How to Buy Eco-Friendly Earbuds, Shower Curtains and Dental Floss

Sure, buying nothing at all would be best from an emissions perspective, and shipping can vastly alter a product’s climate impact. To that, we say: Your mileage may vary. 

Earbuds

Music to your ears (and the environment).

How to Buy Eco-Friendly Earbuds, Shower Curtains and Dental Floss

One way to help keep the plastic and lithium batteries from old headphones out of landfills is to buy a refurbished pair. Bose services and tests its reused products in-house, meaning its recycled gadgets come with the same warranty (and expected durability) as its brand-new ones.

How to Buy Eco-Friendly Earbuds, Shower Curtains and Dental Floss

Symphonized builds its earbuds largely out of bamboo (plus silicone for the ear tips), stashes them in a bamboo hard-shell case, and ships everything in a recyclable paper box.

How to Buy Eco-Friendly Earbuds, Shower Curtains and Dental Floss

House of Marley sees your bamboo earbuds and raises you a recycled-polyester charging cord and tips made from recycled silicone. If one breaks or gets lost, no need to replace the whole pair—the company will sell you a single bud for just $20. Send back the damaged earpiece and House of Marley will recycle the materials.

Shower Curtains

Keep water in the tub and petrochemicals out of the landfill.

GOOD: Liba Shower Curtains from $10

How to Buy Eco-Friendly Earbuds, Shower Curtains and Dental Floss

Disposing of standard vinyl shower-curtain liners can cause toxic chemicals like chlorine and lead to leach into the water supply. Polyethylene vinyl acetate, on the other hand, is non-chlorinated and just as resistant to mildew as regular vinyl. The curtain is also recyclable, although check your local rules and regulations before throwing it in the bin to make sure PEVA is accepted.

How to Buy Eco-Friendly Earbuds, Shower Curtains and Dental Floss

Skip the liner altogether and opt for a washable, endlessly reusable fabric curtain. Coyuchi’s organic cotton shower curtain has the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certification and—once it’s reached the end of its life—can be recycled through Coychi’s 2nd Home Take Back program.

How to Buy Eco-Friendly Earbuds, Shower Curtains and Dental Floss

Hemp not only is a quick-growing, soil-friendly crop, it also produces highly durable, naturally moisture-wicking fibers. Rawganique’s hemp shower curtains air dry quickly, but can also be purchased with one of the company’s waterproofing natural wax bars ($18), which adds a protective layer and extends the curtain’s lifespan.

Dental Floss

Ten out of 10 environmentalists recommend using less plastic.

How to Buy Eco-Friendly Earbuds, Shower Curtains and Dental Floss

Most plastic-free floss is made out of silk, a biodegradable alternative to chemical-coated nylon. TreeBird sells its silk floss in a refillable glass container and ships everything in compostable paper packaging printed with soy-based ink.

BETTER: Humankind Floss $12

How to Buy Eco-Friendly Earbuds, Shower Curtains and Dental Floss

Humankind doubled down on the packaging details for its zero-waste silk floss: It comes in a reusable (and attractive) glass-and-silicone container ($3), and refills ship in compostable bags and come wrapped around spools made from sugarcane-based bioplastic.

How to Buy Eco-Friendly Earbuds, Shower Curtains and Dental Floss

Silk may biodegrade, but it’s still resource-intensive to produce, and since it’s a byproduct of animals (moths), some vegans won’t use it. Georganics Natural Floss is spun from cornstarch polylactic acid, a biodegradable material with none of those problems. Coated in vegetable wax and organic spearmint oil coat, the floss comes in a reusable glass-and-aluminum container and ships in compostable kraft-paper packaging.

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