Over the years we’ve uncovered some surprising ways to be friendly to the environment. For example, a dishwasher uses less water than hand-washing. Composting can reduce greenhouse gases produced by food rotting in landfills. And LED bulbs use 13 percent of the energy of incandescents. Here are some of our favorite items for reducing emissions, wasting less energy, and saving water.
The Best Rechargeable AA and AAA Batteries
Energizer Recharge Universal
After 1,000 hours on our analyzer, the Energizer Recharge
is our pick for the best rechargeable AA battery. AmazonBasics
usually has the best deal on AAAs.
The Best Rechargeable Battery Charger (for AA and AAA Batteries)
Panasonic Advanced Individual Cell Battery Charger with Four Eneloop batteries
After six hours of research, we have found the best battery chargers for most people's needs, whether they need one that's simple and reliable or one with performance monitoring and extra slots. All of our picks are designed to prevent overcharging, and unlike some competitors and older chargers, each has independent charging slots so you won't have to charge your batteries in pairs.
The Best Hybrid Car
2016 Toyota Prius Two Eco
We spent dozens of hours considering every hybrid car currently on sale and driving and living with the best of the bunch. The 2016 Toyota Prius Two Eco
achieves the best fuel efficiency rating of any car that doesn’t plug in. And it doesn’t cost much more than a non-hybrid compact car, meaning you’ll save from day one.
The Best Smart Thermostat
Nest Learning Thermostat
We tested the top five smart thermostats for over a month, and our pick is the simple-to-use, easy-to-integrate third-generation Nest Learning Thermostat
. It outperforms the competition thanks to its automatic scheduling features, elegant design, and continually improving software, and integration with other smart home devices.
The Best Electric Vehicle
2016 Kia Soul EV
After driving every electric vehicle currently available for sale in the United States, we found the Kia Soul EV
is the best option for drivers who want to go completely gas-free. The Soul has great range, an affordable price, and the best set of high-tech features we’ve seen. Plus, it drives better than most other EVs, and Kia has the best warranty among its competition.
The Best Dishwasher
Bosch 300 Series M
Now that Bosch has updated most of its dishwasher line, our new pick for most people is the quiet, capacious, and reasonably priced Bosch 300 Series M
The Best Hybrid Bike
Marin Fairfax SC1
We tested 14 new bikes in 2017, and the Marin Fairfax SC1
is our favorite hybrid bike for commuters. It comes with quality components and commuter-friendly features, without succumbing to the price creep we’ve seen on similar bikes.
The Best Dry Food Storage Containers
Rubbermaid Modular Canisters
After over 15 hours of research and testing, we think Rubbermaid’s Premium Modular Canisters
are the best dry storage containers. The containers are sturdy, the lids are airtight and interchangeable across multiple sizes, and a narrow design allows the containers to stack nicely. You can buy them individually or as a set, and they’re less expensive than some of the far-more-fragile models we tried.
The Best All-Purpose Cleaner
Puracy Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner
After over 60 hours of research, and more than 500 swipes with paper towels on five different stains and four different surfaces, we think Puracy Natural Multi-Surface Cleaner
is the cleaner to get.
The Best Menstrual Cup
After trying 18 different cups, constructing multiple model vaginas, and spilling our fair share of water, egg whites, and pig’s blood, we’ve found the best menstrual cup
for most people.
The Best Showerhead
Delta In2ition 58480
After taking more than 240 showers over the course of four months to test nearly a dozen showerheads, we think the Delta In2ition 58480
is the best showerhead for most people.
The Best Washer and Dryer
After more than 100 hours of research, we think the LG WM3770HWA
are the best matching washer and dryer pair for most people.
The Best Travel Mug
Zojirushi New Stainless Mug
After doing nearly 50 hours of research over the past three years and considering more than 60 different models, we think the Zojirushi New Stainless Steel Mug
is the best travel mug for most people. It offers the best balance of heat retention and versatility of any model we tested. It costs more than its competitors, but its thoughtful design and foolproof locking mechanism make it worth the price.
The Best Window Fans
Pelonis 9-Inch Twin Window Fan
We researched 16 window fans and tested the five most promising contenders. The Pelonis 9” Twin Window Fan
from Home Depot is our pick because it offers the best combination of value, power, and features.
The Best Food Storage Containers
Glasslock 18-Piece Container Set
After three years of long-term testing, we still think the sturdy and leakproof Glasslock 18-Piece
containers are the best for storing your leftovers.
The Best Portable Solar Battery Charger
Anker PowerPort Solar Lite
The 15W Anker PowerPort Solar Lite
is our new pick for the best portable solar charger. Compact and lightweight it is as efficient in most cases as our heavier and bulkier previous recommendation.
The Best Plug-in Hybrid
2016 Chevrolet Volt
After three months of research and lots of electrified miles of driving, we’ve found that the 2016 Chevrolet Volt
is the best plug-in hybrid for most people. It offers a total of 53 miles of all-electric range, seating for five, and a better interior than the competition, and it’s very fuel efficient when running on gas. Plus, it’s the least expensive plug-in hybrid available.
The Best Water Filter Pitcher
Pur Classic 11-Cup
We tested seven models for water taste and filtration performance, and Pur’s Classic 11-Cup
pitcher is head and shoulders above the rest—even the ubiquitous Brita.
The Best Detergent for Hand Washing Clothes
Move over, Woolite--after 35 hours washing 40 fabric swatches in 22 different washes, Soak
beat out competitors to become the best delicates detergent.
The Best Dish Soap
Seventh Generation Natural Dish Liquid
After more than 65 hours of research and testing 28 detergents, we found the Seventh Generation Dish Liquid
is the best for most people. You can’t beat the cleaning power of Seventh Generation. Plus, the company doesn’t use dyes or synthetic fragrances in its product, and it doesn’t test on animals.
The Best Bike Rack, Basket, and Panniers for Commuting
Commuting by bike with the right rack, basket, and panniers means you can carry your cargo on your bicycle almost as effortlessly as you can in your car. We sorted through 71 panniers, 38 racks, and 16 baskets, and chose 23 top contenders to road-test. After spending nine months transporting everyday objects around on a bicycle, we’ve found the most comfortable and convenient setup for your next commute on two wheels.
The Best Garden Hose
Craftsman Premium Rubber Hose
For folks looking to keep their garden lush, cars clean, and sprinklers sprinkling, the best choice is the Craftsman Premium Rubber Hose
because of its great price, durability, build quality, lack of plasticizers, and lifetime warranty.
The Best Composters for Kitchen Scraps
We spent 20 hours on research, consulted three experts, and tapped into our writer’s 20 years of experience to find the best composting units for most people. The Earth Machine
is often available at Public Works departments for a substantial discount. It’s simple to aerate, has a large opening, and keeps rodents out – unlike the competition. We also have recommendations for larger and smaller needs.