A little effort can go a long way when you're trying to lower your environmental impact at home. Whether you swap out a non-biodegradable staple with a compostable one or simply reduce the amount of water you use, there are several small, inexpensive switches you can make to help conserve the earth's natural resources — while saving money on your utility bills. From energy-efficient light bulbs to low-flow shower heads and more, here are nine home upgrades for under $25 at Amazon that will help you live more sustainably (and affordably).
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No matter how much you're saving up front by buying cheap, incandescent light bulbs, you're wasting money — and valuable natural resources — in the long run. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), energy-efficient lightbulbs, including light-emitting diodes (LEDs), typically use up to 80% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, and can last up to 25 times longer, so you won't have to replace them as often.
Newsflash: The average American family uses up to 40 gallons of water a day showering. Luckily, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says installing a low-flow showerhead (with a WaterSense label) that produces less than two gallons of water per minute (GPM), can reduce both water waste and your utility bills. This model uses only 1.25 GPM.
Most standard dish sponges are derived from polyurethane, an oil-based plastic, which means they aren't biodegradable. Fortunately, these 100% hemp sponges can be composted, so they won't wind up in a landfill releasing environmentally hazardous greenhouse gasses.
For as much as we depend on toothpaste to brush our teeth every day, the plastic or aluminum tubes it typically comes in can be harmful for the environment. These zero-waste toothpaste tablets come in a recyclable glass jar and allow you to brush your teeth by simply popping a tablet in your mouth.
If you like to store leftovers in single-use aluminum foil or plastic wrap, you might want to consider switching to a more eco-friendly option. Handcrafted from 100% cotton and sustainably harvested beeswax, each of these compostable food wraps can be reused for up to a year to protect and preserve your food without hurting the environment.
If you aren't already hip to dish soap bars, then now's the time to smarten up. Ethically made from vegan and biodegradable ingredients, this zero-waste dish soap block can be used to clean everything from carpet stains to dirty dishes — no problematic plastic bottle necessary.
For as handy as cleaning wipes can be for your homekeeping routine, the chemicals and materials used to make them can be bad for your health — and the environment. These biodegradable cleaning wipes are derived from all-natural ingredients, and can simply be tossed in the compost to reduce waste at home.
Why toss your food scraps in the trash can when you can turn them into compost to create a nutrient-rich soil for your plants instead? Composed of sleek stainless steel with a charcoal filter that naturally traps and controls odors, this stylish indoor compost bin allows you to store everything from coffee grinds to fruit and veggie scraps from the convenience of your kitchen countertop.
If you thought there was no such thing as compostable garbage bags, then think again. These 100% biodegradable trash can liners are made from an all-natural plant starch extract, which means they can be composted after use without causing damage to the environment.