Delta-8 THC is a cannabis product that has become a bestseller over the past few months, as many consumers find they can legally purchase it from CBD retailers. Its proponents say that Delta-8 THC will give you a nice little buzz, minus some of the more intense feelings (including paranoia) that are sometimes associated with marijuana.
Delta-8 THC is being marketed as a legal option for consumers who either don't live in a state with legal cannabis, or are a little apprehensive about how traditional psychoactive THC products will affect them. But is it all it's cracked up to be? Let's take a closer look, exploring what Delta-8 THC is, how it differs from other THC products, and whether it's actually legal for use.
What is Delta-8 THC?
To better understand Delta-8 THC, it helps to cover some basics about THC and cannabis.
Cannabis plants come chock full of different cannabinoids. These are naturally-occuring chemical compounds that bind with receptors throughout your body. They can offer a wide range of mental, emotional, and physical effects; indeed, the healing and therapeutic properties marijuana or CBD products offer can be attributed to cannabinoids.
One of the most common cannabinoids is what's known as Delta-9 THC. Simply put, this is the part of marijuana that gets you "high." It's worth noting that Delta-9 THC remains illegal in many states, except for in the most minute doses, and is still illegal at the federal level. CBD products are made with trace amounts of THC, ensuring that consumers can enjoy positive health effects in a perfectly legal way, without the risk of getting high.
On a chemical level, Delta-8 THC is not too different from Delta-9 THC; the distinction comes down to just a few molecules. But those molecules make a big practical impact: Delta-8 THC will give you a buzz, but the psychoactive effects are considerably milder than with Delta-9 THC.
More specifically, many cannabis enthusiasts report that Delta-8 THC helps them feel good but also leaves them relatively clear-headed; and, it doesn't produce the anxiety or jitteriness that often characterize a Delta-9 THC high.
Additionally, because of the way the law is written regarding Delta-9 THC, some CBD companies now sell Delta-8 THC products in places where traditional cannabis is still illegal.
What's the Difference Between Delta-9 THC and Delta-8 THC?
Here are the primary differences to note between Delta-9 and Delta-8 THC:
- Delta-9 THC is the primary psychoactive ingredient found in marijuana. In other words, it's the part that gets you high.
- Though some states have found workarounds, Delta-9 THC is still illegal under federal law.
- Delta-8 THC is also found in the cannabis plant, though it's not quite as powerful or as well-known.
- Delta-8 THC is milder in its psychoactive effects. And, it's not technically illegal under current law.
These are just a few of the key distinctions to keep in mind. Delta-8 THC is popular among consumers who want a smoother high, and don't want to violate federal law.
Is Delta-8 THC Legal?
We noted that Delta-8 THC is not technically illegal. Here, we need to get into some of the nuanced legal considerations that surround this substance.
First of all, there are plenty of cannabis companies that actively promote Delta-8 THC as a legal way to get high. Again, that's technically true, but is still a point of debate for some.
For one thing, it's not explicitly listed as an illegal substance. While federal laws, and some state laws, specifically ban Delta-9 THC, Delta-8 THC is never mentioned. More to the point, though, many proponents will cite the 2018 Farm Bill. This law legalized several industrial hemp products on a national level, including CBD.
The Farm Bill also includes some fairly nuanced positions regarding THC. In summary, the law says that hemp and cannabis-derived products are legal so long as they contain less than 0.3 percent Delta-9 THC.
With that said, some lawyers contend that Delta-8's heyday may soon come to an end. That's because the Farm Bill clears it only so long as it's derived directly from hemp; most of the Delta-8 THC products sold today aren't made from hemp, but rather from synthetically-altered CBD.
Some of these issues are a little fuzzy, and the legal future of Delta-8 THC remains a little uncertain. For now, though, many experts would argue that it is legal to purchase.
What Kinds of Delta-8 THC Products Are Available?
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
If you're looking to try Delta-8 THC products, you'll certainly find plenty of different products. Dispensaries and legal cannabis stores currently have a trove of products that use this cannabinoid. Some examples include:
- Vape cartridges, tinctures, and capsules.
- Beverages made with Delta-8 THC, including some seltzers.
- Edibles, including Delta-8 THC gummy bears, chocolate bars, and more.
The cannabis industry has really been running with Delta-8 THC, finding creative ways to bring it to market. And chances are, even more products will be springing up in the weeks and months to come.
It's very important to note that you should only purchase Delta-8 THC products from reputable brands and established cannabis retailers. We do not recommend purchasing any products that contain Delta-8 THC from gas stations or vape shops. If you are looking for a reputable place to explore these products, here are a few brands that we trust and recommend:
NuLeaf Naturals Full Spectrum Delta 8 THC Oil is made from organic hemp and organic virgin hemp seed extract. It's available in a 150 mg bottle and a 450 mg bottle, which both provide 15 mg of Delta 8 THC per serving. This formula is also available in a soft gel.
The Botany Farms Delta-10 THC Vape Cartridge actually contains both Delta-10 and Delta-8 THC.This is designed to provide the desired effects of Delta-8 THC but without the drowsiness. They also offer a vape cartridge with a 1:1 concentration of Delta-8 THC and Delta-10 THC. Note that while vape products can be used to aid in smoking cessation, we do not recommend vaping or smoking because of the negative health effects they can cause.
What are the Pros and Cons of Delta-8 THC?
As you consider whether Delta-8 THC is worth your time, it may be helpful to weigh the pros against the cons.
Let's start with some of the positives:
- Delta-8 THC does have psychoactive effects, but it's a milder effect than with traditional Delta-9 THC.
- Delta-8 THC is currently legal and widely accessible in multiple states.
- There are a wide number of products that use Delta-8 THC.
Now, a few of the downsides.
- Delta-8 THC isn't quite as commonplace as other cannabis products, including CBD, and some of the options on the market are expensive.
- While this substance is technically legal, there are plenty of uncertainties over its legal future. It's something you want to keep in mind.
- As a relatively new product, Delta-8 THC products are not regulated by the FDA and there is not independent testing in place to verify that it is safe or pure.
As with any cannabis product, Delta-8 THC has its pros and cons. As you seek the cannabis product that's best for you, it's largely a matter of personal preference.
Also note that smoking, vaping, or otherwise imbibing any kind of cannabis-related product can carry some medical risks and negative health consequences. If you have any specific concerns, we recommend consulting with your doctor before you try any Delta-8 THC product.
Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic, and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. He covers natural health, nutrition, supplements, and clean energy. His writing has appeared in Health, Shape, and Remedy Review.
Throughout Texas, there are a number of solar power companies that can install solar panels on your roof to take advantage of the abundant sunlight. But which solar power provider should you choose? In this article, we'll provide a list of the best solar companies in the Lone Star State.
Our Picks for the Best Texas Solar Companies
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
- Sunpro Solar
- Longhorn Solar, Inc.
- Solartime USA
- Kosmos Solar
- Sunshine Renewable Solutions
- Alba Energy
- Circle L Solar
- South Texas Solar Systems
- Good Faith Energy
How We Chose the Best Solar Energy Companies in Texas
There are a number of factors to keep in mind when comparing and contrasting different solar providers. These are some of the considerations we used to evaluate Texas solar energy companies.
Different solar companies may provide varying services. Always take the time to understand the full range of what's being offered in terms of solar panel consultation, design, installation, etc. Also consider add-ons, like EV charging stations, whenever applicable.
When meeting with a representative from one of Texas' solar power companies, we would always encourage you to ask what the installation process involves. What kind of customization can you expect? Will your solar provider use salaried installers, or outsourced contractors? These are all important questions to raise during the due diligence process.
Texas is a big place, and as you look for a good solar power provider, you want to ensure that their services are available where you live. If you live in Austin, it doesn't do you much good to have a solar company that's active only in Houston.
Pricing and Financing
Keep in mind that the initial cost of solar panel installation can be sizable. Some solar companies are certainly more affordable than others, and you can also ask about the flexible financing options that are available to you.
To guarantee that the renewable energy providers you select are reputable, and that they have both the integrity and the expertise needed, we would recommend assessing their status in the industry. The simplest way to do this is to check to see whether they are North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certified or belong to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) or other industry groups.
Types of Panels
As you research different companies, it certainly doesn't hurt to get to know the specific products they offer. Inquire about their tech portfolio, and see if they are certified to install leading brands like Tesla or Panasonic.
Rebates and Tax Credits
There are a lot of opportunities to claim clean energy rebates or federal tax credits which can help with your initial solar purchase. Ask your solar provider for guidance navigating these different savings opportunities.
Going solar is a big investment, but a warranty can help you trust that your system will work for decades. A lot of solar providers provide warranties on their technology and workmanship for 25 years or more, but you'll definitely want to ask about this on the front end.
The 10 Best Solar Energy Companies in Texas
With these criteria in mind, consider our picks for the 10 best solar energy companies in TX.
SunPower is a solar energy company that makes it easy to make an informed and totally customized decision about your solar power setup. SunPower has an online design studio where you can learn more about the different options available for your home, and even a form where you can get a free online estimate. Set up a virtual consultation to speak directly with a qualified solar installer from the comfort of your own home. It's no wonder SunPower is a top solar installation company in Texas. They make the entire process easy and expedient.
Sunpro Solar is another solar power company with a solid reputation across the country. Their services are widely available to Texas homeowners, and they make the switch to solar effortless. We recommend them for their outstanding customer service, for the ease of their consultation and design process, and for their assistance to homeowners looking to claim tax credits and other incentives.
Looking for a solar contractor with true Texas roots? Longhorn Solar is an award-winning company that's frequently touted as one of the best solar providers in the state. Their services are available in Austin, Dallas, and San Antonio, and since 2009 they have helped more than 2,000 Texans make the switch to energy efficiency with solar. We recommend them for their technical expertise, proven track record, and solar product selection.
Solartime USA is another company based in Texas. In fact, this family-owned business is located in Richardson, which is just outside of Dallas. They have ample expertise with customized solar energy solutions in residential settings, and their portfolio of online reviews attests to their first-rate customer service. We love this company for the simplicity of their process, and for all the guidance they offer customers seeking to go solar.
Next on our list is Kosmos Solar, another Texas-based solar company. They're based in the northern part of the state, and highly recommended for homeowners in the area. They supply free estimates, high-quality products, custom solar designs, and award-winning personal service. Plus, their website has a lot of great information that may help guide you while you determine whether going solar is right for you.
Sunshine Renewable Solutions is based out of Houston, and they've developed a sterling reputation for dependable service and high-quality products. They have a lot of helpful financing options, and can show you how you can make the switch to solar in a really cost-effective way. We also like that they give free estimates, so there's certainly no harm in learning more about this great local company.
"Powered by the Texas sun." That's the official tagline of Alba Energy, a solar energy provider that's based out of Katy, TX. They have lots of great information about solar panel systems and solar solutions, including solar calculators to help you tabulate your potential energy savings. Additionally, we recommend Alba Energy because all of their work is done by a trusted, in-house team of solar professionals. They maintain an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and they have rave reviews from satisfied customers.
Circle L Solar has a praiseworthy mission of helping homeowners slash their energy costs while participating in the green energy revolution. This is another company that provides a lot of great information, including energy savings calculators. Also note that, in addition to solar panels, Circle L Solar also showcases a number of other assets that can help you make your home more energy efficient, including windows, weatherization services, LED lighting, and more.
You can tell by the name that South Texas Solar Systems focuses its service area on the southernmost part of the Lone Star State. Their products include a wide range of commercial and residential solar panels, as well as "off the grid" panels for homeowners who want to detach from public utilities altogether. Since 2007, this company has been a trusted solar energy provider in San Antonio and beyond.
Good Faith Energy is a certified installer of Tesla solar technology for homeowners throughout Texas. This company is really committed to ecological stewardship, and they have amassed a lot of goodwill thanks to their friendly customer service and the depth of their solar expertise. In addition to Tesla solar panels, they can also install EV charging stations and storage batteries.
What are Your Solar Financing Options in Texas?
We've mentioned already that going solar requires a significant investment on the front-end. It's worth emphasizing that some of the best solar companies provide a range of financing options, allowing you to choose whether you buy your system outright, lease it, or pay for it in monthly installments.
Also keep in mind that there are a lot of rebates and state and federal tax credits available to help offset starting costs. Find a Texas solar provider who can walk you through some of the different options.
How Much Does a Solar Energy System Cost in Texas?
How much is it going to cost you to make that initial investment into solar power? It varies by customer and by home, but the median cost of solar paneling may be somewhere in the ballpark of $13,000. Note that, when you take into account federal tax incentives, this number can fall by several thousand dollars.
And of course, once you go solar, your monthly utility bills are going to shrink dramatically… so while solar systems won't pay for themselves in the first month or even the first year, they will ultimately prove more than cost-effective.
Finding the Right Solar Energy Companies in TX
Texas is a great place to pursue solar energy companies, thanks to all the natural sunlight, and there are plenty of companies out there to help you make the transition. Do your homework, compare a few options, and seek the solar provider that's right for you. We hope this guide is a helpful jumping-off point as you try to get as much information as possible about the best solar companies in Texas.
Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic, and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. He covers natural health, nutrition, supplements, and clean energy. His writing has appeared in Health, Shape, and Remedy Review.
Each product featured here has been independently selected by the writer. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.
The bright patterns and recognizable designs of Waterlust's activewear aren't just for show. In fact, they're meant to promote the conversation around sustainability and give back to the ocean science and conservation community.
Each design is paired with a research lab, nonprofit, or education organization that has high intellectual merit and the potential to move the needle in its respective field. For each product sold, Waterlust donates 10% of profits to these conservation partners.
