Top Eco-Friendly Products to Save You More Money

Klean Kanteen Brushed Bottle on a rock with mountain scape behind it

One of the most common misconceptions about making environmentally friendly consumer decisions is that it’s somehow more expensive than what we have come to accept as “traditional” products. From food and drink storage to cleaning products, there are a number of options out there that are not only better for the environment, but better for your bank account.

There are usually environmentally friendly alternatives to products that are made from single-use materials, and these alternatives often cost less. You just have to know where to look.

So, what are some of the best eco-friendly products that can also save you some money? Let’s start with the most obvious one: getting rid of single-use plastics.

Couple with Klean insulated water bottles in New York

The average American uses 156 plastic bottles every year. It is hard to believe, but many of us regularly buy drinks that come in plastic bottles. It is easy to become mindless about this habit, but it is having a negative impact on the environment. We enjoy our beverage, and then send the bottle on its way–at best to be downcycled into other plastics, at worst, to the landfill.

It’s obvious how harmful that is to the environment and why single-use plastics are not environmentally friendly, but perhaps more subtle is the incredible cost such beverages add up to in the long run. If you spend $2 on a bottle of water from a vending machine or convenience store every day, that adds up to $312 a year. This is money being spent on a resource that should, by all rights, be free.

Compare that cost to even the largest Klean Kanteen stainless steel insulated water bottle, and you’ll see that the eco-friendly way costs a fraction of what it costs to go the plastic route. Our certified 90-percent post-consumer recycled 18/8 stainless steel bottles are not only a great way to make sure your water is cold and clean wherever you go, but it also ensures you’ll be saving money and the planet at the same time.

Steel Food Boxes with Snacks

A mindful walk down your grocery store’s paper and plasticware aisle ought to feel rather eye-opening. You’ll realize how dependent many folks have become on food storage items designed to be used once or twice, then trashed. Unsealable sandwich baggies in different sizes abound alongside mix-and-match sets of tupperware, all destined to become a mismatched jumble in the pantry and tossed in the garbage.

If you've tried bringing a sandwich with fresh produce and a cool spread to work in a brown paper bag, you know that it's not ideal for keeping the food fresh. Once again, it’s 90-percent post-consumer recycled 18/8 stainless steel to the rescue.

Our Food Solutions line makes it so that you can pack your snacks, lunches, or leftovers away and take them with you, no matter where you’re headed. In a variety of sizes and styles, they can be used as lunch boxes, bento boxes, or even to-go containers when dining out. Our revolutionary leak-proof lid designs make them secure enough to store soups or other liquid foods, and all of our Klean Food Boxes are plastic-free.

It’s hard to overstate just how big of a relief it is to know you’ll never need to buy plastic baggies ever again. Your own set, or two, of reusable TK Canisters will keep your food the temperature it should be, every day, over and over, for years. It’s another investment in your wallet and the environment.

man and woman meeting at a coffee shop, using the new klean kanteen camp mugs

Clearly, the way we handle coffee shops needs a new way to do cups: namely, bring your own. If you thought humans’ water bottle usage was problematic, wait til you hear about the waste created by paper coffee cups. America’s favorite legal vice is coffee, which usually comes with a paper cup, plastic lid, and a cardboard sleeve. Some estimates have Americans tossing 50 billion paper cups in the trash annually.

If that number is tough to wrap your head around, think of it in terms of what those cups cost us. 6.5 million trees, 4 billion gallons of water wasted, and enough energy to power 54,000 homes for a year. Our new insulated 12-ounce Camp Mug, made of durable, stainless steel, is a perfect replacement for those hundreds of cups you’ll just throw away. And, our splash-proof lid and Climate Lock vacuum insulation will keep your brew hot for 3.5 hours.

