Less Waste Random Trinkets

It is easy to think about all the big picture items like water bottles and shopping bags but what about all those little items that we overlook everyday? Here is a list of items to consider when purchasing and others that you can find alternatives to trashing.

Eco-Friendly Purchases

Phone Cases & Sunglasses

Not only do we swap out phones every couple of years, we swap out the cases as well. So why not pick something that is not going to stick around forever? Pela offers a biodegradable phone case option. They have a variety of styles and phone types you can pick from.

They also offer biodegradable sunglasses. This is a great idea considering how often people lose their sunglasses or want to change up their style. They also offer an end of life solution. Send them back so they can give it to someone else in need or compost it if it truly is beyond use.

Gum & Mints

Did you know most gum is made out of plastic? Ick! Simply Gum carries both gum and mints that don’t contain plastic.

If you prefer mints over gum, go for ones that are packaged in tin containers. Altoids is a good option. That way you can reuse the container for travel, office supplies or anything that seems like it would work for you.

Don’t trash it!


We all have random keys hanging around. Most people will recommend to use them in places you would not think, like zipper pulls or ceiling fan chains. I don’t see myself really doing this, I barely have time to come up with what to do with everything else I have. So I opt for mailing them in as a donation for Key for Hope that they can use them for scrap metal.

Maybe there are other recycle options near you, a google search never hurts.

Prescription Pill Bottles

Most curbside recycling will not take prescription pill bottles, so if you have a Preserve Gimme 5 drop off near you this is where you can drop your bottles. If not, than you can ship them in to the address provided at the link. The site advertises that Whole Foods has drop locations but I called at least two in town and no one had heard of it. So it is likely that with Amazon purchasing Whole Foods they no longer offer this or my location just does not participate. Either way, I recommend calling to verify.

If you have any leftover drugs in these bottles make sure you don’t dump them in the toilet. This ends up in the water system, so instead find a location near you to get rid of these drugs. Walgreens and CVS offers locations for just this purpose.

Batteries & Lightbulbs

Both of these items can leak toxins into the earth if trashed. So the best option is to find a safe place to dispose of them. I am fortuate enough that my office recycles batteries so it is an easy drop for me, but if you don’t have something like this there are still options. Battery Solutions will accept your batteries anywhere in the US through the mail. In Tucson, Batteries Plus store recycles both batteries and lightbulbs. Check the products and services page to see if they will take your particular battery or lightbulb.

Home Depot and Lowes says they offer lightbulb and battery recycling but I would recommend calling your local store to make sure they take your specific item.

What random item have you had difficulty finding as an eco-friendly option or a responsible end of life option?

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My name is Kate and I'm a world traveler looking to make a positive impact by reducing my waste and single plastic use.