Eye-Catching Designs Made from Recycled Plastic Bottles
waterlust.com / @abamabam
The company sells a range of eco-friendly items like leggings, rash guards, and board shorts that are made using recycled post-consumer plastic bottles. There are currently 16 causes represented by distinct marine-life patterns, from whale shark research and invasive lionfish removal to sockeye salmon monitoring and abalone restoration.
One such organization is Get Inspired, a nonprofit that specializes in ocean restoration and environmental education. Get Inspired founder, marine biologist Nancy Caruso, says supporting on-the-ground efforts is one thing that sets Waterlust apart, like their apparel line that supports Get Inspired abalone restoration programs.
"All of us [conservation partners] are doing something," Caruso said. "We're not putting up exhibits and talking about it — although that is important — we're in the field."
Waterlust not only helps its conservation partners financially so they can continue their important work. It also helps them get the word out about what they're doing, whether that's through social media spotlights, photo and video projects, or the informative note card that comes with each piece of apparel.
"They're doing their part for sure, pushing the information out across all of their channels, and I think that's what makes them so interesting," Caruso said.
And then there are the clothes, which speak for themselves.
Advocate Apparel to Start Conversations About Conservation
waterlust.com / @oceanraysphotography
Waterlust's concept of "advocate apparel" encourages people to see getting dressed every day as an opportunity to not only express their individuality and style, but also to advance the conversation around marine science. By infusing science into clothing, people can visually represent species and ecosystems in need of advocacy — something that, more often than not, leads to a teaching moment.
"When people wear Waterlust gear, it's just a matter of time before somebody asks them about the bright, funky designs," said Waterlust's CEO, Patrick Rynne. "That moment is incredibly special, because it creates an intimate opportunity for the wearer to share what they've learned with another."
The idea for the company came to Rynne when he was a Ph.D. student in marine science.
"I was surrounded by incredible people that were discovering fascinating things but noticed that often their work wasn't reaching the general public in creative and engaging ways," he said. "That seemed like a missed opportunity with big implications."
Waterlust initially focused on conventional media, like film and photography, to promote ocean science, but the team quickly realized engagement on social media didn't translate to action or even knowledge sharing offscreen.
Rynne also saw the "in one ear, out the other" issue in the classroom — if students didn't repeatedly engage with the topics they learned, they'd quickly forget them.
"We decided that if we truly wanted to achieve our goal of bringing science into people's lives and have it stick, it would need to be through a process that is frequently repeated, fun, and functional," Rynne said. "That's when we thought about clothing."
Support Marine Research and Sustainability in Style
To date, Waterlust has sold tens of thousands of pieces of apparel in over 100 countries, and the interactions its products have sparked have had clear implications for furthering science communication.
For Caruso alone, it's led to opportunities to share her abalone restoration methods with communities far and wide.
"It moves my small little world of what I'm doing here in Orange County, California, across the entire globe," she said. "That's one of the beautiful things about our partnership."
Check out all of the different eco-conscious apparel options available from Waterlust to help promote ocean conservation.
Melissa Smith is an avid writer, scuba diver, backpacker, and all-around outdoor enthusiast. She graduated from the University of Florida with degrees in journalism and sustainable studies. Before joining EcoWatch, Melissa worked as the managing editor of Scuba Diving magazine and the communications manager of The Ocean Agency, a non-profit that's featured in the Emmy award-winning documentary Chasing Coral.
There are plenty of perks to living in Arizona, and one of the biggest is all the sunshine. Living in a sun-soaked part of the country allows you to take full advantage of clean energy solutions, specifically power that's generated by a solar system. In fact, Arizona ranks fifth on the list of states with the most solar energy.
For residents of Arizona, there are solar power companies that provide service in Tucson, Phoenix, Tempe, Scottsdale, Glendale, and beyond. How can you be sure you're choosing the best solar installer? In this article, we'll highlight our top 10 Arizona solar companies.
Our Picks for the Top Solar Companies in Arizona
- Arizona Solar Wave & Energy
- Sunpro Solar
- Sun Valley Solar Solutions
- Verde Solar Power
- Arizona Southwest Solar & Electric
- Arizona Solar Concepts
- Solar Topps
- Arizona Energy Pros
- Streamline Solar Power
How We Chose the Best Solar Energy Companies in Arizona
Before sharing our picks for Arizona's best solar contractors, it's important to highlight some of the criteria we used. When comparing different solar energy providers, there are quite a few factors to keep in mind.
Keep in mind that different solar energy companies are going to offer slightly different services. Design and installation of solar paneling is one thing, but will the company also help install battery storage and an EV charging station for your electric car? Will they provide windows or weatherization to help boost your household energy efficiency? You want to choose a full-service solar company whenever possible.
Before you hire a solar roofing company, it's helpful to ask about the installation process. Find out what the customization and design elements will encompass. Also find out whether the installation will be handled by trained and salaried employees, or by solar contractors.
While some companies may offer coverage across the state, others may be limited to a particular market. If you live in Tempe, it may not do you much good to hire a solar company that's only active in Glendale. Always confirm the scope of coverage before hiring a solar energy provider.
Pricing and Financing
Installing solar equipment can cost a lot (more than $10,000) on the front end, but may ultimately pay for itself in terms of tax incentives and monthly electric bill savings. If that initial investment is a bit steep for you, you can always ask about payment plans and solar leasing opportunities.
To ensure that the solar provider you hire is reputable and trustworthy, we recommend hiring a company that's held in high regard within the industry. Specifically, look for a provider with Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) affiliation and North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) certification.
It may also be useful to determine if the company you hire uses a trusted brand of solar paneling; for certain brand names like Tesla and Panasonic, the company must be certified to install these panels.
Rebates and Tax Credits
As we mentioned, there are rebates and tax incentives to help offset the initial cost of your solar installation. Look for a solar power company that can help you navigate these offers and obtain the savings you need.
Most solar installers will include a warranty on their technology, with 25 year warranties being the industry norm. These warranties can give some much-needed peace of mind on both the technology and workmanship behind your new photovoltaic system.
The 10 Best Solar Energy Companies in Arizona
Arizona Solar Wave & Energy is a top-rated solar contractor in the state. They provide best-in-class customer service and also assist customers looking to navigate all the different rebate and incentive offers. With 17 years in the industry, Arizona Solar Wave & Energy has experience helping homeowners make the switch to solar. They are NABCEP-certified, and offer free repair and maintenance for the life of your solar system.
Sunrun has long been a leading name in the solar industry. They offer virtual consultations and custom solar designs, allowing you to be involved in the development of your home energy solution from the ground up. We also like them for their first-rate customer service guarantees, their generous tech portfolio, and their prestigious reputation within the industry.
Sunpro Solar is active in 22 states, and their goal is to make the solar energy transition as simple, seamless, and cost-effective as possible. Sunpro's installers will present you with a free quote for your system, and also offer you support in claiming clean energy tax incentives, including the state's property tax exemption. Sunpro boasts a ton of positive customer reviews, testifying to their high standards of service.
Sun Valley Solar Solutions made our list because they utilize the very best in solar technology. They are certified Tesla Solar Roof and Tesla Powerwall installers. Additionally, they go out of their way to help you find affordable solutions and claim any savings opportunities that are available to you. Sun Valley Solar Solutions professionals are NABCEP-certified and offer award-winning customer service.
Verde Solar Power is another company that's native to Arizona, and covers areas including Sedona, Cottonwood, Camp Verde, and more. This company helps Arizonans take advantage of the 300+ days of sunlight they get each year, with custom energy solutions that allow for clean and affordable home power. They are NABCEP-certified and offer a free solar solar assessment.
Arizona Southwest Solar & Electric is one of the most experienced solar installers serving the southwestern part of the state. True to the company's name, they provide both solar power as well as comprehensive electrical services as needed. We'll also note that they have a very admirable mission statement, with a commitment to clean and renewable energy solutions. These are just a few of the reasons why Arizona Southwest Solar & Electric makes our list.
If you're seeking an experienced solar company with deep roots in AZ, Arizona Solar Concepts is a must. This family-owned and operated company has been serving local homeowners since 2006, and in that time, they have helped more than 5,000 Arizonans make the switch to solar power. They are offer high-quality solar technology as well as generous warranties and guarantees, and are Tesla Powerwall Certified Installers and SunPower Master Certified.
Solar Topps provides easy and efficient consultation, fast installation, and customer support representatives who are available 24/7. They are also authorized dealers of some of the top solar panel brands on the market today, including Panasonic and Enphase. Finally, they offer a lot of really helpful information on their website, including a calculator that will generate an instant quote for solar services.
Arizona Energy Pros, a company that's been around since 1977, is one of the most experienced solar providers on the market. This is a comprehensive home energy company, and a lot of their services involves electrical work, but they also offer solar energy services. Arizona Energy Pros has excellent financing options, including opportunities to get solar installation with zero money down. Note that they are only available in the Phoenix area.
Streamline Solar Power is a solar installation company serving Valley Wide, Tucson, Yuma, and surrounding areas. They are authorized dealers for some of the top solar panel brands, including Tesla, and they custom-design and install every system themselves. If you're looking for an all-in-one, AZ-owned solar company, this is an excellent pick.
What are the Benefits of Going Solar in Arizona?
By making the switch to solar energy, you can potentially reduce your household utility bills considerably, even eliminating month-to-month energy expenses altogether.
Even more importantly, switching to solar energy can help you to minimize your environmental footprint. For those looking to break away from polluting fuel sources, embracing solar power is a no-brainer.
There aren't many states that get as many days of consistent sunshine as Arizona, meaning that it's easy to generate household power harnessed purely from the sun.
The biggest advantage to doing so is that it allows you to utilize renewable energy sources as opposed to toxic fossil fuels.
How Much Does a Solar Energy System Cost in Arizona?
Solar costs can vary from home to home, depending on factors like your household energy use, sun exposure, and the surface area of your roof. With that said, the average price for going solar is around $13,000. Note that once you factor in tax incentives and rebates, that price should drop by several thousand dollars. And of course, those monthly utility savings will ultimately offset the cost of solar installation.
Going solar requires an investment, and it won't pay for itself overnight, but with so many tax rebates and other incentives, many Arizonans find it to be more than cost-effective.
Going Solar in the Grand Canyon State
Making the switch to solar energy can be a great choice not just financially but also ecologically. And for those who live in Arizona, the opportunities to transition to solar power are bright.
Josh Hurst is a journalist, critic, and essayist. He lives in Knoxville, TN, with his wife and three sons. He covers natural health, nutrition, supplements, and clean energy. His writing has appeared in Health, Shape, and Remedy Review.
One of the best ways to power a home or business while minimizing your environmental footprint is by harnessing the renewable energy provided by the sun. The good news for Californians is that the state has long been on the leading edge of green energy; as you seek solar energy companies in California, you'll find that there are plenty of options choose from.
In this article, we'll look at some of the top solar energy companies servicing homeowners in Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, and throughout CA.
Our Picks for the Best Solar Energy Companies in California
- NRG Clean Power
- Sunworks Solar Power
- Semper Solaris
- Stellar Solar
- Vivint Solar
- Sunlux Energy
- Solar Optimum
How We Chose the Best Solar Companies in California
There are a number of factors to consider as you search for the best solar installation company.
Some of the specific factors we used for our rankings include:
For one, it's important to note that different solar companies may offer slightly different services. Most CA homeowners will want a company that provides a diverse portfolio, assisting with everything from an initial consultation on their solar energy system to solar panel installation.
Also consider the specific steps in the solar panel system installation process. How long will it take to have your solar panels placed? Will the panels be installed by a trained member of the solar energy company, or will it be a third-party contractor?
Some solar companies have a wider field of service than others. It doesn't do you much good to hire a solar power company that's only active in Sacramento if you live closer to Los Angeles in southern California.
Pricing and Financing
You'll want to consider your budget, which can be a determinative factor. Keep in mind that most solar companies are going to have fairly steep upfront costs, but you'll ultimately save a lot of money in the long run, thanks to the reduced electric bills. Also, we have tried to celebrate companies that offer flexible financing options like solar leases.
We would generally recommend working with a company that maintains membership in the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) or other professional association. Membership in these groups is a great indicator of the company's professionalism, workmanship, reputation, and reliability.
Types of Panels
Pay attention to the specific type of solar technology that is offered. Is the company certified to install leading brands like Tesla Powerwall, Panasonic, and LG? It never hurts to take a closer look into the company's tech portfolio.
You can likely find solar energy rebates or federal tax credits by making the switch to solar energy. Will your solar energy provider help you make the necessary arrangements? It is often wise to inquire about these incentives on the front-end.
Finally, we would recommend seeking a solar energy company that can offer a good warranty. This can be a great consumer protection as you make a big investment in clean energy.
The Best Solar Energy Companies in California
NRG Clean Power claims to do solar "the smart way," and they have a great reputation in the solar industry. They make solar panels accessible and affordable, without any financing gimmicks or middlemen to complicate the process. They have an admirable vision of decentralizing and deregulating power supplies, making it easier for all of us to participate in the clean energy revolution.
NRG Clean Power offers solar roofing, energy storage, and EV charging solutions, as well as flexible payment and financing options.
Sunworks Solar Power is a company that supplies affordable and reliable solar energy solutions to homes, businesses, and even farms across the state. They actually boast more than 30 years of experience in the solar space, which makes them a true standard-bearer within the industry. In addition to some significant home energy savings, Sunworks Solar Power can also benefit you by providing a generous 25-year warranty.
There's a lot to love about Sunworks, specifically that they handle the entire solar energy process from start to finish.
When it comes to flexible, affordable solar solutions, Sunrun is a great option. You can actually get financing for your panels and other equipment with zero money down, making it incredibly easy to get up and running. Additionally, Sunrun assists with claiming any tax incentives that are available to you, either at a state level or the federal level. They also do an excellent job customizing their services, helping each homeowner get exactly the solar setup they need.
