I think those looking for small ways to make a change is a great stepping off point. People don't want to be told to buy a Hybrid car or go out and get all new energy star appliances when maybe their bank account says they shouldn't. And really, the small steps is what can make the biggest difference anyway.
So awhile back I posted about the things I did for earth day that were simple and tiny, but they are things I do DAILY--not just on Earth Day. I got a lot of comments from it (ok only like 4 comments, but that's a lot for me) so I'm going to do it again.
Here is another list of the Small Things you can do w/out having to spend a lot or make a lot of effort. And I'm not going to talk about CFL light bulbs either -- that's been done. And done and done and done. Once Wal*Mart starts carrying something you KNOW that its been done.
- I recycle at work and bring it home to recycle in my curbside container. I have my whole team using my recycle bin and encourage the other agents I work with to use it as well. Its easier then you think and although I know its small, its something.
- If I don't have one of my reusable bags on me when I buy something I still object to a bag. Even if it is paper, I still pass. If you carry it out w/ the receipt no one will bug you.
- Look for the most minimum packaging when buying something. If you have to choose between individually wrapped to one large package, go for the large package where you can separate the stuff yourself. less waste is best.
- Composting really is easier then you think. I personally don't use my compost yet to mulch my garden because its still to new, but just keeping my food waste out of the trash has made a big difference.
- Shop online. The UPS man or the USPS man is going to come to your door anyway so you might as well let him use his gas instead. I've found that even green stuff is available in bulk if you buy online. Amazon offers quite a few options of things like Seventh Generation or Tom's of Maine in bulk online and the shipping is normally free.
- Send Emails or hand written or homemade cards instead of buying cards. Why bother with the Hallmark cards anyway? The receiver is more then likely going to throw it away anyway. And really? $4.99 for ONE card is a little outrageous for my taste. If you want a card that sings or talks to you maybe send a music download or a calling card.
- Stop buying crap. I know that sounds too general, but take a serious look at what you buy and really ask yourself if you really really REALLY want need it. Sometimes I look at the stuff that I have and go, "Why did I buy this?"
- Unplug your stuff. You'd be shocked at how much energy some of your stuff is sucking when you don't use it. Like your TV or your computer. Or especially your cell phone when you leave it charging overnight. If the charger is warm, you need to unplug it in a timely fashion and don't leave it plugged in.
- Hang dry most of your clothes. Really this is very simple. Just grab some of your hangers and hang them on a door frame or anywhere they can hang and get some air. Sure you might want to dry your undies, socks and towels, but those dry much quicker then your jeans anyway. Your clothes will thank you by not shrinking or setting stains when you hang dry. Where do you think all that lint comes from anyway?
- Do you really need to turn on that light? Maybe you just need to open your blinds or just go into a room with little light. Its not always necessary to turn on a light when going into a room.
- This is going to be scandalous--Let it mellow when its yellow, when its brown flush it down. WE have the 2 pee rule (unless someone is coming over of course, sheesh people) where you don't flush unless you see that it is already yellow. You'll save a lot of water trust me.
- Don't wash every dish. What I mean by this is when you use a dish for something like toast and all that is on there is a crumb, it doesn't' need to be run thru the dishwasher. Just give it a quick rinse or brush it off and voila-clean plate.
- Check out magazines from the library. You might have to check out the past month or read the current issue at the library, but you'll save a lot of extra virgin trees from being cut down by not having your own subscription. Or borrow the copy from a friend when they are done and then recycle it of course! (after you've removed all inserts and make-up samples)
- Don't drink a lot, smoke, chew or wear a ton of make-up. Your skin will thank you for one, but so will your teeth, your pocketbook, your gums, your eyes and your trash. Just because something is organic doesn't justify us using a lot of it. Still keep it in moderation.
- Skip the gym membership. Yes, Yes I know I know, you won't have that super fancy elliptical, bike or weight machine, but think about how much electricity ALL those treadmills, bikes, electric weight machines, etc use. Not to mention all those crazy lights to remind you of how fat you look. I don't think ANYONE looks good in artificial light. No wonder they use them at gyms--thats pretty motivating!! I've found great workout tips just browsing online, with pictures or videos to show me how its done w/out the need for fancy machines. Besides, you'll get outside more and you could probably use some Vitamin D and fresh air anyway.
Those are not fancy suggestions nor are they anything new, but they are small and easy. I don't want to leave a huge list anyway because it will just bore you.