Eliminating Waste in Packaging – Laundry, Dishwasher & Hand Soaps

Plastic Packaging Waste

There have been so many cool new innovations recently in packaging reduction and the re-imagining of how to deliver products to consumers, most notably in the cleaning and detergents category.

Many have led the way into more environmentally friendly cleaners, like Method, Vaska, and Seventh Generation; and building on that is a new generation of cleaning products that come without the waste of disposable plastic bottles and unnecessary wasteful packaging. My primary grading on these products is that they are:

  • Waste-Free – A Reduction or elimination of packaging and material waste
  • Compostable and biodegradable ingredients and packaging
  • Plastic-Free
  • Gentle on the environment with no toxic chemicals, ethically sourced
  • Low overall carbon-footprint (including transportation of materials)

Hand Soap

Blueland – My favorite for both hand soaps as well as their cleaner solutions due to the minimized environmental impact, they are also excellent at cleaning. The dissolvable tablets are light, easy to transport, and are packaged in a small compostable wrapper. What I love about these is not only the refillable/reuse, but also the huge reduction in carbon-footprint due to the small and light tablet form in place of heavy liquids (even when concentrated)
Best for EnvironmentLowest waste packaging, lowest transportation carbon-footprint, plastic-free, all-natural ingredients.

Laundry

TruEarth Laundry strips – My favorite new addition to nearly waste-free laundry are these laundry strips that are incredibly light and easy to ship, are completely plastic free, and ship in minimal cardboard sleeve package that can be recycled or composted.
Best for Environment – Lowest waste packaging, lowest transportation carbon-footprint, plastic-free, all-natural ingredients.

Dropps Laundry Pods – Reducing waste and using natural plant-based cleaners is only one part of what Dropps is all about. They’ve focused on creating a formula that is both environmentally responsible as well as effective on stains.
Great for Environment – Very low-waste packaging, plastic-free, all-natural plant-based ingredients.

Nellies Laundry Soda (Bulk bucket) – What is great about using this to do your laundry are both the size and ingredients. Buying in bulk has never been easier, and because it’s a powder, it has a significantly lower transportation footprint than if it were liquid. Made from only four ingredients with no SLS, SLES, gluten, phosphates, chlorine, fragrance, optical brighteners, or solid synthetics!
Good – Reusable packaging (bucket), bulk with relatively low transportation carbon-footprint, all-natural ingredients.

Replace dryer sheets with wool dryer balls – This is a no-brainer to reduce waste and harmful chemicals while increasing the performance of your dryer. If your clothes need a fabric softener, try adding a tablespoon or so of distilled white vinegar to your washing machine in your fabric softener receptacle.

Automatic Dishwasher

Blueland – My favorite for both hand soaps as well as their cleaner solutions due to the minimized environmental impact, they are also excellent at cleaning. The dissolvable tablets are light, easy to transport, and are packaged in a small compostable wrapper. What I love about these is not only the refillable/reuseable aspect, but also the huge reduction in carbon-footprint due to the small and light tablet form in place of heavy liquids (even when concentrated). Made without any triclosan, parabens, phosphates, ammonia, VOCs, petroleum, artificial dyes or fragrances. Certified USDA BioPreferred and Leaping Bunny (cruetly-free).
Best for EnvironmentLowest waste packaging, lowest transportation carbon-footprint, plastic-free, non-toxic ingredients.

Dropps Dishwasher Pods – Also making pods for your laundry, Dropps dishwasher detergent pods are non-toxic biodegradable pouches that dissolve in the wash and are filled with detergent powder. Delivered in a cardboard box, there is very little waste and it is plastic-free!
Best for Environment – Lowest waste packaging, lowest transportation carbon-footprint, plastic-free, non-toxic ingredients.

Toothpaste

Unpaste Tooth Tablets – All the ingredients you want in a toothpaste, none you don’t- including the tube. It is estimated that over 1.5 Billion plastic toothpaste tubes are thrown away each year, 400 Million in the US alone! These tablets dissolve into a paste right in your mouth and are delivered in a compostable pouch for the most minimal environmental impact.
Best for Environment – Lowest waste packaging, lowest transportation carbon-footprint, plastic-free, all-natural ingredients.

Where to buy?

Here are some great retailers I’ve come across that carry these types of products and more!

Well Earth Goods – Waste-Free and Plastic-Free goods for your home that carry many of the items above (and more). Based in Oregon.

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