Our “Luxury Item” List
Nope — I don’t mean La Mer cream or gold toilets. Our “luxury items” are those items that are housed in plastic (particularly #7, which our city takes but doesn’t really have a market to sell those plastics to) or end up in the landfill. But for now — these items are what we have, love, or haven’t found suitable recyclable or zero waste alternatives for.
- Sonicare brush heads (landfill): Can’t quit these! They keep my teeth in great condition and I’m not willing to switch over the bamboo toothbrushes yet. Maybe someone can make bamboo brush heads or something for Sonicares?
- Makeup products (landfill or Origins): I love makeup and skincare. And I’m not giving them up anytime soon. But unfortunately, a lot of these containers are mixed materials. My only option for my empties is taking them to Origins with the Return to Origins program. Better than the landfill, right? This still isn’t ideal for me and I would love to move towards getting products with compostable or reusable packaging. Any favorite brands?
- Dog food bags (landfill): My dogs have to eat. And they both require their own special foods for various reasons. This isn’t even a luxury item. It’s just a real life necessity. And that’s totally okay.
- Frozen fruits/veggies bags (landfill): I’ve been cutting back on these but every once in a while, I just need some frozen peas! I guess I could shell my own peas and freeze them but, I’m sorry, I don’t have time for all that! I wish these bags were more eco-friendly. If anyone has any recommendations, let me know!
- Styrofoam take out containers (landfill): Although a lot of these have that little #6 on the bottom, nope, they are seldom recyclable curbside (and if they are in your location, there isn’t much market to actually recycle them). You can find a list of places near you that might take these here but even in a big city like Dallas, there are only 1 or 2 locations. But I still love me some takeout. And I haven’t yet grown the balls to take my own container to my favorite Tex-Mex place and ask them to fill it (since I strongly doubt they would due to “sanitary” reasons or whatever). I have been good about not taking my leftovers home in restaurant takeout containers but for the occasional pick up, yep, we still get a small handful of these every month.
Our items are all so similar!! Frozen berries are definitely going to one of the things I struggle most to cut as I move towards even less plastic. You should totally try taking your own container in for takeout – I do it all the time! In my experience, locally owned places are much more likely to be ok with it, but even chain stores can be obliging – it just depends who you get! One of the other tips I’ve heard is to ask it to ‘eat in’, then take it back to a table and swap it to your container there. There’s nothing they can do about that!
Aughhh — frozen berries! I go to a “pick your own” farm for blueberries once a year and freeze a bag but strawberries have been harder! Right now — I’ve just resorted to a big Sam’s Club bag that lasts 6 months or so… I guess a bit better than getting a smaller bag every month?