Learn why Sunrun is one of California's photovoltaic leaders.
Semper Solaris is owned and operated by American military veterans, which is just one of many reasons why it ranks so high on our list. We also love the fact that the company showcases a wide range of solar services, including heating and air conditioning assistance, solar batteries, and of course home solar installation. Also note that Semper Solaris offers service across California, with offices in San Diego, Inland Empire, Fresno, Concord, Los Angeles, Bakersfield, and beyond.
Semper Solaris is easily one of the best solar energy companies in California, and a great option for solar and battery storage installation.
Stellar Solar is primarily available in the San Diego area. They offer some incredible solar deals, including affordable equipment fees, low-interest financing, and access to some generous rebates and tax credits. Stellar Solaris has been around since 1998, and in that time, they have assisted more than 12,000 customers go solar.
If you live the San Diego area, Stellar Solar is one of the best solar contractors available.
You may know Tesla from their electric cars. What you might not know is that Tesla has brought a similar sophistication to the solar energy industry, developing premium solar panels that have been adopted by other solar providers in the state. Of course, you can always go straight to the source, having your panels installed directly by Tesla themselves. Tesla also guarantees to match any price on solar systems in order to offer the lowest prices in the country.
Tesla's solar panel systems feature sleek designs, ensuring that your solar paneling isn't just functional, but also aesthetically pleasing.
Vivint Solar is a solar installer that really excels in customization. They understand that no two homes are quite alike, and they tailor their solar designs accordingly. Additionally, their top-notch panels are backed with a 25-year warranty, which should give you ample assurance as you consider choosing Vivint for your home energy needs.
Vivint Solar also provides a complete service experience to help you with everything from system design to permits and installation.
Sunlux Energy delivers solar energy solutions in California as well as Texas, and they really have a lot to offer. Specifically, they can furnish solar panels and batteries, full home automation options, and even EV charging stations for your garage. They give free consultations, and they come backed with a great portfolio of online reviews.
Sunlux Energy is great for their full-service process, system warranty, and solar financing options.
Solar Optimum is an award-winning company known for its professional installation services, including a distinction as the 2020 Installer of the Year for Panasonic solar panels. They also back their products with reliable warranties and guarantees.
Solar Optimum offers true solar expertise, and their 25-year warranty covers the panels, inverter, racking, roof, and workmanship.
How Does Solar Panel Installation Work?
As you consider hiring a solar energy company, you may have some questions about the installation process. What exactly is involved in having your home enhanced with solar paneling?
The process should always begin with a consultation. A solar expert will evaluate how much energy you need, based on factors such as your home's square footage, appliances, and the number of people in your home. Additionally, the consultant will help you determine the best places on your roof to place solar panels so that they maximize solar energy absorption.
The company will then install the panels onto your roof and make sure that they are connected to your home and operating properly. Once installed, these solar panels will capture the sun's energy and store it in a battery. A component known as an inverter will then take this solar power and turn it into AC electrical current, which is the kind of energy you'll need to power your appliances and home electronics.
The goal is that the renewable energy you get from the sun will be sufficient for you to stop using electrical power from a utility company. What's more, making the jump to solar energy can help you reduce your environmental footprint. For those seeking clean and (in the long run) cost-effective home energy, solar power can be tremendously advantageous.
What Do You Need to Go Solar in California?
Are you a good candidate for solar power? First and foremost, you'll probably need to own your own home. And second, you'll want to have a rooftop that receives plenty of sunlight.
One important note is that in California, depending on the city where you live, you may actually work with the local utility company, like PG&E, for a power purchase agreement or net metering service. The utility will still be connected to your home, but you will receive credits on your bill for the extra energy generated by your home's solar system.
This can be a little bit cumbersome, and you'll probably want to work with a solar energy company that can help you coordinate with your local utility provider as well as helping you get the permits and approvals you need. For residents of California, this is something to ask about as you seek the best solar energy partner.
The Benefits of Going Solar in CA
If you're interested in going solar in California, the first thing you'll want to do is research different companies so that you can find the one that best fits your budget and your needs.
Solar energy can make a world of difference for you and your family. We hope this guide will be useful to you in evaluating some of California's top solar energy providers.
Whether you're moving, looking to clean out a space, or are simply tired of living amidst clutter, you may decide you're ready to dump your excess stuff. One of the the most efficient ways to do this is to hire a professional waste removal company.
But what can you do to ensure that your unwanted belongings don't go straight to a landfill? The best approach is to select an eco-friendly junk removal service that maintains certain environmental standards. We've assembled a roundup of some of the top options for donating, recycling, or reusing your unwanted items.
Our Picks for the Top Eco-Friendly Junk Removal Companies
- Best Overall - Junk King
- Best Charity Partnerships - The JunkLuggers
- Best Upfront Pricing - LoadUp
- Best Customer Service - College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving
- Widest Coverage Area - 1-800-GOT-JUNK
- Best DIY Option - Habitat For Humanity ReStore
How We Chose the Best Eco-Friendly Junk Removal Services
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What are the key factors to consider when looking for an eco-friendly decluttering and disposal company?
These are just a few of the things you'll want to bear in mind when choosing the best junk removal team.
What Happens to the Junk?
Always clarify what happens to unwanted items as they are carted off. Reputable services partner with charities to donate usable items like clothing and furniture, while recycling other materials to keep as many things things out of landfills as possible.
How Much Do They Divert from Landfills?
Before hiring a junk removal company, always ask them to clarify what percentage of their "junk" is either donated or recycled, as opposed to dumped in a landfill. We would recommend choosing a company that's willing to offer some transparency on this front to make sure your items are handled in an eco-friendly way.
What Items Will They Pick Up?
You should also clarify which items the company will take, and which items, if any, they won't. Will they take furniture? What about appliances or exercise equipment? You should especially clarify if you need removal of e-waste, that is, electronic devices that have reached the end of their useful life, and which may require special care as they are refurbished or recycled in some way.
Are They Eco-Friendly?
Try to find a junk removal company that celebrates its environmental stewardship, and outlines a long list of specific policies. For instance, are they conscious of fuel-consumption during pickups? Where and how do they sort recyclables and dispose of junk items? Again, transparency is crucial.
Are They Reputable?
Before hiring a junk disposal service, it never hurts to check and see if they are accredited with the Better Business Bureau. Additionally, checking Google and Facebook reviews may give you a rough idea of how well they care for their customers. This will also let you check their coverage areas to make sure they are available where you live.
What are the Rates?
Finally, you'll also want to keep affordability in mind. Don't hesitate to compare and contrast rates as you look for a junk removal service. Some will offer upfront pricing while others will require an on-site estimate.
The Best Eco-Friendly Junk Removal Companies
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Junk King claims to be America's best, and greenest, junk removal service. That's a pretty lofty claim, but it's one that they back up with a proven record.
Here are just a few of the things we like about Junk King:
- They offer full service junk removal from coast to coast, ensuring eco-friendly hauling services are available in most areas.
- They either reuse or recycle about 60 percent of everything you junk; we appreciate their transparency in identifying how much they divert from landfills.
- They can handle almost any kind of junk, ranging from hot tubs and electronics to furniture and old appliances. They can handle e-waste, too.
- Junk King also gives free written estimates, with no obligation to use their service.
Why buy: Junk King excels in eco-stewardship, transparency, and range of services. They are able to recycle a ton of items including large appliances and furniture to electronics like TVs.
The Junkluggers is a waste disposal company that specifically focuses on eco-friendly junk removal. They even offer "green guarantees" regarding their approach to waste management and unwanted junk. Some of the things that stand out about Junkluggers include:
- They always strive to donate first, recycle second.
- They pledge 100 percent customer satisfaction.
- They work with reputable charity and non-profit partners, ensuring your items go to good use.
- They have a range of services, including e-waste removal.
Why buy: The Junkluggers makes sustainability a commitment, including pledges to donate/recycle as many items as possible. We like their commitment to sustainable junk removal and partnering with charities.
LoadUp is currently active in about 170 cities, and they are growing all the time. It's definitely worth double-checking to see if they provide services in your area.
A few things we like about LoadUp:
- They provide a range of services, including junk removal, indoor pickup, and outdoor pickup.
- They can handle a wide range of items, including furniture and appliances.
- They do a great job of presenting clear, up-front pricing.
LoadUp makes every effort to either donate or recycle junk items whenever possible, and to date they have diverted over 3 million pounds of junk from landfills.
Why buy: LoadUp is a fast-growing junk disposal service that offers a wide variety of services, as well as upfront and affordable pricing.
The College HUNKS team is perhaps best-known as a moving service, but if you have junk you need to get rid of, they can definitely help. Their team members are all well-trained to work efficiently, to deliver friendly customer service, and to show respect to your home or business.
- You can specifically ask them to do "donations pickups," grabbing old furniture or other unwanted items and taking them to a specified charity drop off center.
- They take a wide range of items and they make it easy to determine the total price of their services.
- They do pledge to be responsible and eco-friendly in everything they do, and can recycle up to 70% of all items they remove.
Why buy: The College HUNKS team has a stellar reputation for customer service. They also partner with Goodwill Industries and Habitat for Humanity ReStore to donate items. Plus, for every service they complete, they donate two meals to children through U.S. Hunger.
1-800-GOT-JUNK claims to be the world's largest junk removal company. Like other providers, they partner with local branches of national charities including the Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, and Habitat for Humanity. We also like them for the following reasons:
- They provide clear, upfront pricing.
- They express an admirable commitment to responsible disposal in order to keep stuff out of landfills, primarily through recycling.
- They have a 24/7 customer service line, making it easy to schedule a service whenever.
- They take a wide range of items, and are active across the United States and in multiple countries.
Why buy: 1-800-GOT-JUNK is a powerhouse in the junk removal space. They recycle several unique items, including green waste and biomass, tires, and construction debris.
What about those who would prefer to take the DIY route, dropping off their junk at a receiving center rather than having someone come pick it up? If you have only a few items, and a means of transporting them, this may be the simpler and more cost-effective approach. The best place for DIY junk disposal is a Habitat for Humanity ReStore.
You can take your unwanted furniture and home improvement items to ReStore, where they will be cleaned up and then sold to the public at a significantly discounted rate. This is an ideal way to ensure your junk gets a second life, rather than ending up in a landfill.
Why buy: For DIY junk removal, Habitat for Humanity's ReStore is a fantastic option. They help give used items a second life and provide furniture and other household items to those in need.
How Does Eco-Friendly Junk Removal Work?
As you consider hiring an eco-friendly junk removal service, it may be helpful to step back and consider how these companies work.
Generally, you'll start by getting a quote. This will require you to let the company know how much junk you need to have removed, where it is located (indoors or outside), and what the contents include. This helps the junk removal company make certain that they send the right personnel and equipment to get rid of it and that the items in question are not hazardous materials.
The junk removal company will assess items for whether they are still usable or could be refurbished, in which case they may be donated to shelters or other charities. Alternatively, they will seek to recycle your items. The goal of any eco-friendly junk removal company should be diverting items away from the landfills, and you can always ask a representative from your chosen company about what percentage of items they typically divert.
What Items Can a Junk Removal Company Recycle or Donate?
There are many types of items that can be either recycled or donated, and thus kept out of the landfill. A few of the most common categories include:
- Furniture and appliances
- Exercise equipment
- Clothing and shoes
- Home decor
- Utensils and kitchen implements
- Art supplies
- Toys and board games
- Paper, metal, cardboard, and brick items
- Brush and yard waste
Again, to find out for sure whether your items can be either donated or recycled, your best bet is simply to reach out to a junk hauler and ask for their assessment.
What is e-Waste and How is it Bad for the Environment?
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It's important to make special mention of e-waste, or electronic waste.
As we noted above, e-waste is a category that includes any electronic devices that have outlived their useful life and have been discarded.
One of the reasons why e-waste is so hazardous to the environment is that many electronics and computerized devices include toxic substances, which may include lead, beryllium, cadmium, and beyond. When they seep into the ground or the water, these substances can have long-term detrimental effects on local ecosystems, and even lead to public health concerns.
It's always important to ensure that any e-waste you have is taken care of by a company that specializes in processing electronics and computers in an environmentally responsible way.
Finding the Right Eco-Friendly Junk Removal Company
As you look for the right junk removal service, there are plenty of factors to consider, such as price point, range of service, and, of course, environmental stewardship.
With a monthly subscription service, you can get the best household cleaning products delivered straight to your front door. Many of the top household cleaning subscription services offer products made with all-natural ingredients and biodegradable packaging, which means you can minimize your environmental footprint.
As you consider eco-friendly subscription services, it's a good idea to compare to find the best one for your home. See which eco-friendly cleaning subscriptions made our list and how we evaluated them below.
Our Picks for the Best Earth-Friendly Cleaning Product Subscriptions
- Best Overall - Cleancult
- Best for Dishes - Dropps
- Best Zero Waste Kit - Package Free
- Best Transparency - The Honest Company
- Best Biobased Products - Seventh Generation
- Most Affordable - Grove Collaborative (Mrs. Myers)
- Best Packaging - Blueland
- Best Disinfecting Ingredients - ThreeMain
- Largest Selection - MightyNest
- Best Doctor-Developed - Puracy
- Best Sustainable Refills - MyGreenFills
- Best Curated Box - greenUP
How We Chose the Best Green Cleaning Subscriptions
There are a number of factors that help separate the truly great cleaning subscription boxes from the merely good ones. Here are some of the aspects we considered for green cleaning products.
Variety of Cleaning Products
"Cleaning products" is a broad term, and there are plenty of different types of cleaners you might need to keep your house looking and smelling its best. We've tried to place an emphasis on subscription services that allow you to pick from a wide range of products, so that you can stockpile your cleaning supplies with just one single subscription.
