Etsy is a great place to purchase eco-friendly and handmade goods from small businesses. By skipping the warehouses, wasteful packaging, and rush shipping, Etsy is a more environmentally friendly marketplace than Amazon (see why in our Amazon Sh*t List). In fact, we’re rather impressed with their carbon offset shipping.
However, Etsy is also overflowing with “eco-friendly” products that may leave you wondering “Why the heck would I ever need that?” For example, is a metal tongue scraper really eco-friendly? Or would it be better for the planet to leave an idea like that on the drawing board?
After cruising Etsy’s “eco-friendly” search results for several hours, I’ve come up with a list of eight products that are actually useful and eco-friendly. That’s not to say there aren’t hundreds of others that can contribute to an Earth-friendly lifestyle, but these eight jump out as unique, practical and genuinely sustainable.
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8 eco-friendly, worthwhile products on Etsy
Hemp Backpacks from Ancient Chinese Remedy
Price: $39.95 with free shipping
Hemp is an incredibly sustainable, natural material. These little backpacks are perfect for day hiking or the modern day classroom (if we ever get back to them). Plenty of room for a laptop, a water bottle, a few pens and notebooks, and a snack.
There are currently 14 styles, shapes and sizes to choose from, all made with hemp from Nepal.
Collapsible Dog Bowl from Renard Outfitters
Price: $32.95 with free shipping
OK, this might be a little specific to dog owners (or adventurous cat owners). As a dog owner myself, I am in love with this idea. These bowls are made from recycled polyester and organic cotton instead of the virgin plastics. They come with a carabiner to clip on to backpacks (see above).
My dog and I are always at the dog park, at the lake, on the trail, etc. This bowl looks deep enough to hold a significant amount of water, and light enough to carry around easily. The eco-friendly materials are a deal-sealer, for me.
Laptop Sleeve from My Crupon
Price: $54.40 with free shipping.
Now we’re thinking outside the box! This personalizable laptop sleeve is handmade from recycled washable paper and recycled plastic bottles, about 8-10 per item. The materials carry meaningful OEKO-TEX and Forest Stewardship Council certifications. My Crupon’s other electronics accessories are worth a look, too.
The not-so-eco-friendly aspect: this item ships from Bulgaria — not exactly local. (Quick tip: Keep an eye out for where Etsy products ship from.)
Organic throw pillows from Beans Products Inc
Price: $23.95 to $39.95, depending on size and shape. Free shipping.
After three years of marriage I finally understand that importance of throw pillows. I don’t know why they are so important, but I understand that if they aren’t just right, the house is likely to collapse. These throw pillow inserts are something both my wife and I can get behind. She can cover them with whatever keeps our house from crumbling, and I can nap on a comfy pillow made with sustainable, non-toxic materials.
These bad boys feature GOTS certified organic cotton and organic kapok fill. Kapok is a natural material from a tree in the Tropical Rain Forests. According to Beans Product Inc: “The seed pods are annually gathered from the Kapok Tree – maintaining the forests in an environmentally friendly way, while providing employment for the indigenous people.”
Interested in handmade and eco-friendly products? Check out these gems in the Emeraldology Shop!
Bamboo Coffee Cup from The Geeky Hub
Yeah, yeah, yeah — environmentalists have been preaching about reusable cups and water bottles for decades. The Geeky Hub takes it a step further with this biodegradable organic bamboo travel coffee cup. The point of reusable cups it avoid plastic, right?
The downsides: This product is made in China and ships from the United Kingdom. Plus, the silicon lid and heat sleeve are only recyclable instead of biodegradable. (Quick tip: Keep an eye out for where Etsy products ship from.)
Dishwasher Tabs from Salt and Light Natural
Price: $8.99 for 20 tablets
These handmade dishwasher tablets are a significant eco-upgrade from regular ones. They’re made in Michigan with natural materials, come in a biodegradable bag, feature no individual wrapping, can be broken up for other cleaning projects.
Ingredients: Washing soda, epsom salt, lemon juice, essential oil, sodium borate. Simple enough!
Palm Leaf Plates from Dtocs
Price: $14.08 to $48 depending on size, quantity and shape. Free shipping.
Finally, a sustainable substitute for disposable plastic plates! Now, if it was only safe to host an event to use them…
Plates made from naturally fallen palm leaves — 100% natural, no tree fallen or harmed. Sturdier than disposable plates, microwave safe, easily compostable. There’s really no reason to go back to plastic with these on the market.
Vegetable Brush from Green Piece Products
Price: $9.88 with free shipping
I’ll admit, this one is bordering on the edge of useful, but I have a garden full of fresh produce covered in bug farts and bird turds. And if you eat a lot of fresh produce from the garden, a CSA, farmers markets, or even the grocery store, this might be well worth $10. Also, scrubbing dirt off organic produce is one thing, but scrubbing Roundup off inorganic produce is another, and that two second rinse and rub with your finger probably isn’t cutting it.
This brush is plastic free with a bamboo handle and palm fibers. Compost it with your produce scraps when it’s beyond usable.
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Feature photo source.