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5 Surprising Household Items You Can Buy Biodegradable [Slideshow]

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Repurposing and recycling are great ways to help protect the planet. But committing to using biodegradable products is even kinder to Mother Earth. Biodegradable products made from natural renewable resources such as corn or potato starch, sugar cane, and vegetable oil will biodegrade much faster than plastic and other petroleum-based products. In addition, they are non-toxic, so they don’t throw off harmful chemicals as they biodegrade, which means fewer toxins and pollutants released into the earth.

Here are some household items you may not have realized you can buy in biodegradable forms.

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Disposable Cutlery: Eat It or Throw It Away

Plastic cutlery is almost always used once and thrown away. It's well past time to reduce the amount of plastic cutlery we use and start switching to a more sustainable, greener option. There are so many types out there, including an entirely edible form of cutlery that comes in three different flavors – original, sweet, and savory. However, you don't have to eat them. Made of rice flour, wheat flour, and sorghum, they are entirely biodegradable.

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Compostable Party Plates

Paper and plastic plates and dinnerware are generally used once and discarded. You can reduce this waste by using compostable or biodegradable plates at your next get together. These plant-based plates biodegrade, so they can be composted or thrown away.

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Plant-Based Sponges

That synthetic foamed polyurethane sponge that you're using is made with petroleum, bleach, assorted sulfates, and a whole slew of chemicals. They take forever to biodegrade, and when they do, they release toxic chemicals into the soil.

Choose a plant-based sponge; instead, there are tons of options these days, including once made out of cellulose, walnut shells, sisal, wood fibers, and loofah. Once you wear them out, you can compost them or toss them secure in the fact that they will easily biodegrade.

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Compostable Straws

Many restaurants and businesses have replaced plastic straws with paper ones. However, many people still prefer to sip from a straw, and for people with disabilities, it is often a necessity. Fortunately, there are many biodegradable options, and these aren't your grandmother's paper straws. Unlike those ones, these straws are sturdy and hold up against almost any drink you can think of.

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Reusable Beauty "Cotton" Balls and Rounds

Cotton balls and rounds play a big part in skincare routines. Most of us toss a few of these in the trash every day. While grabbing another pack from the store isn't always a big deal, cotton production takes its toll on the environment.

So, rather than choosing an option that is just biodegradable, choose one that is also reusable. Washable makeup rounds are now available. They are effective and take almost no extra effort to reuse. And, after way more uses than a disposable one, once you toss them, they will biodegrade, helping the environment during their entire product life-cycle.

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Stephany
GR8NESS Writer
Stephany is a GR8NESS Contributing Editor who writes about pet care, CBD, stress, self care, meditation, time management, brain training, and natural remedies with a focus on the science behind it all. She has three dogs, three cats, walks half marathons, and practices yoga and powerlifting. You can often find her training her dogs or experimenting with new flavors in the kitchen.
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