We use GDiapers for our 8 month old son, Liam. These diapers are biodegradeable. The condo community we live in does not provide a recycling service, so we decided to do it our self. We make a trip to the local dump 1-2 times per week, it takes time for us, but it is worth it. Lastly, we try to just reduce and reuse as much as possible. For example, reusing containers (baby jars, sauce jars, plastic containers); turning off lights and other energy suckers when not in use, using cloth napkins rather than paper napkins, keeping a picture of water in the frig and using that in our water canteens rather than buying bottled water, etc. There are so many little things you can do that I think make a difference! Just think about how you live.
I use paper or cloth bags at the grocery store. However, I've not yet convinced others around me to do the same...so I ask them to give me any of their unwanted plastic bags. I then cut these into one inch thick strips and knit them into...well...plastic bags: purses, iPod cases, cell phone cases, reusable grocery bags etc.
Lower speed to 50, rather than 60-70. Tankless water heater (instant hot water!) No air-conditioner (I'm in Texas) Inexpensive plastic food storage containers for everything, lunch, freezer, storage - I've been using the same ones for 4 years. Recycle everything possible - food scraps to chickens, dog, cats, horse, depending on their tastes - horses LOVE melons!
Backyard composting and recycle everything possible, cloth napkins,cold water laundry,air dry when possible,filter own water into Sigg bottles,reuse ziplocs,use cotton dishcloths instead of paper towels for washing veggies and fruits,water plants with dehumidifier water,reuseable lunch bag,walk or bike,canvas shopping bags,be smart in driving route for errands, avoid left turn lanes using mostly right turns to save gas, slow down on speed(you still get there) shorter shower time,candles instead of lights
Freecycle community on line, share your stuff, don't throw it out; solar installation - no electric bill, but we are careful, we aim to use
water twice - and when I rinse dishes, the plants get a drink, solar shades on sunny windows,amazing! Whole-house fan, it pulls air
from the windows and takes the hot air out the roof; we are off all mailing lists...no junk mail...cook and serve in same dishes; unplug
anything not in use, we are looking at 'on demand'heating units, replaced our toilets, limit shower time, do full loads of wash,
one hybrid, took up biking locally, shop local, joined a food coop to support local farmers and enjoy organics! we talk about what we can do and buy more energy efficient modelswhen we replace items.
Two biggies: Ride your bike! Eat locally!
Great suggestions! Ditto on most of them here. I've started taking friends with me to Farmer's Market because the one I like is a 20 min drive.
Other boring, but effective changes we've made--A few years ago, we switched to compact fluorescent bulbs instead of incandescent and two weeks ago we blew additional insulation into the attic--recycled newspapers and phone books (green fiber: http://www.cocooninsulation.com/). The next step is to use those savings on the energy bill to buy "green" energy through the local energy company. The money goes to independent green businesses, though it is collected by our not-so-earth-friendly energy giant.
I've been recycling plastic since my son was born in 1978! I had to save it for a long time till the recycling centers caught up! I do everything Old school style and it makes for barely any footprints.
I compost all green waste from my kitchen. I hang my laundry outside when the weather permits. I never use the heated dry cycle on my dishwasher -- I've found the dishes dry just as well without the additional heat. I never buy or use paper napkins; I take pieces of fabric left from sewing projects, cut into 16" squares, serge around the edges, and use them as napkins.
I would love to stop receiving the tons (literally, I think!) of magazines and catalogues that stuff my mailbox every day. I've signed up for every op-out list I can find, but the paper keeps on coming. I have to apologize to the trees every time I open my mailbox.
If I use an item from a glass jar I wash the jar and reuse it several times as a storage container. Save up all of the glass jars you use in one month and you will be surprised.
Try to use as little plastic as possible, although it is everywhere - even in places we think it isn't!
I show from the farmers market and bring my own bags. If I have a plastic bag, I reuse until they've got holes in them so big things fall out.
Don't become disgusted with those who are not as conscious as you, you will only scare them away. Don't lecture people, show them.