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Recommended sustainable products

As part of our commitment to Earth, we aim to reduce our consumption of plastic products, especially single-use plastics. To help support sustainability and FairTrade efforts at home and around the world, we have compiled a list of product recommendations and reviews from some of our sisters and partners. Inclusion in this list does not imply sponsorship or any other financial partnership with these companies.

Sustainable plastic-free products

Click a category below to expand the list.

Eco-friendly kitchen products

Food storage

  • Bee’s Wrap (Bee’s Wrap)
    “Beeswrap is an alternative to plastic wrap. It comes in different sizes and keeps food fresh and plastic-free! It can be wiped off and re-used many times. We seldom use plastic wrap anymore.” Lin Neil, CSJ
  • 6-Piece Set of Reusable Silicone Stretch Lid, Dinnerware & Food Cover (altCooking Hub)
    “This set of reusable silicone stretch lids are a great alternative to plastic cling wrap, and they’re extremely easy to use over containers, bowls–I’ve even used them over a cut watermelon! They’re also safe to use in the microwave, refrigerator, freezer and dishwasher.” Kristen Whitney Daniels
  • If You Care kitchen and household products
    “This brand’s kitchen and household products are carefully and deliberately crafted to have the least environmental impact and the lightest carbon footprint possible, while giving you the highest quality and most effective results. We have purchased paper snack and sandwich bags and #2 coffee filters. There is zero waste from these!” Lin Neil, CSJ

Kitchen cleaning

  • Biodegradable Coconut Kitchen Scourers – 5-pack (Zero Waste Club)
    “These scrubbers are marvelous for doing dishes. It takes off all the light stuff but also the cooked on food on pots and pans without any difficulty. I highly recommend this plastic-free and biodegradable coconut scrubber.” Kathy Crowley, CSJ
  • Seventh Generation Dishwasher Detergent Powder (Seventh Generation)
    “Our dishes came out clean and glasses were sparkling with no filmy residue. Ingredients contain plant- and mineral-based agents to remove soil.” Kathy Crowley, CSJ
  • Biodegradable Sponges (Zero Waste Store)
    These sponges are made of 100% wood pulp and are compostable at the end of their usable life. Ergonomic design makes them easy to grab hold of to wash dishes, clean countertops or scrub bathtubs. To sanitize them, just pop in the dishwasher; they hold up well.  Patty Johnson, CSJ

Other kitchen items

  • Everspring 100% Recycled Napkins (Target)
    “These napkins are made from 100% recycled fiber and 50% post-consumer materials and are not whitened with chlorine bleach. We use paper napkins but we know all paper napkins are not the same. The Ever Spring recycled napkins have the strength and absorbency that I look for.” Mary Catherine O’Gorman, CSJ
  • To-Go Ware Utensil Sets (To-Go Ware)
    “Say goodbye to plastic silverware. Tell the restaurant you do not need their plastic because you have these bamboo utensils that, as the product says, “Replaces 1,300 single-use utensils throughout its life!” Clip it to your purse and head to the park and enjoy!” Sally Koch, CSJ

Eco-friendly health & beauty products

Haircare

  • 2in1 coconut water & mimosa flower shampoo and conditioner bar (Love beauty and planet)
    “These shampoo and conditioner bars eliminate use of plastic containers for both products.” Rosanne Belpedio, CSJ
  • Coconut Milk Shampoo Bar (Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company)
    “I like anything coconut. This shampoo bar does seem to keep my hair moist and leaves it squeaky clean. The bar lathers well. It comes in plastic-free packaging.” Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • Environmentally Friendly Conditioner Bar for All Hair Types (Clever Yoga)
    “I just run this bar around my hair and then rinse. It will travel well in a soap dish. It does not get crumbly like its companion shampoo. The bar has a nice citrus smell.” Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • Solid Shampoo and Conditioner Bars (HiBAR)
    These bars have no plastics and no plastic packaging. They are easy to grab. Just rub it on your hair, rinse, and feel the difference, leaving hair smooth and manageable.” Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • J.R. Liggett’s Old-Fashioned Shampoo Bar  (J.R. Liggett’s)
    This bar beats a plastic bottle with shampoo any day. It leaves my hair feeling clean. Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • Curl Shampoo & Conditioner Set (Hibar)
    Hibar’s curly hair shampoo and conditioner bars work much better on my hair type than the Hibar bars for regular hair. Usually in humid summers, my hair turns into a puffball, but the Hibar curly hair products tame it right down. Sean Peters, CSJ

