Here at Green Newton, we are all about zero waste. Reducing and reusing are great lifestyle changes that can make a big difference, and what better time to start reducing waste than in the new year after all of our holiday celebrations. While it seems counterintuitive to buy more in order to use less, investing in reusable or reduced waste products can really help shrink overall consumption and our contributions to the waste stream. Our Program Manager, Debra, shares some of the products she’s found helpful in her home this past year:

  1. Swedish Dish Towels: Before purchasing these reusable dish towels, we were using a lot of paper towels cleaning up after our two small kids. Every meal was followed by multiple paper towels to clean them, the table, and the floor. We’ve been loving these Swedish dish towels, which have replaced most of our paper towel use. You can wash them, and they’re textured so really can handle a good clean-up!
  2. Stasher Silicone Snack Bags: Packing snacks for both kids for school used to involve using a lot of small ziploc bags, but these silicone bags have been a great replacement without the waste.
  3. Laundry Detergent Sheets: While these aren’t reusable, I switched to detergent sheets this year because I really didn’t want to keep buying large jugs of liquid detergent. The bottles contain mostly water so they create a lot of waste to transport, and even though we recycle ours, they are a huge source of waste in landfills. These sheets take up less space, create less mess, work just as well, and come in a recyclable cardboard box. 
  4. Reusable Grocery Bags: What I love about these bags is that they are structured like a grocery store paper bag, so you can fill them without everything moving around, and fold down very flat so they’re easy to store and carry. They’re strong and have held up carrying groceries for a family of four for a few months, and I feel good about using fewer paper bags.

A lot of these and other great products can be found at local stores like Fulfilled Goods and Whole Foods, and online at Lochtree. (Owner Henry Palmer is a Green Newton board member.) Do you have any favorite reusable products you’d like to share with us? Email us at to tell us about them. And stay tuned for the next few weeks for more tips on how to reduce, reuse and recycle this year!