Here at Brite Homes Florida, we believe in living life responsibly and sustainably. We are in the business of building eco-friendly, solar-powered homes, after all. With that in mind, we decided to put together a list of what we think are the 20 best sustainable products on the market (from least to most expensive):
#1 – FINALSTRAW
Americans use 500 million straws every day! And only 9% of plastic straws get recycled, many ending up in our oceans. FinalStraw is a collapsible, stainless steel straw that’s reusable up to 3600 times (that’s twice a day for 5 years). It’s dishwasher safe and comes with a squeegee for easy cleaning. The straw is $25. Yes, you can find cheaper reusable straws on the market, but I love this one because it comes in a handy case that you can attach to your keychain, so you’ll always have it on you when you need it.
#2 – TO-GO WARE FOOD CARRIERS
To-go Ware makes products that are environmentally-responsible and affordable. They make a variety of stainless steel food carriers: 1-tier, 2-tier, 3-tier, and small and large “sidekicks.” The containers make a great replacement for plastic containers, and they can hold any kind of food—even liquids. The self-latching top container can be used on its own or stacked up to 3 tiers. The containers are stylish, dishwasher safe, and non-leaching. The “sidekick” containers begin at $5.99 and the tiered containers begin at $19.99. They also have a recycled cotton carrier bag available for $16.95.
#3 – ROCKETBOOK REUSABLE DIGITAL NOTEBOOK
The Rocketbook Everlast is a reusable, smart notebook. It feels like a traditional pen and paper experience, but it’s endlessly reusable. The ink is simply wiped away with a moist paper towel. The notebook connects to the Rocketbook app which allows you to scan the pages and upload them immediately to the cloud-based service of your choice. It even allows you to upload pages to different applications using symbols at the bottom of the page. You do have to use a Frixion pen, but you can buy those both online and in stores. A three pack of pens is only $7 and the notebook is an affordable $34.
#4 – RECOVER CLOTHING
Recover makes clothing out of reclaimed fiber and recycled plastic bottles. One shirt contains 8 bottles! The company salvages cotton from discarded industry scraps and blends it with yarn made from the plastic bottles. Based out of North Carolina, Recover sources everything from within a 150-mile radius. They have a variety of clothing available for men, women, and children—from tees to polos to fleeces, and more. Prices vary depending on the style of clothing, but they are reasonably priced.
#5 – WEMO SMART PRODUCTS
Wemo makes a variety of smart products to use with your electronics and lights: plugs, dimmers, and light switches. The smart plug allows you to control your electronic devices from your smartphone via the free Wemo app, no matter where you are. You simply plug the Wemo plug into an outlet and then plug your device into the smart plug. The Wemo dimmer and light switches work in the same way as the smart plug but with your lights, allowing you to also control your lights remotely. Wemo products range in price from $30-$100. The more expensive products are multi packs.
#6 – GIRLFRIEND COLLECTIVE LEGGINGS AND BRAS
Girlfriend Collective makes leggings and bras out of recycled water bottles. Each pair of leggings contains 25 water bottles. They source their bottles from Taiwan, once called “Garbage Island” due to their waste problem. Now Taiwan is the world leader in recycling, with 55% of waste being recycled. Girlfriend Collective uses sustainable practices in the manufacturing and dying of their garments—they even have a line of leggings made from recycled fishing nets! Bras start at $38 and leggings start at $68, but they also have tops, shorts, and bodysuits available.
#7 – KLOTERS REPAIR T-SHIRT
Kloters makes a t-shirt called RepAir that actually cleans the air! The company developed a patented material called Breath® that separates, absorbs, and retains NOx, Sox, Ozone, PAH, Benzene, and other pollutants from the air. One t-shirt can offset the emissions from 2 cars. The Breath® material is an insert that is slipped into a stylish zip pocket on the front of the shirt. In addition to absorbing pollutants, it also absorbs bad odors from the air. The t-shirt comes in basic black or white and runs $51.
#8 – SHYWOOD GLASSES
Shywood makes glasses and sunglasses from sustainable materials such as wood, seashells, and oxidized metals. The company has actually pioneered over 15 new materials in the eyewear industry. They offer a variety of models for both men and women, and they are incredibly stylish. They have glasses for as low as $79 and the price goes up from there depending on the model, but you’re sure to find a style that suits your taste.
#9 – FUSE FOOTWEAR
Fuse Footwear makes 3D-printed shoes out of TPE (a flexible plastic). Because the shoes are made from only one material, they are easily recycled. Once you no longer want your shoes, you simply send them back and they are melted down to be recycled into a new pair (and they give you 20% off your next pair for recycling). Because of the production process, you can customize your shoes with silhouette, texture, and lacing patterns. There are 40,000 possible variations! The shoes begin at $95.
#10 – THE LARQ BOTTLE
The LARQ bottle is 10,000x more hygienic than regular reusable bottles thanks to its built-in purifying UV light. Every two hours the bottle activates the UV light feature, cleaning both the water and the bottle. It charges via USB, with one charge lasting up to 2 months. It even has an Adventure Mode for extra purification. The LARQ bottle is $95, but if you regularly drink bottled water, it quickly pays for itself.