Dental care

  • Bamboo Toothbrushes (isshah)
    “I have been using bamboo toothbrushes for over a year. Judging from the results at my annual dental appointment, the brushes are keeping my teeth and gums healthy. No need for an electric toothbrush.” Diane Smith, CSJ
  • Davids Natural Toothpaste (Davids)
    “This natural product has good taste and texture. My dentist did not notice any changes at my last check-up. It’s a steel tube, so the key rolls the tube to get you all of the paste.” Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • Unpaste Zero Waste Toothpaste Tablets (Well Earth Goods)
    “This product takes a little getting used to. You bite into the tablet and chew, then brush your teeth. It is not as foamy as tube toothpaste, but it seems to work.” Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • Dental Lace (Zero Waste Store)
    This peppermint-flavored dental floss is made of silk, is biodegradable and comes with a non-plastic container and refills. It starts my day with a reminder that my purchases do impact the environment. I really love it. Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • Dental Floss (Package Free)
    This plastic-free dental floss is made of silk. The floss and packaging are backyard-compostable. It is a little firmer and has no taste. It’s also a little less expensive than the dental lace. Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • Bamboo Toothbrush (Package Free Shop)
    It took a few times to adjust to the different feel in my mouth of the bamboo rather than plastic. The bristles and the bamboo handle are all plant-based. When I think about all the plastic toothbrushes that were ever made sitting in landfills, it is easy to adjust. This is a change I am glad I made. Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • Peppermint Toothpaste Tablets  (Huppy)
    I highly recommend these toothpaste tablets. No plastic tube. No chalky taste. These leave a fresh taste and teeth feel really clean. Patty Johnson, CSJ

Tissues and toilet paper

  • Everspring 100% Recycled Fiber Facial Tissue (Target)
    “These tissues are made from 100% recycled fiber and 50% post-consumer materials and not whitened with chlorine bleach. It brings the advantage of softness that equals that of any brand of tissue users may have used in the past.” Ida Beresheim, CSJ
  • Green2 Facial Tissue (Vitacost)
    “The tissues are strong but less soft that others. They pull out easily and yield a single sheet at a time. Knowing they are tree-free, I would definitely choose them over other paper brands. The box is weak and dents are obvious.” Mary Catherine O’Gorman, CSJ
  • Green Forest 100% Recycled Facial Tissue (Vitacost)
    “These facial tissues are 90% post-consumer recycled content, 100% recycled paper, whitened without chlorine, so environmentally they are a great product. They are rougher than the more expensive tissues, but these facial tissues are at the high end of the EPA standards. They are sturdy enough to serve their function.” Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • LastTissue (LastObject)
    “I remember when a handkerchief was a necessity. It still seems gross to use it and then stuff it in your pocket. Disposable tissues were the hygienic replacement until now. LastTissue is all the eco-friendly of handkerchiefs without the ick factor. About the same size as a purse pack of disposable tissues and super flexible, I find this a handy replacement for my ever-present pack of tissues.” Lauren Clancy
  • Seventh Generation Chlorine-Free 2-Ply Facial Tissue (Vitacost)
    “These facial tissues are made from 100% recycled paper, 50% post-consumer recycled paper and are whitened without chlorine. They are rougher than more expensive tissues made from virgin pulp from trees; however, they do the job and I am happy to make this substitute to save trees.” Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • Who Gives a Crap Toilet Paper
    “A toilet paper that is a plastic-free product made with 100% recycled fibers and they donate 50% of profits to help build toilets because they believe access to a safe, dignified loo is a basic human right? This toilet paper is great! Try it out and see for yourself.” Sally Koch, CSJ
  • A Shopper’s Guide to Home Tissue Products (NRDC)

Other health & beauty products

  • Body Lotion (Plaine Products)
    “I ordered the travel-sized reusable aluminum bottle with a pump that locks for travel. The citrus lavender scent is appealing. I can refill it from a larger bottle. All their aluminum bottles can be reused or returned to the company to be sterilized, refilled and reused. It was mailed to me with plastic-free packaging and carbon neutral shipping.” Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • Organic Solid Lotion Bars (Soulshine Soap Company)
    “Made with Maine beeswax, it works well for patches of dry skin, but I realize that as much as I can rub this on my body, a cream is much easier to apply. I recommend this if you are looking for an occasional moisturizing of hands and face, but not as an everyday moisturizer.” Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • Don’t Bug Me! Natural Bug Spray (Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve Company)
    “This natural, organic bug repellent spray is made with witch hazel and a blend of essential oils that repels insects naturally.  I have tested it out at dawn and sunset and it has kept the bugs away. I love the metal container instead of plastic. Spray nozzle works well.” Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • Eco Friendly Lip Balms (HoniBeez via Etsy)
    “This is the first lip balm product that I have found that is totally plastic-free and it works as well as any other lip balm I have used.” Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • Lush
    “I originally started out using their solid shampoo bars and conditioners for when I was traveling. Since then, they’ve expanded to create plastic-free packaging for soaps, scrubs, massage bars, bath oils and more, which all smell great. They can be a little difficult to get the hang of when you first use because of the different composition of ingredients, but the website has great video tutorials to get you started. I also recommend getting their tin cans to put the products in, which are reusable.” Kristen Whitney Daniels
  • Patch Biodegradable Natural Adhesive Bandage Strips (Package Free Shop)
    “These bandages stick well.” Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • Goat Milk Soap (Beekman 1802)
    I received this body bar soap as a gift. It’s expensive but lovely. Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • PAPR Deodorant  (PAPR)
    This product comes in a sturdy cardboard container. It works well and has natural ingredients. Not having a plastic container is a real plus for this product. Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • Rosie Vegan Lip Balm (Live Like You Green It)
    This lip balm comes in a sturdy cardboard tube, and it really works for the whole life of the lip balm. Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • Peppermint Handcrafted Lip Balm (Bee Bella)
    Handcrafted lip balm with beeswax and other oils. Wood cases are returned and recycled into new lip balm containers. Great scent. Patty Johnson, CSJ

