Conscious Consumption – 8 Must-Have Products

conscious consumption woman using a reusable produce bag

Conscious consumption – or being cognizant in using reusable products in lieu of single-use, hard to break down ones – is nothing new.  

We decided that this is the year to REALLY try to reduce our carbon footprint, so I took to the interwebs to find the best ways and products to make it happen!

Check out the 8 most commonly used reusable products below!

Conscious Consumption Products 101

Shopping Bags

Reusable shopping bags were one of the first main stream “reusable” products that I can remember.  Back in the day we would keep the plastic bags from the supermarket and use them as lunch bags or as garbage bags for our small garbage pails.Plastic bags can take from 15 to 1,000 years to break down.  Paper bags are the lesser of two evils in that they decompose easier than their plastic counterparts.  

Reusable shopping bags have come a long way.  You can pick them up at practically any supermarket, big box retail store, online – you name it!  

Something people don’t realize when it comes to reusable bags is that you need to wash them periodically.  They carry fruit, veggies, dirty canned food, etc. that can harbor bacteria.  Cloth bags can be washed in hot water, whereas bags that are made from recycled bottles would have to be hand-washed and line-dried.


Most plastic straws are not easily broken down.  There is no “safe” way to recycle or degrade them without the further use of chemicals that could negatively affect the environment.

I have to preface this section with the fact that I do not like paper straws.  I am all for the “no plastic straw” campaign, but those paper straws get soggy and gross.  That is why I opt for reusable plastic, stainless steel, and glass straws!  

Water Bottles

Did you know that an average person buys 13,000 plastic single-use water bottles, costing about $20,000?  Aside from that insane fact, 

Reusable plastic bottles are a mainstay at our house.  I personally like the stainless steal bottles because it keeps the water super cold.  Glass bottles are also great, but you do have to be super careful not to break them – take it from my experience!

My newest favorite reusable bottle is the insulated DYLN water bottle.  By utilizing a VitaBead diffuser, I can create alkaline water on the go – and it stays cold for up to 24 hours!  Alkaline water has been shown to boost immunity and neutralize the acidity in your body, which is caused by stress, environmental toxins, and poor diet.  

Reusable Coffee Cups

I thought that all single-use coffee cups were recyclable (of course, not the styrofoam ones).  The inner lining is made of a combination of paper and plastic making the cup both leakproof and keep in the heat.  There are some coffee shops that will recycle the single-use cups BUT they have to be discarded onsite, which is rare.  

Hence the need for reusable coffee cups!

Yetis and brands similar in design are perfect as reusable coffee cups.  Your beverage will stay hot (or cold) for hours upon hours.  If you drink your coffee anything like I do – over the course of a few hours – you will greatly appreciate a Yeti.  

Produce Bags

The first time I used produce bags was after I received them with my Lotus Trolley Bags (another type of reusable shopping bag that is great for organizing your groceries as you pay for them!).   

Produce bags were the last reusable product that we started using.  A lot of the stores we frequented offered biodegradable bags, but why not skip those and use bags that can simply be used over and over?  

Below are some of my favorites!

Fabric Napkins

Even though fabric napkins may slightly increase your laundry load, they are a great alternative to paper napkins or paper towels.  

I recommend getting a few sets so you can swap out when one gets dirty.  If your family is anything like mine, you’ll need a few sets to enforce the conscious consumption realistically!

Glass Jars

Even though there are plastic containers that are BPA-free, I am still a bit wary about warming up food in one of them.  I opt for glass jars and containers whenever I can.  They cost a bit more but are usually oven and microwave safe, and freezer safe as well!

I recommend saving and reusing any glass jars you get from food – baby food, tomato sauce, etc.  

Silicone Food Bags

Swap the plastic zippered bags for reusable silicone food bags.  I don’t recommend packing our kids’ lunch in them unless he or she is responsible enough to bring them home and not accidentally throw them out.  

What products do you recommend to enforce conscious consumption?

About The Author

Dana Peller

Dana Peller

I’m a wife, mom, biz owner, writer, creator, and TV personality. My days are accomplished with a dash of flair, lots of style, and fueled by coffee.

About The Author

Dana Peller

Dana Peller

I’m a wife, mom, biz owner, writer, creator, and TV personality. My days are accomplished with a dash of flair, lots of style, and fueled by coffee.

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25 thoughts on “Conscious Consumption – 8 Must-Have Products”

  1. Our state (New York) has moved to get rid of plastic bags, in favor of either paper bags (you can purchase them at the store for around .10 cents), or, buying their reusable bags, for about a dollar. I have to really make a conscious effort to not forget them when I go to the store!

  2. I love metal straws! They are my favorite because they keep drinks colder. I bought some last year and love them. I use paper and plastic bags. I love bags because I reuse them. Especially during the Spring and Summer months when I sell fruits, vegetables, and herbs. Great blog post.

  3. These are effective ways to protect our environment instead of using lots of plastic that cause pollution. Love these ideas!!

  4. I already use most of these! I think shopping eco-consciously is super important. Thank you for bringing more awareness on this topic. 🙂

  5. Love these ideas! I’ve been trying to be conscious about what I use. My state isn’t very progressive, unfortunately.

    1. Kendall, there are little things you can do here and there. Reusable straws, bottles and coffee cups are a great way to start!

  6. i agree with you about the soggy paper straws. so gross. i love my plastic straw that i can reuse (with my reusable water glass) but i’ve never found a good way to carry it around (too big for a sandwich baggie). joy

    1. It is hard to tote everything around. I actually did find some telescopic reusable straws on Amazon.

  7. I have a ton of grocery bags but since I have been getting them delivered, I have started collecting plastic bags again. I have to figure out how to minimize how many delivery people bring. Also, my elderly father insists on using those plastic bags for his needs. We have talked about how bad they are but he’s old and stuck in his ways…

  8. Matt Taylor

    I own silicone food bags and silicone stretch lids. They are awesome!!!

  9. This is a great post to help us be more conscious of what and how we eat . I love this so much and going to pick up some of those items you recommended for sure.

  10. I need to get better at this! I still use way too much plastic. I’m going to add this to my goals for the year. You are right, we need to protect and preserve our earth.

  11. I need these produce bags. We don’t use straws because we don’t like them. I recently shifted to reusable napkins. This post is very useful for everyone who wants to help the environment and is looking for a start!

  12. Subhashish Roy

    Yes it is so important that each of us consciously stop using plastic. I am into most of these options that you have talked about.

  13. I am definitely shopping more consciously. I love collecting and using glass jars for storage.

  14. we should be better and avoid plastic , unfortunately not everyone wants to start from this sadly.

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