#11 – ALLBIRDS SHOES
Company founder, Tim Brown, saw the footwear industry favored synthetic materials and decided to do something about it. AllBirds shoes are made from sustainable materials: wool, sugar cane, eucalyptus, and recycled plastic bottles, to name a few. The soles of the shoes are actually carbon-negative. They have multiple styles for both men and women in a variety of colors. A pair will run you about $100, but trust me, they’re worth it.
#12 – THE KINDLE PAPERWHITE
The Amazon Kindle Paperwhite is a great option for avid readers. The Kindle gives you instant access to new releases and bestsellers, and Amazon has over a million titles for $2.99 or less! Aside from being environmentally-friendly, the Kindle Paperwhite is waterproof—perfect for the tub, pool, or beach. A single battery charge lasts for weeks. It has an adjustable light and can be paired with Bluetooth headphones or speakers so you can listen to your book with Audible. The Paperwhite is $129.99 (or 5 payments of $26), but Amazon has other Kindle models available at different prices.
#13 – ORIGINAL GRAIN WATCHES
Brothers Ryan and Andrew Beltran began Original Grain in 2013. They make a wide variety of men’s and women’s watches from reclaimed wood and stainless steel. No two watches are the same, and the materials used are uniquely sourced—they have watches made from Kentucky bourbon barrels and Yankee stadium seats. The women’s line ranges in price from around $169-$219 and the men’s collection ranges from $179-$479. They also have some limited edition watches if you’re in the mood to splurge (check out the Wrigley Field model made from stadium seats from the 1930s).
#14 – TETRA COUNTERTOP DISHWASHER
The Tetra Countertop Dishwasher is another innovative product from Heatworks. The product won’t be available until spring or summer of 2019, but it looks worth the wait. It uses only a gallon of water, and it takes just minutes to run a cycle. Its precise temperature control even allows you to cook seafood or clean fruit! This is the perfect gadget for a small space or someone who lives alone. The dishwasher will be priced at $299.
#15 – NEBIA SHOWERHEAD
The Nebia Spa Shower atomizes water, delivering 10x more surface area of water in the shower. Nebia showerheads are manufactured in the USA and use 70% less water than traditional showerheads. The Spa Shower is a sleekly-designed 25” adjustable height showerhead with a magnetic hand wand, and it’s made from anodized, rust-proof aluminum. The showerhead costs $399 for a single unit, but the company’s website has a handy calculator that shows you how much you can save per year. One showerhead pays for itself in 1-2 years.
#16 – MODEL 3 WATER HEATER
The MODEL 3 by Heatworks is a smart, tankless electric water heater that is 99% energy-efficient. It can be connected to a mobile app so you can monitor your water and energy consumption, set your favorite temperature, and limit the length of shower time. It’s powered by the Heatworks’ patented Ohmic Array Technology, which, through graphite electrodes, excites naturally-occurring minerals in the water to efficiently heat the water. The system is $799, but you will need more than one if you live in a colder climate.
#17 – DO AMORE RINGS
Do Amore means “I give with love.” The company makes engagement and wedding rings from ethically-sourced diamonds and gems and recycled precious metals. They have diamonds available from three sources: ethically-mined, recycled, and lab created. They use recycled precious metals to prevent sourcing from environmentally-destructive mines that operate with disregard to indigenous peoples and animals. The rings are made in the USA and the packaging is sustainable. And every ring you buy brings clean water to a person in need. The prices vary depending on ring you choose (you can even build a custom ring), but they are very reasonably priced and gorgeous.
#18 – HUSQVARNA AUTOMOWER
The Husqvarna Automower is a robotic lawn mower that cuts your grass for you (it operates inside an underground guide wire). It’s basically a Roomba for your lawn. The Automower navigates lawns of any complexity, day or night, rain or shine. But you don’t have to worry about it waking you up because it’s silent. When it runs low on power it returns itself to its charging station and then goes back to work after its fully charged. It has a built-in alarm to resist theft and works safely around your children and pets. And you can remotely monitor it via your smartphone or Amazon Alexa. The mowers range in price from $1,500-$3,500, depending on the model.
#19 – BMW i3 ELECTRIC CAR
BMW released its first fully-electric model, the i3. The i3 gets up to 114 miles on one full charge or 180 miles with the range extender. But the sustainability of the car goes far beyond its electric power. The car is produced in a zero-emissions factory that runs on 100% renewable energy, using 50% less energy and 70% less water than conventional factories. Sections of the dashboard and trim are made from sustainable-grown eucalyptus and natural fibers. Even the plastics used in the interior and the exterior have been derived from recycled and renewable materials. The car starts at $44,450.
#20 – BRITE HOMES FLORIDA SOLAR HOME
Brite Homes Florida offers the highest standards of energy-efficient homes at a surprisingly affordable price. Living green no longer means sacrificing style. The homes showcase the latest energy-saving solutions without compromising beautiful design. They have five floorpans to choose from, all available with solar-panels. The homes begin in the $200,000’s, and come standard with energy-efficient appliances, a 15 SEER HVAC, foam insulation, LED lighting, and smart home automation.