When it comes to earth friendly products and cleaning supplies, one of the most important considerations of all is the ingredient list. We always recommend carefully reviewing ingredient lists to ensure that the product in question only uses earth biodegradable, water-soluble, cruelty-free, vegan, plant-based, and all-natural materials.
It's also important to double-check that the products you buy are made without any chemicals that could potentially be harmful, abrasive, or toxic. Specifically, keep an eye out for products made with parabens, phosphates, and sulfates, all of which can have a harmful effect on the environment. The subscription services we've listed showcase cleaning products that are free from these toxins.
If you really want to ensure that the product you're getting is eco-friendly, check for important certifications or seals of approval. Some of the most important ones include the EPA Safer Choice Standard, USDA Certified Biobased Product, and Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free.
As you seek cleaning products that are good for the planet, a central concern should be products that are packed and delivered in an environmentally friendly way. This might mean packaging that's recycled, recyclable, biodegradable, or even compostable. The important thing is to get cleaning products that won't create a lot of new plastic waste for landfills.
How much are you willing to spend on your household cleaning products subscription? For our list, we've tried to prioritize subscription services that maximize value.
The Best Eco-Friendly Cleaning Product Subscriptions
We've vetted many of the top household cleaning subscription services, and these are the eco-friendly ones that impressed us the most.
Cleancult has risen to be one of the most recognizable and reliable names in eco-friendly cleaning products. We love that they have sustainability built into their packaging, their products are all made with plant-based ingredients, and they offer such an incredible range of cleaning products, including hand soap, laundry detergent, and dish soap. Cleancult promises "a new way to clean," and, in our opinion, they more than live up to that mission statement.
Why buy: Looking for all-natural, zero-waste cleaning products? You simply can't ignore Cleancult. We like their All Purpose Cleaner Bundle that includes a refillable glass bottle and recyclable refills.
Dropps offers natural cleaning products that can clean tough messes while being gentle on the environment. Their dishwasher detergent pods are made with natural minerals and plant-based ingredients, and the pod membrane itself dissolves when it comes in contact with water and is then consumed by microorganisms. These dishwasher pods are free from phosphates, phthalate, chlorine, and dyes. Dropps also offers reusable dish cloths that are biodegradable and compostable.
Why buy: Dropps dishwasher pods make it easy to keep your dishes clean while keeping harmful pollutants out of our water. We also love the compostable packaging and carbon-neutral shipping.
Package Free provides zero waste solutions for everything from home cleaning and laundry to health and beauty products. Their Zero Waste Cleaning Kit is a perfect way to overhaul your approach home cleaning. It includes a reusable dish brush, spray bottle, copper pot scrubber, UNpaper towels, and a mason jar soap dispenser that comes in a reusable produce bag. The spray bottle even features five different natural cleaning solution recipes with measurements printed on the bottle.
Why buy: The Package Free Zero Waste Cleaning Kit is a great way to start cleaning with less plastic, less chemicals, and less waste. They also offer wide selection of other zero waste household kits and products.
The Honest Company furnishes everything from baby products to beauty supplies, as well as many household cleaners. Their claim to fame is incredible transparency about their ingredients and packing materials, which attest to a real commitment to eco-friendliness. In addition to an impressive product variety, they also do a good job of keeping their price points low.
Why buy: The Honest Company can be counted on to provide effective products made with natural ingredients, all available for an affordable price. We love their refillable Clean Vibes Kit.
Seventh Generation is a big name within the sustainable cleaning products movement. Their products are notable for their plant-based formulations, emphasis on recycled packaging, and complete transparency about the ingredients they use. We love so many of their products, including both household cleaners and laundry detergents.
Why buy: Seventh Generation is easy to recommend thanks to their world-class, all-natural ingredients and sustainable packaging. Their all-purpose cleaners are a great biodegradable and bio-based option.
We're big fans of the Mrs. Meyer's product line, available from Grove Collaborative. Mrs. Meyer's products are made with natural, botanical ingredients and pleasing scents from essential oils. They are all designed without any cruelty to animals, and they come in recyclable packaging.
Why buy: Mrs. Meyer's excels thanks to its ingredient list, garden-inspired scents, and smart packaging. Check out the Kitchen Basics Sets, available in multiple scents.
At Blueland, you can get complete cleaning kits, supplying you with everything you need to maintain a tidy home. That includes powder dish soap, dishwasher tablets, reusable spray bottles, and beyond. Their products marry incredible cleaning power with eco-friendly packaging, green ingredients, and a very affordable price point. Blueland may be the one-stop-shop you've been looking for, and we are happy to recommend their refill-based product line.
Why buy: For green cleaning kits packaged in very stylish reusable bottles and containers, look no further than to Blueland. We love their Clean Essentials starter kit.
We like ThreeMain for their straightforward focus: to create simple, sustainable, and effective household cleaning products. We also love their emphasis on sanitization, something that many of us are more cognizant of post-COVID. Also note that their approach to eco-friendliness includes refillable bottles, a packaging solution that we endorse. There are some great options available from ThreeMain, and they are also carbon neutral and donate 3% of profits to organizations that work to protect and clean our oceans.
Why buy: ThreeMain lives up to their mission of providing simple, effective, and eco-friendly cleaning supplies. Their Clean Green Starter Kit is an excellent choice.
Next on our list is MightyNest, a company that delivers healthy and eco-friendly cleaning products that arrive each month in a single, well-packed box with minimalist packaging. Their website is also well-designed to help you discover the specific products you'd like to be included in your monthly box. MightyNest is definitely a cleaning company that gets the subscription model right, especially with their Refillable Zero Waste System starter pack.
Why buy: We like MightyNest for their eco-friendly packaging, their assortment of green and non-toxic cleaning supplies, and also the savings available to subscribers.
Puracy is a company specializing in natural and organic products for your home, including everything from hand sanitizers to stain removers. We love their commitment to all-natural ingredients, and that their products are made with the input of doctors, helping ensure the highest standards of sanitization and non-toxicity. The offer an amazing variety of products, including a really impressive line of eco-friendly baby supplies.
Why buy: We like Puracy because they have such a long list of products, including their Home Cleaning Box, all designed by doctors and made with household health and cleanliness in mind.
MyGreenFills is another company that enjoys a great reputation among shoppers who value eco-friendliness. For more than five years now, the company has been a dependable supplier of all-natural cleaning products, delivered in refillable and sustainable packaging. They've helped countless homeowners "go green" with their cleaning supplies, and we admire their product quality, sustainable packaging, and cost savings.
Why buy: MyGreenFills is a relatively small company that has had a massive impact on the green cleaning industry. Start with their Truly Free Everyday Cleaner and add other products as you go.
The greenUP company is on a mission to minimize plastic waste; you can join the cause simply by signing up for one of their subscription boxes. They send their sustainably crafted boxes every other month, always chock full of potent, eco-friendly cleaning supplies. We encourage you to learn more about these great boxes.
Why buy: Ready to ditch plastic packaging? Then greenUP is a subscription service you need to know about. They also donate 3% to organizations cleaning up plastic from the oceans.
How Does an Eco-Friendly Subscription Box Work?
With a subscription service for household cleaning products, you begin by selecting the specific cleaning products you need for your home, and also noting the frequency with which you want to have those cleaning supplies delivered.
In your first box, you will usually receive refillable spray bottles and other containers. Then, subsequent deliveries can provide you with cleaning product refills, minimizing the need for additional packaging and also cutting waste.
Naturally, you can augment or revise your subscription whenever you need to.
What are Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products Made From?
As you consider environmentally friendly cleaning products, one of the most important factors of all is the ingredient list.
The best eco-friendly cleaning products include powerful ingredients that are all found in nature. These are frequently plant-based, but may also include minerals or essential oils. These ingredients tend to be biodegradable, which means they leave little or no ecological impact.
By contrast, artificial chemicals, like the ones used in more conventional cleaners, may linger for a long time in the water supply, in the ground, or in a landfill somewhere, and can potentially have a hazardous effect on the earth and its inhabitants.
Subscribe to the Best Eco-Friendly Cleaning Products
As you seek to live a greener, more eco-conscious life, one of the smartest and most impactful things you can do is to sign up for a subscription service to make certain all your cleaning supplies are made with planetary concerns in mind.
One thing that can make the laundry process easier to manage is having your detergent delivered via a subscription service, ensuring you never run out and that you don't have to make any extra trips to the store. And for those who want to minimize their environmental footprint, finding an eco-friendly laundry detergent subscription is especially important.
The good news is that there are plenty of subscription services out there that focus on sustainability. How can you decide which one is right for you? In this post, we'll highlight a few of the best eco-friendly laundry detergent subscriptions, and provide some general tips on how to make your laundry better for the planet.
Our Picks for Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent Subscriptions
- Best Overall - Cleancult
- Best Packaging - Dropps
- Best Plastic-Free Option - The Simply Co.
- Best Selection - Seventh Generation
- Most Detergent Options - Biokleen
- Best Scents - Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day
- Best for Giving Back - Frey
- Best Laundry Strips - Tru Earth
- Best Hypoallergenic - The Honest Company
- Best Reusable Option - Eco Nuts
How We Chose the Best Green Laundry Detergent Subscriptions
Before we provide our list of recommendations, it may be helpful to consider some of the specific factors that separate eco-friendly laundry detergents from traditional options. Here are some of the ranking criteria we used.
Type of Detergent
Do you prefer using liquid detergent? Or how about laundry powders, laundry detergent pods, or strips? Some subscription services allow you just one option, while others will let you choose the medium that's right for you and your washing machine.
As you seek ethical and eco-friendly laundry detergents, it's always wise to consult the ingredient list. For our choices, we have sought to celebrate detergents that feature biodegradable, water-soluble, cruelty-free, vegan, and all-natural ingredients. We've tried to choose laundry detergents that are hypoallergenic, as well.
We have also prioritized detergents that are non-toxic and free from harsh chemicals. Some detergents are made with harsh or abrasive chemicals, including phosphates, sulfates, phthalates, dioxane, surfactants, and parabens. We've tried to include detergents that do not feature these chemicals.
Many laundry detergents come with meaningful seals of approval. For our list, we've tried to celebrate products certified via EPA Safer Choice Products Standards, USDA Certified Biobased Product, Leaping Bunny Cruelty-Free, high-efficiency (HE) washer safe, etc.
If you're mindful of ecological stewardship, then you'll naturally want to seek laundry detergents that are packaged with recyclable, recycled, reusable, or compostable materials. The best laundry detergent subscriptions help you get closer to a zero waste laundry room as possible.
Last but not least, we recommend comparing price points for different laundry detergent subscription services to find one that will work for you.
These are just some of the core considerations to make as you search for the best laundry detergent subscription service.
The Best Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent Subscriptions
One thing to note about these laundry detergents: Some of them offer their own subscription models and some do not, but you can subscribe to any of them via Amazon. With that in mind, these are our picks for the top 10 eco-friendly laundry detergent subscriptions of 2021.
Cleancult has long been one of the leading names in eco-friendly laundry detergents. Not only do they have a range of products, but they do an outstanding job of shipping everything carbon neutral in eco-friendly, plastic-free containers. We also recommend Cleancult to anyone who really wants their detergent to be fragrance-free and accommodating to sensitive skin.
Why buy: We recommend Cleancult because of their industry-leading approach to eco-friendly packaging that includes zero waste refillable glass bottles.
Dropps claims to make laundry detergent that contains potent cleaning properties without any "bad stuff." We're happy to say that they live up to this mantra. Their products are made to minimize pollution, animal cruelty, and plastic waste. You can subscribe to save up to 25% on their laundry pods and other products. If you enjoy your Dropps laundry detergent, you might also consider checking out their dishwashing products.
Why buy: We recommend Dropps for their strong stance against "bad stuff," including plastic waste and animal cruelty. We love their compostable packaging and carbon neutral shipping.
The Simply Co. offers "the only laundry detergent you will ever need." Their product is made from organic and natural ingredients, including baking soda, washing soda, and organic castile soap. It's 100% biodegradable, septic safe, and works with HE washers. Best of all, it comes in a recyclable glass jar with recyclable lid, making it completely plastic free.
Why buy: The Simply Co. laundry detergent is a great way to cut plastic out of your laundry routine, while also using an all-natural and biodegradable detergent.
Seventh Generation does just about everything right. They provide products that offer real cleaning power with a triple enzyme formula. They also invest a lot of time and effort into ensuring that their products are made largely from plants and other renewable ingredients. In fact, their liquid laundry detergent is 100 percent biodegradable. There are plenty of sensitive-skin free & clear options, too, making Seventh Generation a lineup that should appeal to pretty much anyone.
Why buy: We recommend Seventh Generation for their powerful products, like their concentrated formula detergents, and their commitment to ecological stewardship.
Biokleen goes out of their way to minimize packaging, physical waste, and even undue energy use by manufacturing their products with cold water. Their cleaning products employ natural ingredients, including plants and minerals, to provide powerful stain removers and odor eliminators. Also note that this is a laundry subscription service where you can take your pick between liquids and powders, simply depending on your preference.
Why buy: We recommend Biokleen because they offer a number of laundry products that are powerful but also incredibly eco-friendly, something evident in their ingredients and manufacturing processes.
Grove Collaborative is the company behind the excellent Mrs. Meyers line. You can pick from a number of great household products from Grove and Mrs. Meyers, including hand soaps, dish soaps, multi-surface cleaners, and of course laundry detergents. The Mrs. Myers Clean Day detergents are all made with a balance of essential oils and plant-based ingredients. Many of them offer lovely, subtle scents, and all of them provide all-natural cleaning prowess.
Why Buy: We recommend Mrs. Meyers from Grove Collaborative because of the emphasis on natural, garden-fresh ingredients and biodegradable formula.