Eco-friendly laundry products

Laundry detergents

  • Earth Breeze Eco Sheets (Earth Breeze)
    “This liquidless detergent is an alternative to liquid soaps and their large plastic bottles for your laundry. The Sisters at the Albany Provincial House all use this in their living areas and are quite happy.” Kate Arseneau, CSJ
  • Tru Earth Eco-Strips Laundry Detergent (Tru Earth)
    “These small strips of concentrated detergent dissolve fully in hot or cold water in the washer and require no prep to use. You use one strip for a normal load, a half a strip for a small load (which I avoid) and more for a heavily soiled load, if you’d like. It can be used in all types of washing machines. The product and its packaging are fully biodegradable and are made in and shipped from Canada.” Judy Donovan, CSJ
  • Original Laundry Detergent Strips (Lazy Coconuts)
    “The packaging is 100% cardboard, the strips are 0% plastic. The small cardboard package is easy to recycle!” Lin Neil, CSJ
  • Zero Waste Ultra Laundry Detergent Strips (Well Earth Goods)
    “I had not considered the weight of shipping liquids and powders when I was choosing my laundry detergent. These strips come in a very small package shipped in recyclable materials. You just tear off half a sheet and throw it in the washer. Clothes come out clean. Nothing is left in the washer. Works well.” Patty Johnson, CSJ

Other laundry products

  • Guppyfriend Washing Bag (Guppyfriend)
    “Microfibers from clothes are a serious problem impacting our waters. This product has two goals: one to reduce fiber shedding thus protecting your clothes, and two it filters the few fibers that do break keeping them from going into the water. When you take the clothes out of the washer, I find only a very small amount of microfiber, less than a fingernail- so it’s not very reinforcing. However, I am very concerned about microplastics and believe that my guppyfriend is working. So even though there is very little “lint” in the bag, to me it is worth it.” Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • Wool Dryer Balls (Zero Waste)
    “I too love these wool dryer balls. 1). I cut down on my budget because I do not have to continuously buy dryer sheets. 2). There are some chemicals on dryer sheets that can be harmful to the body, and with wool dryer balls I do not have to worry about that they are nontoxic–no chemicals.” Sally Koch, CSJ

Miscellaneous sustainable products

  • Cook Wood iPad Case (Reveal)
    “I feel good whenever I open my iPad case made out of cork because I know it was made with a sustainable resource because the bark can be harvested without cutting down the tree. And it is 100% cruelty-free. The cork is naturally water resistant and shock absorbing and the Reveal Shop plants a tree for every nature tech product sold. They have other sustainable technology accessories as well.” Sally Koch, CSJ
  • Everstrand and SmartStrand Carpets (Mohawk Flooring)
    “The process to make this carpet takes 100% recycled high-quality content, strengthens the fiber and removes dirt-attracting residue with a multi-step purification system. Each square yard of carpet contains on average 63 reclaimed plastic bottles.” Maureen Freeman, CSJ
  • Pela electronics cases (Pela)
    “I love that these phone cases are compostable! There is zero plastic in them and zero plastic in the packaging they send it in. They have many different kinds of phone cases for Android and Apple users as well as smartwatch bands. They also usually have a buy one get one free deal!” Sally Koch, CSJ
  • Pixie Mood bags (Pixie Mood)
    “Beautiful and durable purses that are sustainably sourced. Not only are all the purses made with vegan leather, but their new bags are lined with recycled waterbottles, keeping 100,000 plastic waterbottles out of landfills. I was impressed that even their packaging was biodegradable. I have the Zoe crossbody, and it’s a perfect size.” Kristen Whitney Daniels
  • Terracycle Boxes (Terracycle)
    “Terracycle boxes are great for any waste! The Albany sisters have purchased and filled three boxes for used pens, markers and mechanical pencils. These boxes are not “cheap” (how come plastic waste is cheap, but plastic waste recycling isn’t?), but Terracycle often has sales where you can purchase a box at 15-20% off. This is a real case of paying for negative externalities!” Lin Neil, CSJ
  • Toilet Bowl Cleaner, (EC3O)
    I used  EC3O Toilet Bowl Cleaner and was delighted with the results. The product worked better than some of the other products I have tried in the past. The strip divorced easily, and it was not necessary to wait 10 minutes as with other toilet bowl cleaners. The results were very good. It was wonderful to find another product that does not come in a plastic bottle! S. Janet Kuciejczyk

