10 things GL girls never buy (better for your purse and the planet)

Being a sustainable shopper is incredibly important these days, but it can be tough to know where to start. Check out these eco-friendly finds that real GL girls love and try making the switch yourself. Your wallet *and* the Earth will thank you.

Plastic water bottles

Not only are reusable water bottles much better for the environment, but they also keep your water cold for a long time. Grab a Hydro Flask and decorate it with fun, personalized stickers, or buy a patterned Swell bottle instead.

Plastic straws

Ditch the plastic straws and go for a reusable metal or bamboo one instead. Many of them come in cute carrying cases, so you can keep them in your purse for any on-the-go sips. FinalStraw is on sale right now for only $12, and it comes with a case and a cleaning brush.

Paper lunch bags

The best part about reusable lunch bags? They can *totally* pass as a cute accessory. An insulated lunch tote can keep your meal cool and make a fashion statement at the same time. This metallic lunch tote from doubles as a cross-body bag.

Makeup wipes

Now that we've established that makeup wipes are *terrible* for your skin (thanks, Hyram), we're ready to toss ours for good. Use a gentle face cleanser bar to remove stubborn makeup instead. If you just can't part with your wipes, try a reusable cloth one—you can throw it in with your laundry when it's time for cleaning.

Plastic coffee cups

Tired of lukewarm coffee? A reusable cup will keep your drink hot for hours. Many coffee shops (like Starbs and Dunkin') offer discounts if you bring your own cup, too. Some stores won't fill your personal cup right now because of health and safety protocols, but an insulated cup is still a great investment.

Ziploc bags

Instead of stuffing your sammie in a plastic baggie, try a reusable one instead. These storage bags from Target are BPA-free and dishwasher safe, so you can simply use, wash, rinse and repeat.

Travel-size liquid shampoo 

Buying tiny, travel-sized body wash and shampoo may *seem* more convenient, but all that plastic packaging winds up in landfills and never breaks down. Pick up this sweet-smelling shampoo bar from Love Beauty and Planet or choose a good ol' bar of soap instead (Dove Beauty Bars are a classic choice).

Fast fashion

Instead of buying something new every time a socially-distanced birthday party rolls around, try thrifting, upcycling or hosting a clothing swap to get your next new look. Your local thrift store might have amazing gems, and there are always fab finds on the online platform Poshmark, like this adorable Coach wristlet. 

Plastic Tupperware

Let's be real: using a reusable plastic container is way better for the environment than a disposable Ziploc bag (see above). But what if you wanna make a delish salad or deconstructed taco for lunch? Invest in a bento box like this adorable one from Target so you can store any meal in a snap.

Plastic grocery bags

A reusable tote bag is always your best bet to be environmentally-friendly, but some stores aren't accepting them right now because of COVID-19. If you have the option, ask baggers to package your products in paper instead of plastic. Some paper bags are compostable, but plastic stays in our environment forever. If you do want to invest in a reusable bag, try this tie-dye tote from Urban Outfitters.

Which sustainable switch will you make first? Tag us on Twitter @girlslifemag and let us know!

All GIFs via GIPHY

Slider image: Mert Guller on Unsplash


by Ariane Faro and Kathleen O'Neill | 3/10/2021