Much of Frey's reputation rests on their fresh, enticing scents. That's certainly a cool feature, but it's not what makes their laundry detergents so great. What we love about them is that they are another great example of designing household products in an eco-friendly way, drawing from high-quality, all-natural ingredients. Also note that the Frey team plants a tree for every order you place.
Why Buy: We recommend Frey for their aromatic scents and for the innovative ways they give back on every order, like planting trees and the Wash for Wash program.
If you're looking for eco-friendly laundry strips, your best bet is probably Tru Earth. They showcase an eco-friendly, fully-dissolving, low-sudsing strip that works well in any kind of laundry machine, including high efficiency (HE) units. These strips are simple, sensitive, hypoallergenic, made without abrasive chemicals. We also love that they are lightweight, which dramatically reduces the amount of fuel used to transport them to market.
Why Buy: We recommend Tru Earth for their high-quality, lightweight, eco-friendly laundry strips, made with plastic-free packaging.
At Honest Company, you'll find a number of safe and non-toxic products for use around your home, including laundry detergent. True to their name, this company is always very clear about the ingredients used in their products. Their Baby Laundry Detergent is hypoallergenic and is an EPA Safer Choice and USDA Biobased product.
Why Buy: We recommend Honest Company because of their total transparency about the ingredients in their award-winning laundry detergent.
MyGreenFills designs soaps and household cleaners that get the job done without requiring any harsh or abrasive chemicals. They also utilize refillable jugs and recyclable packaging, really setting a high bar for eco-friendly distribution. And, they have a really appealing, cost-effective subscription model, making it easy to find a unique solution for your home.
Why Buy: We recommend MyGreenFills because they provide eco-friendly cleaning products with great packaging, including a refillable jug that we especially love.
Eco Nuts is a company that is well-regarded in eco-friendly circles and offers a USDA organic laundry option. For a top-notch sustainable laundry detergent, these "soap nuts" get your clothes clean without a lot of waste or a lot of harmful chemicals. You can reuse these ethically harvested soap berries up to 10 times, and they come with a cloth bag that can be reused hundreds of times.
Why Buy: We recommend Eco Nuts soap nuts detergent because they represent a truly innovative way to get the laundry done, without the need for harsh or hazardous chemicals.
Do Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergents Really Work?
Hopefully, our list gives you some good ideas for your next organic laundry detergent purchase. But do these products actually work the way they say they do?
Let's take a look at this question in two parts.
First, do eco-friendly laundry detergents actually clean your laundry, leaving your clothing soft and stain-free? The ones we've listed in this article certainly do. That's because they harness the potency of natural ingredients, including botanicals and minerals, which are as effective as any artificial chemicals. Also note that most eco-friendly detergents are highly concentrated, so not only do they work well, but they actually enable you to get your laundry done while using far less of your detergent.
Second, do these products really display the environmental sensitivity that proponents say they do? Again, the answer is a resounding yes, and it's precisely because they do not include the kinds of chemicals that tend to linger in the soil or in the water; rather, their ingredients are made to be naturally biodegradable, significantly reducing total environmental impact.
A big problem with traditional laundry detergents is that they come in plastic containers, which means lots of physical waste that ends up in a landfill somewhere. Again, we want to emphasize that the products we recommend in this article all come in packaging that's either recycled, compostable, or at the very least made from recyclable materials.
Other Eco-Friendly Laundry Products
Getting an organic laundry detergent subscription is a meaningful first step toward greater environmental stewardship, but what about other green products for use in the laundry room?
There are plenty of accessories you can invest in to make your laundry process even "greener," including some that are available from the brands we listed above. Examples include:
- Wool dryer balls
- Biodegradable dryer sheets
- Guppyfriend wash bags
- Lint brushes
- Lines for hanging your clothing to air dry
Consider adding a few of these items to your shopping list!
Make Your Laundry Cleaner for the Environment
Laundry is an inevitable part of life, and often, it can seem unending. One way to reduce a small part of your laundry burden is to sign up for a subscription detergent service. And, by choosing organic or eco-friendly products, you can also play your part in creating a better world.
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- Choose an Eco-Friendly Junk Removal Service When You Move ›
For coffee drinkers, there's really nothing more terrifying than the thought of waking up one morning and being all out of java. One way to ensure that never happens is to sign up for a coffee subscription service. This not only keeps you well-stocked, but it also gives you the opportunity to sample some high-quality and organic coffee beans from around the world.
Of course, like any specialty beverage or product, a coffee subscription box should match your own preferences while also being good for people and the planet. In this article, we'll take a closer look at some of the top organic and specialty coffee subscription options on the market today.
Our Picks for the Top Organic and Specialty Coffee Subscriptions
- Best Organic Coffee - Purity Coffee
- Best Keto Coffee - Bulletproof Coffee
- Best Coffee Selection - Angels' Cup
- Best Carbon-Free Coffee - Grounds for Change
- Best B Corp Coffee - Conscious Coffee
- Best for International Coffees - Atlas Coffee Club
- Best for Specialty Coffees - Bean Box
- Best for Artisan Coffees - Mistobox
- Most Eco-Friendly - Driftaway Coffee
- Best Variety of Brewing Methods - Blue Bottle Coffee
- Most Affordable - Peet's Coffee
- Best for Home and Office - Crema Coffee
How We Chose the Best Coffee Subscriptions
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Before we get into specific recommendations, it may be helpful to note some of the criteria we used for making our assessment. Our ranking factors include:
Some subscription services do a better job than others of giving coffee lovers lots of options, not only allowing you to pick between different beans, but also allowing you to pick from whole bean vs. ground coffee. We also gave bonus points to subscription services that provide freshly-roasted craft coffee.
Another important consideration is how much flexibility you have in your actual subscription. We love services that give you some choice in how much coffee you actually need, how often you wish to receive your next box, and the ability to try new flavors.
USDA Organic/Fair Trade/Rainforest Alliance Certifications
Many coffee drinkers will want to verify that their purchase is Fair Trade and/or USDA organic certified. We looked for the best coffee subscriptions that make the environment and the people that grow their coffee a priority in sourcing. If they didn't have these certifications, we looked to see if they explained how they approached their sourcing instead.
A lot of enthusiasts prefer single-origin coffee; that is, coffee made exclusively from beans grown in one specific geographic area. Single-origin coffee tends to provide unique characteristics and flavor notes that blended coffees cannot match.
If you're looking to minimize your environmental footprint then you'll definitely want to account for the sustainability practices of each subscription service. This can encompass the service's supply chain, production, packaging, and shipping.
Naturally, one of the deciding factors in your organic coffee quest will be the price. Some subscriptions are more budget-friendly than others. We tried to select subscription options that that are affordable and still offer subscribers amazing coffee they can't find at the grocery store.
The 12 Best Organic and Specialty Coffee Subscriptions
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Purity Coffee claims that their process maximizes the health benefits naturally found in coffee. They only use 100% USDA-certified organic coffee beans for all of their coffees. These are then screened for pesticides and molds, and then roasted using a special smokeless roasting process to ensure it contains the highest-possible levels of antioxidants. Subscribers can save on each order, and prepaid subscriptions receive free shipping.
Why buy: Not only is Purity Coffee 100% organic, it's also sustainably sourced. They offer several specialty Founders' Roasts that are Rainforest Alliance-certified and Smithsonian Bird Friendly-certified for the grower's commitment to biodiversity and habitat conservation.
Bulletproof Coffee is a keto coffee, or butter coffee, that contains both high-quality coffee and good fats to provide even more fuel to your mornings. It's meant to replace carb and sugar-heavy breakfasts while giving you what you need to get going. Bulletproof Coffee uses Rainforest Alliance-certified beans grown in direct partnership with farmers on high-altitude estates in Guatemala and Colombia. With their subscription option you can save 10% on each order, and receive free shipping on orders over $35.
Why buy: Not only can Bulletproof Coffee change the way you start your day with a keto-friendly cup of coffee, but the coffee itself is grown using sustainable methods, is sustainably washed and mechanically dried, and then thoroughly tested for toxins and impurities.
If you're just getting into serious coffee consumption, or want to dip your toes into the subscription model, Angels' Cup is an excellent starting point. You can begin by getting just a single 12 ounce bag of coffee, and they also offer blind sampler packs and subscriptions with different frequency levels, including weekly, twice monthly, or monthly. Their mobile app will help you discover the different tasting notes to find your favorites.
Why buy: There's a lot of flexibility built into the Angels' Cup model, making it an ideal choice for those who are new to the gourmet coffee scene. While they don't source the coffees themselves, they do work with roasters who pay well-above Fair Trade prices.
Grounds for Change has a reputation for being one of the most progressive, stewardship-minded coffee companies out there. If you're looking for Fair Trade, organic, and/or carbon-free options, this certified B corp is where you can find them. They also showcase a lot of unique collections, from single-origin coffees to some enticing decaf options, that are well worth investigating. We're more than happy to include Grounds for Change on our list.
Why buy: In terms of social responsibility, Grounds for Change can't be topped. They are the only company on our list that offers carbon-free coffee, meaning they offset 100% of the emissions from their coffees.
Conscious Coffee has made some really admirable investments in coffee-growing communities across the world. Their model of sustainability and corporate responsibility is commendable, but they are equally passionate about exquisite roasting. They belong on our list for these reasons and so many more, including their emphasis on 100 percent organic coffee, small-batch freshness, and sustainable sourcing.
Why buy: Conscious Coffee sets a high bar for stewardship and responsibility. We strongly recommend them to anyone who wants to invest in sustainable coffee-farming across the world.
One of the many reasons to consider a subscription coffee service is that it will give you a chance to explore different flavors from around the world. And there is no subscription service that serves up international variety quite like Atlas Coffee Club. Each month, you'll get a new coffee from a different country like Costa Rica, Colombia, or Ethiopia, in a bag that's modeled after indigenous textiles or local landscapes. For anyone who loves to travel or simply likes to try new things, Atlas Coffee Club offers a truly transportive experience.
Why buy: There's no better option for trying out different coffee flavors from across cultures. The company also pays well above market prices to growers to support ethically sustainable farming practices.
Bean Box is another outstanding choice for java enthusiasts who are curious to sample different tastes. Based in Seattle, Bean Box partners with different coffee roasters who specialize in single-origin coffees and coffee blends from around the world, including Africa, South America, and more. They'll send you a different blend each month, allowing you to develop a really broad and sophisticated palette. We also really love the price point on this one, which offers a great value.
Why buy: If you're looking for a budget-friendly way to sample specialty coffees, Bean Box is a great coffee subscription service to consider.
If you're attempting to maximize your coffee variety, you'll probably be over the moon about Mistobox. This coffee subscription company boasts partnerships with more than 50 roasters across the world, which is all but unparalleled. We also recommend them due to their commitment to Fair Trade and ecologically sustainable practices. Mistobox has a coffee curation service that will help you determine just where to start. So, if you feel overwhelmed by all the different organic coffee options, Mistobox has you covered.
Why buy: We recommend Mistobox for their sustainability, their corporate citizenship, their sheer variety of organic coffees, and their curation options.
With Driftaway Coffee, the name of the game is personalization. Their service will actually enable you to establish "coffee profiles," pinpointing your tastes and helping them determine exactly what to send you each month. As if that weren't enough, Driftaway guarantees single-source whole bean coffees, and they also do an exemplary job of providing compostable packaging. Finally, they have a sustainability program that supports regional farmers.
Why buy: A great pick for single-origin whole bean coffee, and also a really great model for sustainability within the single-origin coffee subscription vertical.
If you really want your coffee to be as fresh as can be, then we heartily recommend Blue Bottle. They ship everything within 48 hours of roasting, ensuring you get the most vibrant flavors. Another thing we'll mention about this organic coffee subscription service is that they provide a lot of different options for espresso, decaf, single-origin, and blended coffees. There's definitely a lot to like here, especially if you're keen on small-batch coffee.
Why buy: For fresh flavors and plenty of variety, Blue Bottle Coffee is a great choice. The majority of their coffees are certified organic, and they pay at least Fair Trade prices to growers, often more.
Peet's Coffee has a ton of great products to consider, including some eclectic subscription options. You can take your pick between their small batch series, single-origin coffees, signature blends, and beyond. What's more, they boast plenty of flexibility with scheduling, making it easy to get coffee exactly when you need it. Plus they offer free shipping on coffee subscriptions.
Why buy: Peet's is an outstanding choice for anyone seeking plenty of variety and built-in flexibility. You may recognize them from the grocery store, but this brand is seriously committed to responsible sourcing, support for local farmers, and energy-efficient roasting.
Crema Coffee is a popular choice among coffee connoisseurs, and it's not hard to understand why. There are over 450 coffees to choose from, spanning roasters located all over the world. You can customize your subscription to make certain you only get the roasts you're really going to be into, and you can even rate coffees to help keep track of your tastes. Crema Coffee offers subscription packages for your household and for your workplace.
Why buy: Crema Coffee offers incredible variety, plenty of options for personalization, and even a subscription model for your office. They ensure that they only work with roasters committed to an ethical coffee supply chain.
How Does a Coffee Subscription Work?
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Clearly, there are plenty of options to choose from as you seek a subscription-based coffee delivery service. But if you're new to this whole concept, you may have some lingering questions about precisely what you can expect from your coffee subscription.
First of all, keep in mind that these subscriptions all work a little bit differently. Most of the companies on our list offer a coffee of the month club and provide different coffees to try with each delivery.
For a general overview of the coffee subscription process, though, you can typically expect something a bit like this:
Select the Type of Subscription You Want
Are you looking to get just a sampler of coffee beans each month? Or do you want to stay well-supplied, with new coffees arriving more frequently? Choosing your preferred subscription model is usually the first step.
