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Eco-Organizing 101: Alternatives to Plastic

glass containers with food on a marble kitchen counter

In a world increasingly aware of the environmental impact of plastic, many individuals are seeking alternatives for organizing and storing their belongings.

From kitchen containers to closet organizers, there are numerous eco-friendly options available that not only reduce plastic waste but also add a touch of style to your living spaces.

In this blog article, I will provide you with a variety of sustainable alternatives to plastic for organizing storage items, helping you create a more environmentally conscious and aesthetically pleasing home.

Repurposing Containers

The simplest, and most eco-friendly approach is to breathe new life into containers that were uncovered during the decluttering process.

As an Organizer, I always like to approach this with a Client before we purchase new items not only to save them money but to also help the environment.

You can also save any containers (such as parmesan cheese lids, mason jars etc.) as you use items in the home and then upcycle them into containers to hold food items in a pantry, or small bathroom items such as Q-tips and cotton balls.

Water Hyacinth

One of the fastest-growing, free-floating aquatic plants capable of growing in extreme environmental conditions.

As baskets, they are lightweight, durable, and easy to clean (use a dry cloth only).

Look for untreated bins, meaning no shellac or other materials have been applied and be sure to keep out of direct sunlight & away from heat sources (i.e. fireplace, radiator).

Water Hyacinth baskets can be found at places like Amazon, Wayfair, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc. and can run anywhere between $30-$120 depending on size, shape and number.

Fabric Storage Cube

These are always a great alternative to plastic for toys, blankets, linens etc.

Fabric cubes are 100% organic while being washable, durable, reusable, and foldable!

They are also very versatile, coming in a variety of sizes, shapes, colours, and both with and without lids & also slots of labels on the outside.

Fabric Cubes can be found at Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Ikea, Wayfair, etc. and can run anywhere between $25 - $100 depending on the size, shape, and number.


A great alternative for storing photos, keepsakes, and office supplies!

Fiberboard is more durable than cardboard and is often made from recycled materials.

Boxes are available in a variety of sizes, colours, and styles & are great for home offices, or bookshelves!

Fiberboard items can be found at Amazon, Wayfair, Ikea, etc. and can run anywhere between $30 - $100 depending on the size, shape and number.

Glass Containers

Glass containers are a great alternative for dry food items in a pantry and small toiletries.

Most options come with a lid (either glass or bamboo) and an airtight seal.

With glass containers, be sure to attach a label to the lid or the side to identify contents, and for food items, it is a good idea to also add an expiry date, either on the bottom of the container or under the item name on the label.

Glass containers in various sizes and shapes can be found at Amazon, Wayfair, Ikea, Bed Bath & Beyond, etc. and run anywhere between $3 - $40 depending on the size and shape.


Bamboo is renewable, recyclable, and durable! It's a great material for organizing storage items.

Bamboo items include drawer organizers, trays, boxes, containers etc. that can be used all over the home.

Both stylish and cost-effective, bamboo items are a great alternative to plastic for those who are on a budget.

Bamboo items can be found at Amazon, Wayfair, Ikea, Bed, Bath & Beyond etc. and can vary in price from $15 - $50 depending on the size, shape and number.


This is just a list of the most common eco-friendly items out on the market, but this is by all means far from an exhaustive list.

Organizing your home does not need to break the bank, There are plenty of cost-effective ways to keep your home organized while doing your part to help the environment.


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About the Organizer: Brittany Smith lives in Ottawa, Canada with her husband and feline furbaby Zoey. She is a Certified Professional Organizer, Owner, and Founder of Control the Chaos, a Professional Organizing business that provides personalized in-home, paper and digital organizing services aimed at transforming anyone's chaos into calm.

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