FairTrade and sustainable food

Learn more about FairTrade certification

  • Imperfect Foods
    “I love this organization for many reasons. They are rethinking the food systems that are very wasteful and contribute to the CO2 emissions in our world. They divert food from going into landfills for a variety of reasons. They also send you a weekly calculation of the impact you’re making. If Imperfect Foods is in your area, I highly recommend their easy online ordering and delivery to your door.” Sally Koch, CSJ
  • Equal Exchange Organic Dark Hot Chocolate (Target)
    “I was very surprised to find this at Target. All you add is milk. It is very tasty.” Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • Moser Roth Chocolate (Aldi)
    “Inexpensive, FairTrade certified German chocolate that does not taste inexpensive. I prefer dark chocolate, and each bar is labeled with the percentage of cocoa. My favorite is 85%, but if that’s a little dark for your taste, the 70% is still smooth and delicious.” Lauren Clancy
  • Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company
    “I have only eaten FairTrade chocolate for about nine years now. When I need a nice chocolate gift, I go to this store. I can also order online and have it delivered by mail. I enjoy the chocolates and feel good about them as gifts. They have a good variety and offer seasonal specials.” Patty Johnson, CSJ
  • Endangered Species Chocolate
    “I was gifted a bar for Christmas. It was touching that the person not only thought to get me chocolate I’d like, but chocolate that was FairTrade and supports conservation efforts. It was a rich chocolate, and I found it lovely to eat.” Lauren Clancy
  • Koinonia Farm Store
    “They sell FairTrade chocolate, hot cocoa, tea and coffee. Their pecans are sustainably raised. Our local community has been buying from Koinonia for years, and we are never disappointed in the products or service.” Lin Neil, CSJ
  • Octavia Tea Company
    “Not all Octavia tea products are FairTrade, but they have a decent number of teas that are, and they are labeled in the short descriptions. They even have small sample sizes, so you can give a new one a try. I like the Himalayan Green. It doesn’t turn bitter easily as so many green teas can do.” Lauren Clancy
  • Teff Penne (Celio)
    I was looking for pasta that is not packaged in plastic. After six stores, this is the only product I found that did not have a little plastic window. The pasta comes from Ethiopia and is excellent. Patty Johnson, CSJ

6 thoughts on “Recommended sustainable products”

  1. Avatar

    Could people list where they get the detergent strips and other unusual prodocts.
    I’d love to try them but don’t know where to get them.

    1. Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet
      Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet

      Hi Helen, click on the bar above that reads “Eco-friendly laundry products” and you’ll find a number of links directly to specific products.

  2. Avatar
    Roselani Enomoto CSJ

    Help! Nothing opens when I click on Eco-Friendly Laundry Products.
    I followed the other directions FIRST and then clicked on the ‘Eco-Friendly one. What should I be doing differently?

    Thanks for the help! Roselani

    1. Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet
      Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet

      Perhaps your device is the problem as the page seems to be working. Try pulling it up on a different computer, phone or tablet. You should be able to click anywhere in each of the boxes above to expand the lists.

  3. Avatar

    My shipment of Hibar shampoo and conditioner for curly hair came last week. I had previously tried their regular shampoo and conditioner and, although the shampoo worked well for me, the regular conditioner didn’t work well with my hair type. The curly hair version, however, is just right. Even for someone like me whose hair turns into a puffball in humid weather like St. Louis, this conditioner seems to tame my hair. I find working up a lather with the shampoo a little more challenging than with the regular – which lathers up immediately – but once it starts to lather up in cleans really well.

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The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet are a congregation of Catholic sisters. We, and those who share our charism and mission, are motivated in all things by our profound love of God and our dear neighbors. We seek to build communities and bridge divides between people. Since our first sisters gathered in 1650, our members have been called to “do all things of which women are capable.” The first sisters of our congregation arrived in St. Louis, Missouri in 1836, and we now have additional locations in St. Paul, Albany, Los Angeles, Hawaii, Japan and Peru. Today, we commit to respond boldly to injustice and dare to be prophetic.

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