There are more ways to help the environment than just opting for reusable grocery bags.
Whether you’re interested in living more sustainably or getting more bang for your buck, you don’t have to make drastic changes to successfully do both. From reusable cleaning wipes to electronic devices, there are a number of everyday items that can save you money and reduce waste.
Consumer Reports Digital Lifestyle Editor Elliot Weiler joined TODAY’s Hour 3 to showcase seven sustainable and reusable products that will get you spending your money a lot more.
Consumer Reports sustainable and reusable products
Reidea electronic lighter
If you’ve thrown away more disposable lighters than you can count, this rechargeable lighter can help you break the cycle. Weiler says it can light a stove or candle like a traditional lighter, and all without combustible fuel. After you charge it via USB, the difference in the electrodes’ charges help create an arc of ionized gas hot enough to light candles, paper and other combustible materials, according to the brand. Plus, says Weiler, it’s windproof.
NutriChef vacuum sealer
Stop throwing away groceries! Weiler says one of the best ways to reduce food waste is to cannish your food instead. This vacuum sealer creates an airtight seal around steaks, veggies or anything else you want to store to keep them fresh and prevent freezer burn. CR testers found this NutriChef model performed well in their tests, giving it an “Excellent” rating for its dry food sealing capabilities and speed. Though it may seem like an investment, Weiler says it’s easy to use and worth the money it saves you in the long run.
KitchenIQ Edge Grip knife sharpener
A dull blade doesn’t necessarily mean it’s time to buy a whole new set of kitchen knives. If you’re looking to extend the life of what you already own, Weiler says a good knife sharpener can help. This compact sharpener uses a two-stage system to help you get a sharper blade: the first is a coarse stage for “seriously dull” knives, while the second is a fine slot for knives that need a quick touch up. One thing to note – it’s small so watch your fingers closely while sharpening.
Soda Stream Terra
If you drink a lot of seltzer or lemonade, this device can help you get it right at home. CR testers calculated that a family of five who drank five liters of store-bought seltzer a week would likely save $195 and 520 plastic bottles over the course of two years if they switched to this machine. CR testers also found that the SodaStream Terra is easy to use, requires no electricity, and lets you adjust the amount of fizz your drinks have just by pressing the button.
Aidea reusable cleaning wipes
It’s easy to waste paper towels, so reducing the number you use can help you not only save money but also help the environment, Weiler says. You can pick up a pack of these reusable towels for less than $15 and get the same benefits as paper towels—they’re absorbent, machine washable (up to 25 times depending on the brand), and the perfect size for cleaning up spills. Dry your hands or clean the counters.
Gourmia 6 Qt Digital Air Fryer
Air fryers are the perfect solution for prepping food or reheating leftovers so you don’t have to throw anything away. You can also use them to prepare meals from scratch. This Gourmia model was a top performer in the CR tests – it received an excellent rating for the controls and very high marks for its noise level and ease of cleaning.
Stihl BGA 57 electric leaf blower
Weiler says lawn mowers with two-stroke engines can emit between 20 and 300 times the emissions of a car on an hourly basis. Battery-powered devices completely reduce these emissions and are often cheaper to maintain than gas devices. Plus, says Weiler, they work just as well or even better than traditional gas-powered models. This Stihl leaf blower is a CR Best Buy and was one of the best performing models in CR’s lab tests. It has enough power to pick up leaves and other debris, and it’s also on the quiet side, Weiler said. It has received high marks for reliability and owner satisfaction, and is a good option for fall garden cleaning.
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