This page is a smattering; this is the least well-written page on my website currently.

The main reason I’m posting this page is so that I can link friends here easily. Still, as an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases lol.

2022-08-17: this page is pretty old and i need to update it. some of this stuff i don’t recommend anymore, ask me first

Cooking

air fryers that don’t use non-stick materials

I haven’t used my stovetop (or instant pot) in the past few months because I cook all of my food (meat) in my air fryer instead. Meat tastes significantly better when cooked in an air fryer than when (simply) seared in a pan. Moreover air fryers save a lot of time cooking and are highly consistent with how they cook.

My air fryer selection is optimized for not using any non-stick materials and coatings (I suspect these are toxic). Essentially only metal and glass.

if you don’t have an instant pot:

My mother uses this:

  • instant pot seems generally good with using safe materials
  • the air fryer basket is made of enamel which seems safe
    • amazon comments have complained that it starts to peel though, so I don’t use it. The air fryer basket isn’t necessary to use the air fry function.

if you already have an instant pot:

I’ve used this one for several months. I cook everything at the 500° setting.

(I also tried another air fryer/ toaster that was made of steel, but it smelled so badly—even after 10 hours of baking it out— that I could only return it.)

I haven’t used this one but instant pot brand seems good overall. If you already have a 6 QT instant pot:

convection ovens

  • I haven’t looked into these but AFAIK 1) these function similarly; 2) they might be superior to air fryers; 3) they’re usually larger/more expensive

travel air fryer?

  • I’m looking for one that I can travel with, let me know! Specifically I’m looking for something that doesn’t use non-stick materials but is also small.

big glass containers

in order to limit plastic contamination

  • the largest can fit several pounds of meat no problem

sleep

blue & green light blocking glasses

  • Supposedly these allow almost only red light to pass through— no blue and no green.
    • Seems to be empirically true as far as I can tell: all pure colors that are not red are hard to distinguish.
    • We could check this if you have access to a spectrophotometer.
    • I suspect that blue and green light negatively influence sleep. Or at least these seem to help me.
  • Cheap
  • Blocks peripheral light, unlike many other glasses
  • The case it comes in really smells of something chemical. I left it outside to air out and it took more than 4 weeks to no longer smell.
  • Might scratch or break somewhat easily, so I use the case while traveling

flashlight that doesn’t disrupt night vision or sleep quality

I use this instead of turning lights on at night.

  • removed: this flashlight doesn’t last very long. If you do find a dim red flashlight on amazon please let me know, I haven’t been able to find any that are good for this purpose.
    • Might have to build my own. All I want is 1 LED of luminosity.
  • has a glow in the dark skin which is quite useful
  • somewhat finicky, but I haven’t found any better ones that are also glow-in-the-dark
    • probably a better solution that I haven’t explored yet: buy a good red flashlight and then put glow-in-the-dark tape on it
  • requires AAA batteries

ear plugs for use while traveling

  • surprisingly effective

Water

View the contaminants in your tap water (US).

For all water filters, make sure to buy on-brand refills only. There are many knock-offs available that do not provide their effectiveness specifications.

Under-sink filter that only requires action every 6 months

The full system I use:

  • extremely good at filtering, much better than Brita.
  • Confusingly cheap compared to other options
  • Gives almost full water pressure as normal through your think
  • Installs in less than 20 minutes (but need a drill)
  • Your landlord might not be happy if you install this, but once you remove it it’s basically undetectable that you ever had it. Probably against your lease.
  • There is a risk of flooding your house.
    • 2022 January: 6 of 850 amazon reviews complain of this.
  • Fits the tubing of any sink AFAIK

The refills:

  • make sure always have an extra refill because sometimes the amazon listing goes offline
  • lasts 6 months, no thought required
  • takes less than 5 minutes to replace from “Oh I should do this now” to successful installation. It’s just a swivel.

water bottle with a high-quality filter (and isn’t annoying)

  • A filtered water bottle that’s not annoying— you push the filter through the water instead of sucking the water through the filter.
  • This is all I use while traveling. It’s engineered to be used for camping.
  • Expensive
  • a little bit of a hassle and you look funny while you refill it
  • Because I have this I haven’t had to buy any water bottle in the last few months even while traveling
  • It’s made of plastic, but it’s safer plastic than usual AFAIK
  • I have the specification sheet from the manufacturer if you want it, just email me. The filtering quality surprisingly good as far as I can tell.

There are also other models available.

shower filter

I’m not sure if this does anything, but it’s a nice shower head otherwise. Removes chlorine, removes contaminants that may otherwise be absorbed through the skin.

  • filter lasts 6 months
  • somewhat difficult to remove the filter and replace it. Often need pliers and/or someone with significant strength.

Use only the official refills:

glass water bottle that hasn’t yet leaked or broken for me

  • glass
  • no plastic except for the cap
  • there’s a version of this water bottle that has a flip cap rather than a screw cap– don’t buy it, it will eventually leak
  • tried other glass water bottle before, this is the only one that didn’t break or leak

other misc items I use

No links for these

  • smaller glass containers of many sizes
  • baking soda is the best shampoo I’ve ever used
  • laptop stand
  • pull-up bar (~$30) (can be hung in most doorways)
    • also great for stretching/cracking my back
  • color-changing lightbulbs
    • lightbulbs are the superior form of alarm clock in my opinion
    • I have the light in my apartment turn completely red around sunset. I find this helpful for my sleep.
    • There are many brands of color-changing lightbulbs, but most are quite dim. I was able to find a Chinese brand that is bright and somewhat easily controllable, but if I had to buy more bulbs now I would probably go with Philips Hue because I expect that the UI would be much better and less annoying than other brands. Philips Hue is expensive though
  • ChiliPad or similar water-cooled mattress pad for fixing ~75% of temperature problems relating to sleep
    • Expensive but perhaps the best way I’ve ever spent this amount of money. My body is sensitive to temperature at night.
  • Flossers
    • superior to flossing string?
  • Ecobee honey
    • cheap and lacks the aftertaste that most other honeys have for me
    • usually available at whole foods
  • Himalayan salt: minimize plastic contamination compared to sea salt. (Idk if this is cost-effective avoidance though.) It is not supplemented with Iodine like sea salt typically is, however.