let it dissolve for a few minutes. Then Voila! You’re ready to clean. Their dish soap is a powder in a very well designed dispenser. My fiance liked this powder more than the soap from Cleancult. 

They offer: foaming hand soap, glass cleaner, multi-surface cleaner, bathroom cleaner, dish soap, laundry and dishwasher tablets. I haven’t tried their tablets because I use another company, Dropps for those. (I’ll get to them later.) Overall, my experience with Blueland has been great. Their multi-surface cleaner’s scent could use some work, but overall I’m happy with Blueland and would recommend this brand over Cleancult for plastic free cleaning. 

Tip: If you’re not able or willing to pay the upfront costs of the containers, you can likely use old containers you have and just buy the refill tablets.

Reusable Cloths

Reusable cloths come in a variety of different options. The two I use the most are Mr. Clean Wipes (bought at our local grocery store) and some microfiber cloths I bought on Amazon. They both work very well when wiping down counters, dusting, or cleaning floors (specifically the microfiber cloths for that last one). You can use the microfiber cloths wet or dry. They are both machine washable in cold water and hang to dry.

Tip: You can also use an old, partner-less sock or rag for dusting or cleaning as well!


The most effective way to be plastic free for laundry is by using laundry tablets and wool laundry balls!


Dropps offers laundry and dishwasher tablets that are shipped in all cardboard, so zero waste packaging. The detergent in the pods are contained in a water-soluble film. Their shipping is carbon neutral and ingredients are clearly outlined on their site. I would highly recommend Dropps! Both their laundry and dishwasher pods are efficient and work great. 

My Dropps subscription. All cardboard packaging and storage, plus a mesh baggy for using the pods in cold water.

Wool Laundry Balls

These are used in lieu of dryer sheets and can be used for a long, long time. I’m going on five years on my first set. Dryer sheets take a very long time to break down and contain a lot of chemicals that can be harmful to you, your dryer, and your clothes. Wool laundry balls are a once or twice time investment and because they’re made of natural materials, they will break down responsibly. If you really like the smell from a dryer sheet, you can add a few drops of an essential oil to your laundry ball, and it will have your clothes smelling wonderfully. Because these are an animal product, please do your research on where they come from. Dropps offers wool laundry balls from sustainable and cruelty free sources

My wool laundry balls in their natural habitat.

Pet Care

Our dog’s a happy guy, but he’s not happy when he knows he’s harming the environment. We all love our reusable bags, but have you thought about your dog’s poop bag? There are a decent amount of “compostable” poop bags out there (looking at you, Pogi’s), but compostable can be a confusing word. A lot of times things labeled “compostable” need to be entered into an industrial composting facility, which typically don’t want animal waste. So not everything labeled compostable will break down how you think it will in a natural environment or landfill.  

These poop bags from My Alpha Pet are made of cornstarch and biodegradable, and effective for backyard composting (meaning they will break down naturally). Unfortunately the only place I can find these is Amazon, otherwise I’d provide a direct link. I can vouch that these work great. My dog is small, but his poops are mighty and I’ve never had an issue with these bags breaking. 

Another item we have purchased for when nature calls are these reusable dog diapers. Our dog’s a little older and when he gets upset, he pees. A solution to this pee-venge problem is having him wear these diapers when he’s in a situation that might call for some pee. Let me tell you, they work great. We’ve had them for over a year and half and, trust, they have seen some pee. With proper care (a good soak before washing in hot water using mild detergent and air drying), they are still good as new. They absorb a lot and have never leaked. If your dog has incontinence issues (or is just an angry pee-er like ours), I would highly recommend these. There’s no need to spend money on disposable ones.

I hope these product and company suggestions have been helpful! Feel free to let me know if you have any questions or further suggestions in the comments. 

Stay tuned for more information on Kitchen, Beauty, and “on-the-go” in a future post!