Choose What Kind of Coffee You Want
Different subscription services will allow you different levels of customization, but there is always some way of indicating your preferences, whether you like dark roasts over light roasts, single-origin coffees over blends, etc.
Get Coffee Delivered to You
Most coffee subscription services will box your coffee in recyclable/compostable materials and deliver right to your front door. Because it's so important to maintain freshness, most subscription companies ship within a day or two of roasting.
Prepare Your Coffee
Note that, with whole bean options, you'll actually need a grinder to grind your coffee; if you choose ground coffee, then it will be ready to brew as soon as it shows up at your door.
Try New Types of Coffee
Finally, note that subscription coffee companies tend to rotate their roaster throughout the year. Make sure you explore some different options, and you might just discover your next favorite coffee!
Coffee Subscription FAQ
What is Fair Trade coffee?
We've highlighted the importance of Fair Trade coffee, but what exactly does this term mean? Essentially, when you buy Fair Trade coffee, it means that you are directly supporting local coffee-growing families in the developing world. More specifically, Fair Trade denotes a commitment to fair prices, community development efforts, and good stewardship of the environment. The Fair Trade designation is an important way to verify that you're getting ethically-sourced coffee beans. Fair Trade sets a floor on prices that allow coffee farmers to make a living, and many specialty coffee roasters pay much more than Fair Trade prices to local growers.
How is Organic Coffee Grown?
Another common question: What does it mean for coffee to be USDA-certified as organic? Fundamentally, organic coffee is grown without the use of any artificial chemicals, including prohibited pesticides and herbicides. To achieve the official USDA certification, a coffee must be at least 95 percent organic. Growers in certain regions may have trouble attaining this certification for various reasons, but specialty roasters typically seek to support sustainable farming practices and supply chains.
What is Single-Origin Coffee?
Single-origin coffee refers to a coffee made with beans that are all grown in one specific region. This type of coffee offers some really unique flavors and characteristics. The alternative is blended coffee, which may mix beans that come from a multiple places. Many coffee enthusiasts prefer the purity of single-origin, though of course, this is all a matter of personal preference.
Order Your Coffee Subscription Today
Looking for a way to get organic, Fair Trade coffee delivered straight to your front door? There are plenty of subscription models that will do just that, all while letting you sample some incredible beans from across the world.
Take a look at the options we've listed here, and look for the coffee subscription service that seems like it's best aligned with your tastes and your budget. And from there, just sit back and wait for your next bag of coffee beans to show up at your home or office.
Have you ever wanted to have your own fruit tree, growing right there in your front yard? If so, one option to consider is the Meyer lemon tree. This unique citrus tree has become a favorite among home gardeners, as well as those who simply want tantalizing citrus fruits available anytime.
But what is the Meyer lemon tree, exactly? What makes it so popular? And what should home gardeners know about caring for one? In this guide, we'll cover all those subjects and more.
What is a Meyer Lemon Tree?
Meyer lemon trees are small citrus trees with glossy leaves and white flowers that produce a yellow-orange fruit. They can grow up to 10-feet tall and live for 50 years.
If you actually want to taste a Meyer lemon before investing in a full tree, really all you need to do is head to your local farmer's market. Actually, that's one of the only ways to try a Meyer lemon, because these fruits currently aren't grown commercially so you can't find them in most grocery stores. The sole ways to sample their citrusy goodness are to plant your own tree or support a local grower.
As for the fruits themselves, they're actually hybrids. The Meyer lemon is part regular lemon, part mandarin orange. They have a number of popular uses, both in the culinary scene and also for home decor. For instance, chefs love using the sweet-tart skins to garnish or flavor different dishes. The thin, delicate, thin skin of the Meyer lemon can also be useful for different festive and seasonal garlands.
History of the Meyer Lemon Tree
So where do these unique, hybrid citrus trees come from, exactly? Nobody knows precisely when they originated, but we know they were introduced to the United States around 1908, brought over by Chinese immigrants. Unfortunately, the Meyer lemon tree was quite susceptible to disease, and almost died out in American soil.
Then, around 1975, scientists at the University of California developed something they called the Improved Meyer lemon tree, which is basically the same fruit-bearing plant, but much more impervious to insects and disease-resistant. This is the Meyer lemon tree we know today.
The Benefits of a Meyer Lemon Tree
There are a number of reasons why gardeners love planting this particular citrus tree. A few of the main benefits include:
- The Meyer lemon tree is self-pollinating.
- These citrus trees can produce fruit in as little as two years' time.
- You can actually grow them indoors or outdoors, and they will yield fruit either way.
- During winter, they tend to yield a heavy harvest.
Now, there may be some potential downsides, including the fact that the Meyer lemon tree requires regular misting; we'll return to that later, when we discuss tips to care for these citrus trees.
What Do These Citrus Trees Look Like?
Meyer lemon trees can grow to be anywhere from six feet to 10 feet; the dwarf variety should be closer to five to seven feet. If you grow your Meyer lemon tree in an indoor pot, that will ensure that it remains on the smaller side.
The tree will produce glossy leaves, dark green in their hue. You'll also see some white fragrant flowers, delicate and with a hint of purple at the base, that bloom twice a year. The lemons themselves, when ripe, are yellow-orange in color. The skins give off a pleasant, citrusy aroma, which is one reason why these trees are so popular.
The Best Places to Buy a Meyer Lemon Tree
If you're interested in getting one of these trees for your own home or garden, one of the first decisions you'll have to make is where you're going to buy it. The good news is that there are a number of online retailers where you can get your own Meyer lemon tree.
Looking to get a Meyer lemon tree that's on the smaller side? The "dwarf" variety can make a great option, especially for potted/indoor use. Gardens Alive! offers one for a really low price, and they also provide plenty of great information about caring for your new plant.
Why buy: This online lawn and garden retailer is a trusted source for high-quality flora, and their pricing is very affordable.
At FastGrowingTrees.com, you can get a full-sized Meyer lemon tree that will yield fruit within its first year. And, you'll get fast shipping, too, allowing you to get your tree situated for fruiting as quickly as possible.
Why buy: For a well-tended, well-rooted plant that's on the cusp of bearing fruit, FastGrowingTrees.com is the place to shop.
At Citrus.com you can get the Improved Meyer lemon tree for a reasonably low price, and with expedient shipping. There are also some helpful accessories you can add to your order to help care for your tree.
Why buy: Want to get your Meyer lemon tree from the citrus experts? Why not browse the selection at Citrus.com?
Nature Hills nursery is one of the most trusted online plant retailers, and not without reason: They have a wide range of flora and are known for their affordable pricing, flexible shipping options, and devotion to quality.
Why buy: Experienced gardeners trust Nature Hills enough to make it the #1 online nursery in the country. Definitely worth considering for your Meyer lemon tree.
Of course, if it's convenience you crave, it's pretty hard to top Amazon's selection of Meyer lemon trees. Take note that Amazon is actually a pretty decent place to browse for plants, as they partner with a lot of great nurseries from across the country. Not only can you consider a number of different Meyer lemon tree options, but Amazon is also a great place to stock up on basic lawn and garden tools.
Why buy: For selection and convenience, Amazon is hard to beat. We like the options from Brighter Blooms or Citrus.com.
More and more big box home improvement stores have started carrying extensive indoor and outdoor plant selections. You can get a Meyer lemon tree at your local Home Depot, or simply by heading over to Home Depot's website.
Why buy: Home Depot supplies high-quality plants as well as a generous selection of lawn and garden tools. You can also potentially pick up your tree in store the same day.
How Do You Plant a Meyer Lemon Tree?
Purchasing your new citrus tree is obviously the first step, but once it arrives, you'll need to know how to plant it.
Consider the Ideal Hardiness Zones
If you're going to keep your Meyer lemon tree in a pot, enjoying it purely as an indoor plant, then you can disregard this section. But if you wish to transplant it to your lawn or garden, then you need to know a thing or two about hardiness zones.
What are hardiness zones? Basically, these are classifications that farmers and other planters use to determine which regions of the country are best suited for cultivating specific types of plants.
Meyer lemon trees tend to thrive in USDA Hardiness Zones 8-11, which encompass the southern coastal regions as well as the deep southern half of the country. If you live further north, then you may want to reconsider just growing your Meyer lemon tree indoors.
Tips for Planting a Meyer Lemon Tree
Now, if you plan on cultivating your new citrus tree in a pot, there are a few specific tips and considerations you'll want to keep in mind. Some tips for planting a Meyer lemon tree include:
- Plant your tree in a sturdy container that's at least one or two sizes larger than the container it came in. Also double check that your container has drainage holes at the bottom.
- Put an inch or two of stone at the bottom of the container, to serve as an anchor for your lemon tree.
- The ideal potting mixture includes peat moss, potting soil, and perlite.
- Carefully slide your Meyer lemon tree out of the container, and take a moment to cut off any dry roots and "fluff" roots that have become matted.
- Next, position the tree in the center of its new container.
- Add your potting mixture, ensuring that the crown of the roots rests just above the line of the soil.
- Slowly add some water to the pot, and place it somewhere near a south-facing window.
By following these steps, you'll be off to a great start tending to your Meyer lemon tree!
How to Care for Your Meyer Lemon Tree
Once the tree is planted, it is wise to follow a few additional steps to nurture it to guarantee healthy growth. Proper care not only extends the life of your Meyer lemon tree, but also ensures you get plenty of that sweet-tart fruit!
The first thing you'll need to know about is the sunlight requirements for your Meyer lemon tree. Like most citrus plants, this one thrives when it gets ample exposure to direct sunlight. This means a good eight to 12 hours of full sun, whenever possible.
Hopefully, you can achieve this simply by positioning your plant somewhere beside a window facing south or southwest. If not, then you may want to consider indoor growing lights, which can offer the same photosynthetic effects as direct sunlight.
Another critical consideration is watering. Here, some delicacy is required, as citrus plants tend to thrive in water that's moist but not flat-out wet. Many Meyer lemon tree experts recommend watering deeply and infrequently. Any time you find that the top two inches of soil are dry, that means it's time to add water.
Also be aware that, like most citrus trees, this one fares best in humidity. Mist it daily. Also consider adding a bit of water to the tray under your pot; this water will rise up and add some additional humidity.
Meyer lemon trees prefer loamy soil with a pH around 6.0 to 6.5. You'll need to fertilize it around once a month with a nutrient-rich, slow-release nitrogen fertilizer. This tree also requires spacing of 36-60 inches in order to best provide a year-round growing season.
What About Temperature?
It's also vital to know the optimal temperature for your Meyer lemon tree. So long as you keep it somewhere between 50 degrees and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, you should be just fine. Note: If you're keeping your Meyer lemon tree outside and the temperature drops below 50 in the winter months, you'll want to bring it inside until things warm up.
How Much Does a Meyer Lemon Tree Cost?
As you prepare to invest in a new citrus tree, it may be helpful to have a basic price range in mind.
The price point for a Meyer lemon tree can vary greatly, ranging from just under $20 for cuttings to over $100. Usually, the price is determined by the tree's size and maturity. In other words, you can expect to pay less for a small plant or cutting, which you will then need to nurture. And you will likely pay a little more for trees that are already grown and closer to bearing fruit.
Do Meyer Lemon Trees Actually Grow Fruit?
With proper care, your tree should bear fruit. This may happen in as little as two years or as many as seven years, depending on the age of the plant when you receive it. You can expect that your tree will bear the most fruit primarily in the winter season. Again, the number of lemons you get will depend on the health of the tree, but often these yields are quite generous. Note that these trees can live for 50 years, so you may have many seasons of delicious citrus fruit!
Getting Started with a Meyer Lemon Tree
If you're looking for a truly unique addition to your home garden, whether that's indoors or outdoors, look no further than to the Meyer lemon tree. Cultivating these plants can be immensely rewarding, but it will require some work. Start by doing your due diligence, learning more about different places to buy trees, how to plant them, and how to care for them over time.
Whether you're tending to plant life outside or caring for houseplants inside, there's a lot of satisfaction to be found in keeping your flora vigorous and vibrant. Of course, one of the preliminary steps in the gardening process is actually purchasing your plants.
There are plenty of venues for buying plants online. With so many websites and marketplaces available for plant shopping, how do you know the best places to order from? We've put together a guide to some of the top online plant retailers for plants, potting soils, and more.
Our Favorite Places to Buy Plants Online
- Cellar Door Plants
- The Sill
- Costa Farms
- Nature Hills
- Home Depot
How to Find the Best Online Plant Shop
Before we get into specific recommendations, let's consider some of the most important things to look for in your online plant retailer. These are the criteria we used to formulate our own list:
- Selection of plants available. Naturally, you'll want to find a shop that allows you to browse a wide number of plants, and to ensure that you can always find what you're looking for. Product variety is a must when choosing your preferred online plant store, especially when considering pet-friendly plant options or indoor herb gardens.
- Curated selections and recommendations. Sometimes, it's nice when a gardening pro recommends certain plants, specifically plants that are well-suited for a certain season, climate, or terrain. Curation services can be especially helpful if you're new to gardening, or if you don't fancy yourself as having a particularly green thumb.
- Plant delivery options. How will the plants you order make it from the garden center to your home? Can you trust that your plants will be shipped safely and expediently? And, are the plant delivery prices affordable? These are crucial considerations any time you're buying plants online.
- Container options. Often, you'll want your plants to come with their own containers and pots. That's something to double check before placing an order from an online plant retailer.
- Tools and supplies. In addition to plants, you'll also need to stock up on some basic tools, such as watering cans, pruning scissors, fertilizers, potting soils, grow lights, and beyond. For the sake of convenience, it's nice to find an online retailer where you can purchase your plants and your essential supplies.
