I will keep this list updated as I explore and learn more. Please let me know if you’ve found any other places that aid in a lower waste lifestyle.
Last updated: September 2023
Bulk Buying: Groceries, Home Care, Personal Care Products
- Usefull: Love this little booth that pops up across different markets in the Dallas area throughout the month! Bring your own container to refill hair/body care and home care products! (I love their shea butter body cream.)
- Volleman’s: You can buy these glass packaged dairy products in stores with a $2 bottle deposit that you can get back when you drop your empty bottle back at the grocery store (Central Market, Tom Thumb, Market Street). Recently, I’ve definitely been seeing more glass bottle dairy products across all grocery stores though!
- Central Market: Buy fruits, veggies, mushrooms, (sometimes salad greens depending on the location), bulk flour, sugar, spices, nuts, granola, oats, candy, chocolate, tea, coffee, fresh bread all with your own bags. They do have bulk honey and nut butters as well — but I haven’t tried buying these with my own jar as they can’t handle the whole tare process (confirmed via Instagram in January 2020). Overall though, Central Market is the bulk winner based off of the sheer amount of items available in the bulk section.
- Whole Foods: Buy fruits, veggies, mushrooms, (sometimes salad greens depending on the location), bulk flour, sugar, spices, nuts, granola, oats, candy, chocolate, tea, coffee all with your own bags. They also have bulk honey and nut butters as well. (At the Cityline Whole Foods, I recently saw that they’ll tare the weight of your jar for honey/nut butter/etc.!)
- Sprouts: Buy fruits, veggies, some bulk flour, sugar, spices, nuts, granola, candy, chocolate with your own bags. Much smaller selection than Central Market but really good prices. I’ve noticed that they frequently have pre-measured bulk items available to buy in plastic containers (nut butters, candy, etc.) — which kind of defeats the purpose of buying bulk.
- Market Street: This one was a bit of a surprise. My husband wandered in to the Market Street in Allen (Watters Creek) and noticed they had honey and canola oil in bulk. He asked the store manager whether they could handle us bringing our own jars and she said yes (this was pre-COVID so if anyone has an update on this, let me know!)
- Dallas Farmers Market (or any farmers markets in the area): Fruits and veggies. Especially a good way to get berries that aren’t packaged in plastic (more on that next).
Pick Your Own Farms
- Berries. My husband loves them. I hate that they are always pre-packaged. Enter the pick your own farms. The winner here is Blueberry Hills Farm for amazing blueberries and blackberries. Last year, we picked 2 massive bags of blueberries (yes, they ultimately put them in a big old freezer bag, but I prefer that once a year to weekly plastic cartons). I used one bag to make jams and stuck the other bag in the freezer. Similarly, there is also a strawberry picking farm that opened a few years back.
- Recycle Revolution Dallas: Come here to recycle all traditional materials and electronics waste for free (if your city doesn’t have these services). They also take styrofoam for a fee — although, I would avoid styrofoam as much as possible.
- Recycle Revolution Dallas: For a $1/gallon — drop off “fruits and vegetables (i.e. produce), meats, dairy, grains and carbohydrates, sweets, powders, compostable utensils and to-go bags.” A great option if you aren’t able to compost at home. For reference, I fill our 5 gallon bucket to the brim in 4 weeks.
- Turn Compost: Get a membership for about $25/month and drop off compost at locations around the city. (This is what I currently use!)
- NEW! The City of Plano is piloting a residential food scrap composting program. You can learn more about it here!
- Household Chemical Reuse Center (Plano and Allen residents only): Unused/unfinished chemicals (cleaning, yard, pest control, paint) that are picked up by the city are available for reuse at this center. And it’s completely free! I find it wonderful for spray paint and ant killer. Check your local city website to see what options are available to you.
- Frisco Environmental Collection Center (do not have to be a Frisco resident): Great place to drop off styrofoam cups and take out containers, packing peanuts, and packaging.
- United Electronics Recycling: I visited this facility and was amazed by the sheer amount of electronics they process. I also love that they have zero landfill initiative. If an item has a plug or has used batteries — it’s eligible to recycle. They also take all types of batteries (not just rechargeable ones). In Plano, they have a weekly e-recycling drop off but also do one off events across the Dallas-area.