And, somehow, coffee on the go isn’t even best known for its incredible waste production, but another dubious reputation: It’s expensive! Some coffee shops, most notably Starbucks, even reward you for bringing your own cup. If you make a daily Starbucks stop, that would mean a total of $36.50 in yearly savings, with 9,125 stars toward free coffee, bakery items, and merchandise! And if you make your own, it’s even more savings. Even if you buy gourmet coffee beans from an expert roaster, you will save as much as 10 times as much money compared to buying from a coffee shop, and that’s with the environmental impact those cups cause. Buy one mug, use it forever, enjoy fresher coffee, and save more money.

Flat lay image of steeped coffee with a cup of coffee on the side

Speaking of coffee, instant coffee pods (or "K-Cups") have become a recent environmental problem. Though K-Cups are both insanely popular and incredibly wasteful, any step that reduces the amount of K-Cups in use is likely to be a good one. Steeped is an incredible alternative, both for fast coffee at home and as a way to bring high-quality brew with you when you’re not.

The idea is simple enough: a single-serving coffee bag, poured over and steeped, tea-style. But Steeped, a Certified B-Corp, brings the goods when it comes to being eco-friendly. Their products are all nitro-sealed for freshness in fully compostable packaging made using renewable plant-based materials, and they source the freshest beans from the world’s best roasters. Steeped subscriptions break down to a comparable price per serving, with a major advantage.

group of men outdoors wearing mammut clothing

We love Mammut, not just because they make great-looking, high-quality outdoor gear, but because their commitment to environmental responsibility is right in line with our own. They’re heavily invested in clean production, animal welfare, reduced carbon footprint, and ethical production, and they meet all these goals while still producing terrific products that stand the test of time.

They use materials like organic cotton, which helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the use of toxic pesticides, and Solution Dye, a toxin- and water-free, sustainable method of coloring that significantly reduces CO2 emissions.

We can’t stress enough how much friendlier it is to your budget to make an initial investment in quality. Mammut has a wide selection of jackets, vests, shirts, base layers, and accessories for both men and women, as well as great footwear for hiking, mountaineering, climbing, and urban adventures. Their products are made with high-quality materials and construction, so you can expect them to last for years.

All Good brand Climate Neutral skincare products

“We’re on a mission to prove that humans and nature can live in harmony.” All Good is right on the money, and they back it up with some impressive environmental commitments in the skincare space that really set them apart.

Conventional sunscreens can be harmful to the environment, especially in oceans where coral reefs are more susceptible to damage. (This is all to say nothing about what those same chemicals are doing on your own skin!)

All Good has gone all natural, relying on non-toxic mineral sunscreens instead. They use certified organic ingredients, non-GMO materials, solar power at their California production facility, and cruelty-free testing. Also a Certified B-Corp, All Good is a For the Planet partner and 1 percent of its sales goes to important global causes. On top of all that, they feature a line that’s entirely plastic-free–which you know is music to our ears.

The best part is that none of these noble commitments come at the expense of quality or cost. These swaps don’t cost nearly as much as some of the more well-known cosmetics and skincare products out there. There is a product in All Good's range for everyone, whether it's sunscreen, lip balm, deodorant, lotion, hand sanitizer, or oil.

Dryer Balls

Dryer sheets are another one of those habitual items we don’t put much thought into, but once we do, it gets pretty horrifying how wasteful they are. They contain toxic chemicals, you can only use them once, and they eventually affect the integrity of the fabric they touch.

Opt instead for wool dryer balls, which contain no chemicals, reduce drying time, limit static cling, and soften clothes. Best of all, they’re reusable and incredibly inexpensive. You can get a 6-pack of natural wool dryer balls for less than $15 from many sellers. No more fishing perfumey dryer sheets out of your socks ever again–or paying for them.

Gray dryer balls on a shelf with clothespins and white fabric in the corner

No matter which daily habit it is that you’re trying to replace with a more environmentally friendly alternative, you should rest assured that eco-friendly does not have to mean more expensive. A change in perspective can help you see that you can save money by making more environmentally friendly consumer choices.