- Care instructions. Some of our favorite online plant stores provide guides and care tips that you can use to learn more about caring for a particular plant. Again, this is an especially welcome service for novices or for those who simply aren't as familiar with the plant in question.
- Packaging. Does the vendor use sustainable materials in their packaging? Check whether a they use recycled or non-recycled packing materials.
These are just a few of the considerations to keep in mind as you seek the best places for purchasing plants online. Now, we can get into our list of specific recommendations for plant parents to consider.
The Best Places to Buy Plants Online
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Cellar Door Plants makes it easy to find the right plants for your home and skill level, and then delivers them right to your door. Here are a few other reasons to love Cellar Door Plants:
- You can shop a huge selection of indoor plants and plant collections, as well as pre-potted plants, planters, and gardening accessories.
- They offer subscriptions for both pet-friendly plants and a mystery plant subscription box that lets you discover one new plant each month.
- The company partners with One Tree Planted to help support reforestation efforts. Your orders will directly contribute to these projects each month.
There's so much that we love about Bloomscape, an online plant store that appeals to novices and expert gardeners alike. Just a few examples:
- Bloomscape offers a staggering range of options, from indoor favorites like pothos and snake plants to outdoor plant life.
- There are some really helpful curated collections, including plants that work well under low light, plants that are good for pet owners, low-maintenance plants, and more.
- You can also find a full range of tools and accessories at Bloomscape, allowing you to truly build out your home gardening toolbox.
Why buy: Bloomscape is a one-stop-shop for anyone looking to get into gardening. We recommend it highly.
Compared with Bloomscape, The Sill is a little narrower in focus: This online plant store specializes in potted, indoor flora. If that's what you're looking for, The Sill is the place for you!
- Not only does The Sill offer loads of live plants, but you can also get faux and preserved ones, if that's more your speed.
- They have a full library of care guides, making it easy to brush up on your gardening skills.
- This is also a great place to look for planters and pots for your indoor greenery.
Why buy: For indoor potted plants, The Sill just can't be beat. You can shop a range of small plants like succulents or larger indoor plants like fiddle-leaf figs.
UrbanStems is first and foremost a flower delivery site, but you can also get some nice plants for your indoor garden, including succulents and cacti. Some fast facts:
- They offer same-day delivery in a number of markets, including New York City.
- They have excellent gift options for the plant lover in your life.
- They also boast top-notch curated collections, making it easy to find flowers to fit the season.
Why buy: UrbanStems is one of the best options online for flower delivery, and for floral-themed gifts. Plus, they source all of their flowers and plants from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.
Here's another online plant store that's probably best known as a flower delivery site. They certainly have plenty of floral arrangements and gifts to choose from, but if you want some small, indoor options to begin a home garden, Bouqs.com has you covered.
- They offer very competitive pricing, as well as subscription options.
- They provide fast and even same-day delivery in some markets.
- While they don't have as many curated selections as we'd like, they do make it easy to see what's popular at any given moment.
Why buy: Bouqs.com is another great place to turn if you're hoping to send someone flowers or other plant-related gifts. They use farm-direct sourcing for all of their plants, working with farmers using eco-friendly and sustainable practices.
Horti supplies something really cool: A subscription-based model that's designed to build your confidence in caring for plants. You'll get new, indoor plants delivered at a specified interval, with the focus on species that are fairly easy to keep alive. There's no better way to develop your green thumb!
- Horti's hardy plants all come with detailed care guides.
- They focus on sustainability in their packaging and shipping.
- Based in Brooklyn, NY, they want to help bring more plants and planting to urban dwellers.
Why buy: If you're looking to really get into indoor gardening, or just want to make sure you buy from a retailer that emphasizes sustainability, Horti is the destination for you.
At Plants.com, it's incredibly easy to find plant life that perfectly meets your needs. For example, at Plants.com, you can sort by type, by lifestyle, by size, by ease of care, even by the kind of room you want to place them in.
- Search for air-purifying plants, low-light plants, pet-friendly plants, and more.
- See an array of indoor potted plants to help match your home's style.
- Receive a plant care card with each order, complete with all the instructions you need.
Why buy: Plants.com does a great job of connecting you with the plants that perfectly align with your gardening goals. They make it easy to find just what you're looking for. They also use sustainable coconut coir soil for all of their floor plants to reduce waste.
Costa Farms represents something a little different: You actually can't buy their plants directly from them, but you can acquire them online from major retailers such as Amazon, Lowe's, and Home Depot.
- The Costa Farms website has some great resources, including growing tips and "plant finder" engines.
- They have a great range of plant species for both indoor and outdoor gardens.
- Costa Farms supplies plants to many of the largest retailers in the country.
Why buy: Costa Farms has a huge selection of plants, as they are one of the largest horticultural growers in the world. If you see their products at your favorite big box retailers, definitely give them a try. And, don't forget to check out the resources at the Costa Farms website.
Nature Hills claims to be the world's largest online plant nursery, and they certainly seem to benefit from a massive operation. Some benefits to choosing Nature Hills:
- Their catalog of products includes a really expansive range of flowers, bulbs, and other plants.
- They offer affordable, flat-rate shipping.
- They have a garden blog with lots of useful information and care tips.
Why buy: Nature Hills is an online plant retailer with a great reputation. It's not hard to understand why, since their product variety alone makes them an essential place to shop for plants.
Many of us associate Etsy with arts and crafts. It may surprise you to learn that the site also gives you the opportunity to purchase plants from individual growers. A few things to know:
- Etsy is a safe, secure, and reliable online retailer.
- You can buy clippings of more expensive plants, then cultivate those plants yourself. This can be one of the most affordable ways to add variety to your home garden.
- Additionally, many Etsy sellers offer flexible shipping options.
Why buy: If you're looking for an affordable way to pick and choose specific plants, it's worth looking at the options available on Etsy.
You can always head down to your local Home Depot to survey their plant selection, or, if you'd rather do all your shopping from home, just click over to the Home Depot website.
- You can find plenty of options from well-regarded nurseries, including Costa Farms.
- Home Depot provides a lot of variety, plus all the gardening tools and accessories you could ever need.
- Shipping and returns are flexible and affordable.
Why buy: If you don't mind giving your business to a big box chain, Home Depot offers an excellent online plant buying experience.
Willow doesn't actually sell plants, but it does sell something that goes great with them. Willow is an organic biochar soil amendment that you can mix with potting soil to create your very own carbon sink.
- Using biochar can mean up to 50% less watering, 25% healthier plants, and a negative carbon footprint.
- Willow soil amendment promotes plant-friendly microbial growth.
- It acts as a carbon sink to actually remove carbon from the environment.
How Does Buying Plants Online Work?
Guido Mieth / DigitalVision / Getty Images
As you prepare to buy live plants online, you may have some questions about the process. While the steps in the plant-buying process can vary from one site to the next, it's usually pretty simple:
- You can browse the selections and choose the plant or plants you want to buy, just as you would at any other online retailer.
- The plants that you select are then carefully boxed, ensuring they do not tip over or become damaged during the shipping process.
- Plants are shipped straight to your door. Some online flower companies offer same-day shipping, but for the most part, you can expect plants to arrive in about a week.
- Most online plant retailers also send specific instructions so that you know how to care for each plant that you buy.
- Note that some of the sites on our list also allow you to sign up for subscription services, receiving new plants on a consistent basis.
Can You Buy Plants Online from a Local Nursery?
Some gardeners prefer the convenience of buying their plants online, yet they also want to show support to local businesses. If there's a local nursery that you really want to support, you can always check with them to see if they deliver or allow you to do your shopping online.
It's also worth pointing out that even some of the bigger online plant retailers work with local nurseries, sourcing their plants from more small-scale growers. Bouqs.com is a good example. If you want to find convenient online shopping and support local growers and garden centers, Bouqs.com may be one of your better bets.
How Much Does it Cost to Buy Plants Online?
The amount of money you'll spend buying plants online can vary greatly, based on a number of factors, including the number of plants, the types of plants, and the type of shipping you choose.
Indoor plants can range from $20 to more than $100; you'll generally spend more for plants that are larger or less common.
As for shipping, sites like Plants.com offer flat-fee rates with free shipping on orders over $75, while other sites may offer free shipping if you spend $100 or more. For those who like getting new plants often, subscription services can be a cost-effective option.
Start Searching for the Best Online Plant Stores
Whether you're looking to flesh out your garden or simply start out with a single plant, buying plants online can be a convenient and affordable option. Thankfully, there are many online plant retailers to choose from to help you get growing.
Nurturing plant life can be a highly fulfilling activity, no matter where you choose to garden. Through indoor gardening, you can maintain more delicate or climate-sensitive plants, including succulents and herbs, while also filling your home with vivacious greenery.
Whether you're just getting started with indoor gardening or you're an old pro, it's helpful to know some of the best indoor houseplants. In this article, you'll find a guide to some of the top flora for indoor gardening enthusiasts.
How to Choose the Best Houseplants
When it comes to selecting the right houseplants, there are a number of factors you'll want to keep in mind. Here are some of the considerations we made in creating our list.
- Light conditions. It's important to know whether a plant needs bright light, medium light, indirect light, or low light to flourish. Can your plant thrive with indirect sunlight or does it need a lot of direct sunlight? Will you need to invest in a particular kind of indoor grow light?
- The size of the plant. Indoor plants range from tiny little things that you can keep on your desk, to more substantial plants that need to be potted on the floor. Naturally, in selecting indoor houseplants, you'll want to think about the space available to you.
- Level of care. Some plants need a lot of TLC. Others can essentially be left on their own most of the time. Think about the level of involvement you wish to have in your indoor plant's life and development.
- Pet-friendliness. Sometimes, houseplants and pets don't mix. Be sure you don't invest in flora that could tempt your dog or cat into nibbling, or that could actually be toxic if ingested.
- Functionality. Some people want indoor houseplants just to look pretty. That's totally fine! Others actually want their houseplants to help clean the air inside their home. If that's what you're looking for, you'll want to be diligent in selecting the right species.
- The style of plant. Do you prefer a potted plant? A hanging basket? A blooming, vertical, or cascade style? Take some time to think about your aesthetic preferences before you invest in houseplants of any kind.
With these criteria in mind, we're now ready to take a closer look at the best houseplants to buy for your indoor garden.
The Best Indoor Plants
Here are our picks for the 12 best indoor plants.
The pothos is sometimes known as the "cubicle plant," a reference to its relatively small size. That nickname may be a little misleading, however; the pothos can actually develop long, trailing vines that stretch out for 10 feet or more!
There are plenty of reasons why the pothos ranks so highly on our list. One is that the pothos is one of the best plants for purifying the air in your home. The pothos is also an ideal choice for so-called "black thumbs," surviving with minimal care. If you're after an indoor plant that's relatively forgiving, pothos is a good one to keep in mind.
Succulents actually refer to a family of plants, which tend to be very hardy and thrive in warmer temperatures. They're popular among indoor gardeners for a number of reasons, not least their vibrant, fleshy leaves and beautiful color.
Also note that succulents propagate easily; with some varieties, you can literally grow a whole new plant just by tending to one of the leaves from an existing succulent. With so many varieties of succulents to choose from, this is almost a world unto itself, and a great path for any indoor gardener to follow.
If you're looking for plants that are highly functional, one of the best choices is the aloe vera plant. As you're probably aware, this plant has amazing anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial products. Its healing properties make it useful anytime you have a little scrape or burn.
There are plenty of other reasons to consider adding aloe to your indoor garden, including the fact that it's one of the best bets for purifying the air in your home. And while aloe is fairly easy to care for, it is not a pet-friendly plant, and should definitely be kept out of reach from your four-legged family members.
The Peace Lily is an outstanding pick for indoor gardeners who already have some experience keeping their flora alive. That's because it does require a higher level of care. You'll need to provide moist soil without overwatering, and you'll need to ensure it has a good mix of shade and indirect sunlight. If you're up for that challenge, though, a Peace Lily can be a great way to develop your green thumb.
Also note that the Peace Lily is not pet-friendly, but does help purify the air in your home.
Like the pothos, the philodendron is a houseplant that may surprise you: Though it seems compact, it can grow long, trailing vines that span 10 feet or more. Because of this, it's really great for anyone who wants a hanging plant, or something they can put on a high shelf.
There are other benefits to this plant as well. It's easy to nurture, easy to prune, and it's easy to propagate, if growing more philodendron is something you're interested in. Altogether, this is one of the best indoor plants for those who are new to gardening, or who don't fancy themselves as being especially plant-savvy.
No, this plant is not going to attract snakes to your home, so don't worry. It gets its name due to the green leaves with irregular banding, which can sometimes resemble the patterns you see on snakeskins.
Beyond the unique aesthetics, the snake plant is fantastic because it's extremely low-maintenance. Actually, snake plants are well-known for surviving periods of extended drought! Plus, they can filter a lot of chemicals out of the air, significantly improving the indoor air quality in your home. This is definitely an indoor plant that should be on any short list.
Here's another lovely indoor plant that happens to have a scary-sounding name. Rest assured that there is nothing "monstrous" about this particular houseplant, beyond the astonishing rate with which it grows and propagates. While we wouldn't say it's zero-maintenance, it's still a fairly easygoing plant.
Even if you have a mixed track record of keeping your plants alive, this one will probably be just fine. Actually, you only need to water your monstera every week or two, and make certain it gets indirect sunlight to see it thrive.
The money tree has long been a symbol of wealth and good fortune, hence its name. Even if you don't place any stock in that, money trees can be excellent additions to any indoor garden. They are relatively easy to maintain, they live for a long time, and they look amazing once they really start to grow.
If you choose a money tree, just be sure to provide some direct sunlight, keep the temperature reasonably warm, and water your plant once a week or so. That's about all it takes for your money tree to grow.
The anthurium is actually an entire genus of plants, with more than 1,000 species in total. No matter which one you get, though, you should find that it's incredibly resilient and easy to keep alive. Its bright colors can add a big splash of character to your home garden or living room.
This is another one of the best houseplants for those who are brand new to indoor gardening, or who worry that they don't have the highest-level skills when it comes to nurturing plants.
The ZZ plant, or zamioculcas zamiifolia, sports large, almost potato-like rhizomes; that is, it features thick, tall stalks that grow vertically. It also happens to be a really hardy plant that's ideally suited for low-light environments. Note that the rhizomes are so thick because they are used to store water, which allows this plant to survive for a really long time even with inconsistent upkeep.
The ZZ plant is no good if you have pets. However, because it has long symbolized friendship, it can make for a sweet and thoughtful housewarming gift.
Looking for a plant that offers not just a cool name, but also an utterly unique appearance? Look no further than the bird's nest fern, with its oddly-rippled fronds. It's sure to be an instant conversation-starter if you bring it into your home garden.
Note that the bird's nest fern fares best in indirect sunlight, as well as in areas that get a lot of humidity. Because of this, many indoor gardeners choose this one to add greenery to their bathroom.
Last but not least, the fiddle-leaf fig (ficus lyrata) is a perfect plant for any indoor gardener who can offer access to some decent sunlight. Looking for a plant to set in the windowsill? This is one of your best bets! It boasts a lovely appearance, though it does require a more experienced gardener.
Unfortunately, the fiddle-leaf fig is more susceptible to pests and plant diseases than some other plants, and it can also be sensitive to swings in temperature or humidity. That said, it is a gorgeous plant that will definitely reward you for your attentive care.
What You'll Need to Grow Houseplants
Choosing the right kinds of plants is a critical first step toward developing a vibrant indoor garden. But of course, there's some additional equipment you'll want to invest in to make sure you're able to tend to your plants as needed.
A few of the basic tools to have handy include:
- Watering can
- Hand trowel
- Pruning scissors
- Potting soil*
* Note that different plants may require different kinds of soil or fertilizer, so make sure you select the materials best suited to your specific indoor plant life.
What are the Benefits of Indoor Plants?
No matter which specific houseplants you invest in, your home will benefit from them. Indeed, the benefits of keeping indoor plants are numerous.
- They can clean contaminants out of your air.
- They can help you achieve a cozy, welcoming vibe in any room.
- Indoor plant life has also been linked with improved mental health.
- Caring for plant life can provide a sense of accomplishment.
- Some plants, such as aloe vera, also come with unique healing effects.
These are just a few of the reasons to continue opening your home to some low-maintenance flora.
What are the Easiest Plants to Grow Indoors?
While some indoor gardeners want a challenge, many of us are simply interested in something we can enjoy with relatively low maintenance; or, at least, something that will prove fairly resilient, should we accidentally forget to water it as promptly as we should.
Some of the easiest indoor plant options include:
If you're looking for something that's truly beginner-friendly, put these plants at the top of your shopping list.
Where Can You Find the Best Houseplants?
As for indoor plant shopping, there are certainly plenty of options. You can actually have indoor plants shipped to you directly from Amazon, or from more garden-specific e-retailers such as Cellar Door Plants, The Sill, and Bloomscape.
Alternatively, we recommend spending some time at a local lawn and garden center. There, you can actually see some plants up close and get a good idea of the space they will take up. Plus, you can ask the local pros for any tips, stock up on tools, etc.
Big-box home improvement stores can also be good places to try as you seek indoor plants and equipment.
Turn Your Home Into an Indoor Garden
One of the great things about indoor gardening is that there's a relatively low threshold for entry. Even if you've never considered it before, you can stock up on a few low-maintenance plants and be well on your way. Why not start with just a single succulent or a couple of pothos plants, and see where things go from there?
Whatever direction you decide to go in, we wish you the best as you reap all the benefits of indoor gardening. Start with any of the plants on this list and you'll be in good shape!
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For anyone looking to harness the clean, renewable energy of the sun, a portable solar generator is a great option. In order to use this power source, however, you will need portable solar panels to charge your power station. Our review will explain the different types of solar panels to pair with the best solar generators and recommend the top brands to purchase.
What is a Solar Panel?
At its most basic, a solar panel is simply a device that absorbs the rays of the sun and turns that energy into usable electricity. Most residential and portable solar panels work using photovoltaic solar cells made of silicon that send that energy through an MPPT charge controller to be stored in lithium-ion batteries or lead-acid batteries. An inverter can take the solar energy stored in the battery and transform them into electrical current, which you can use to power devices, run appliances, or even keep an air conditioner running.
Not all solar panels are created equal, however, and consumers are encouraged to do their homework. In this article, we'll outline some of the best solar panels available today, particularly for use with portable solar generators for outdoor activities or emergency power.
Our Picks for the Top Portable Solar Panels
- Best Overall - Goal Zero Nomad 100
- Most Powerful - Renogy 200W Eclipse Suitcase
- Best for Easy Setup - Nature's Generator Power Panel
- Best Conversion Efficiency - Jackery SolarSaga 100W
- Best Expandability - ACOPOWER 120W Mono Solar Suitcase
- Best Compatability - Suaoki Foldable 120W Solar Panel Charger
How We Reviewed Solar Panels
Before we get into specific recommendations, it's important to understand some of the factors that cause one solar panel to stand out from the next. Here are just a few of the criteria we used to assess the best solar panels for use with portable solar generators.
Type of Solar Panel
Solar panels come in three basic types: monocrystalline; polycrystalline; and thin film.
- Monocrystalline solar panels tend to be sleek and highly efficient, but they are also the most expensive.
- Polycrystalline panels, on the other hand, are a little bulkier and less efficient, but can be obtained for a lower price point.
- Thin film solar panels are the cheapest of the bunch, but also the least efficient. And, they require the most space.
As you consider purchasing solar panels, knowing what type you want is one of the first things you'll need to think about.
If you plan to use your solar panel with a portable generator, then you'll naturally want something that you can transport with relative ease. Note that solar panels can vary greatly in their size and weight. Some are so small that they can be folded into briefcases, which is obviously a boon for those seeking portability for an off-grid power supply.
Another crucial factor is power output. Different panels can produce varying amounts of energy, or wattage, which can, in turn, determine things like how many devices you can charge at one time, how long your solar generator will last between charges, and how quickly you can recharge your solar power generator.
The conversion efficiency rating tells you how much of the sunlight that hits the solar panel is actually converted into usable energy. This number is always given as a percentage. So, for example, if you have a solar panel with an efficiency rating of 20 percent, it means that about 20 percent of the sunlight that hits the surface will ultimately be turned into energy that you can use. Typically, any panel with a conversion efficiency over 20% is considered high-efficiency.
Some solar panels include a built-in charge controller. A charge controller, or charge regulator, helps to moderate the voltage/current of your solar system. Basically, the charge controller is what prevents your battery from overcharging. This is an important part of any solar system, as it helps extend the battery life of your system and prevent accidents. Look for systems that use MPPT charge controllers.
When you first start getting into solar power, you may not know exactly how many panels you need. That's what makes expandability such an important concern. Expandability tells you how easy it will be to add more panels to your solar configuration, especially with modular systems that can easily connect more panels.
Naturally, your budget is going to be a major consideration as you look for a new solar panel. Solar panels can vary in their price point, but it's not enough to look for the cheapest model. Make sure you're getting the best overall value, paying a reasonable price for a solar panel that will help you achieve your clean energy goals.
The Best Solar Panels for Portable Solar Generators
Based on these criteria, here are the solar panels that we most heartily recommend for use with your portable solar generator.
Goal Zero has a comprehensive suite of solar products, including both mountable and portable panels. For powering a portable generator, we recommend the Nomad 100 solar panel. It offers a power output of 100 watts, and is can be chained together with additional Nomad panels for faster charging of solar generators like the Goal Zero Yeti 1400 or the Goal Zero Yeti 400.
Why buy: If you're looking for a powerful yet easily transportable solar panel configuration, Goal Zero's products are resilient, reliable, and offer more than enough power for mini fridges, laptops, medical devices, and more. The Nomad (true to its name) is designed to be rugged and portable, perfectly suited for camping trips and outdoor adventures.
Renogy is another line of solar products that provides you with plenty of choices. We like the Renogy 200W Eclipse foldable suitcase model, which gives the perfect balance of power and portability. It includes Renogy's highest-efficiency solar panels in a durable, protective casing.
Why buy: For plenty of solar power that you can literally fold up and carry with you, look no further than to this outstanding option from Renogy. The Eclipse suitcase provides excellent low-light performance with enough power for recharging electronic devices on-the-go with the Renogy PHOENIX solar generator.
There's a lot that we like about these solar panels from Nature's Generator. For one thing, these panels are pretty easy to transport and are made with lightweight aluminum frames and durable wheels. They also feature summer and winter tilt positions to help you maximize the amount of sunlight the panels capture each season.
Why buy: For basic power needs, Nature's Generator produces well-made products that are lightweight and easily transportable. One panel can provide up to 100W of of solar charging power output, and they are reinforced with safety glass that is also anti-reflective.
Jackery offers foldable, portable SolarSaga solar panels that are well-suited for on-the-go adventures. You can choose between a 60W and 100W unit. We like the power output of the SolarSaga 100W option. These panels are made with high-efficiency monocrystalline solar cells.
Why buy: For camping and outdoor adventure, Jackery is the way to go. Their SolarSaga solar panels are rugged, convenient, and extremely intuitive and easy to use. Plus, they offer a conversion efficiency of 23%, making them an excellent choice to use with a rechargeable solar powered generator.
ACOPower is another company offering major portability, in the form of a foldable, suitcase-sized solar panel. One major plus to ACOPower is that they have a wide range of products, allowing you to pick the solar panel that best fits your needs. The 120W lightweight solar suitcase is a great option if you're looking for something a bit heftier to help charge a backup power solar generator.
Why buy: Looking for lightweight and foldable solar panels with lots of power output? Look no further than the ACOPOWER 120W solar suitcase. This solar panel option can also easily expand to 240W by connecting an additional ACOPOWER panel to power your emergency backup solar generator.
Suaoki has a great portfolio of advanced solar technology. We especially like their 120W foldable solar panel, which provides a very decent 120 watts of power output. Made with durability in mind, Suaoki's solar panel is backed with a generous 24-month warranty. And, it's compatible with most brands of generators. A great all-around option.
Why buy: Suaoki combines many of the most important factors that consumers look for when seeking solar panels: power, portability, versatility, and excellent value. This solar panel also comes with a DC outlet and quick-charge USB ports for USB and USB-C. We especially like that these panels are designed to work with most of the top solar generators from other brands.
The Benefits of Portable Solar Panels
Portable solar panels offer a range of benefits.
- Solar panels can be paired with portable solar generators to provide you with emergency backup power in case of a power outage. Unlike gas generators, these are quiet and environmentally-friendly. Plus you will never have to purchase fossil fuels to run them as a backup generator.
- Portable solar panels can be ideal for living "off the grid," or for extended camping or RV excursions. With a good generator and the right types of solar panels, you can enjoy plenty of electrical power for cell phones and small appliances even when you're outside and far from any power outlets.
These are just a few reasons why switching to portable solar power can be beneficial, though again, you'll want to ensure you select the right solar panels to meet your goals.
Solar Chargers vs. Portable Solar Panels vs. Rigid Solar Panels
We already elaborated on some of the key differences between monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film solar panels. Now, let's turn our attention to another important area of distinction: solar chargers, portable solar panels, and rigid solar panels.
A solar charger is a small device that uses sunlight to generate electricity. These are usually used to power smaller devices, like phones or tablets, or anything you would plug in to a car charger.
Portable solar panels, like the ones we mentioned above, help absorb and capture sunlight, which you can use to power a portable generator or battery bank. These are ideally suited for camping or for an off-grid lifestyle. They can offer the same amount of energy that you get from an AC outlet.
Rigid solar panels are designed for rooftop installation to provide power to homes and buildings. Generally, these provide the most energy when connected to high-capacity battery storage.
Types of Solar Inverters
The inverter is an important component of any solar panel system because it's the component that actually takes stored solar energy as DC power and turns it into more usable AC power. There are two primary types of solar inverters used for portable solar generators.
- Pure sine wave inverters are designed to produce smooth, reliable, and quiet electric AC currents and work best at providing continuous power to delicate or sensitive electronic devices.
- Modified sine wave inverter provide a bit choppier and nosier current and are primarily meant for simple devices and appliances.
Knowing your inverter types is another important way to make an informed decision about your solar panel and solar generator purchase.
What Devices and Appliances Can You Charge With Solar Panels?
As you contemplate your solar energy needs, it's important to think about the specific devices and appliances for which you need power.
Some portable solar panel options come with 12-volt and USB ports that allow you to directly connect and charge certain devices. These can include things like smartphones, tablets, and computers. Alternatively, you can connect your panels to a generator or battery to power certain appliances that you would plug into a wall outlet like a mini-fridge, CPAP machine, or coffee maker. The specific devices you can power with energy from solar panels will depend on your system's output, run time, and battery capacity, typically measured in watt-hours.
We recommend using an online calculator to tell you roughly how much energy you'll need from your solar panel. Try this calculator to see what types of devices you can use.
Choosing the Best Solar Panels
The right portable solar panels can completely change your relationship to renewable energy. In addition to serving as a clean energy emergency backup in case of a blackout, they can also empower you to enjoy the adventurous lifestyle you crave.
As you seek the best portable solar panels, make sure you weigh all the important factors, from power output to price point. Use this guide to start your search, but also be sure to carefully assess each product according to your own energy needs.