Actually, this is only a small list at the moment, but please send in your suggestions to add to it. The heading is meant to indicate what this list will become!
Ŕ Stop using plastic bags at the supermarket. Use reusable bags instead.
Ŕ I had trouble giving up plastic bags because I use them to put garbage in. Then I stopped lining my bin with bags, and just took the whole bin outside to my collection bin to empty in. And you know what? It works fine. Every couple of days I just give it a little wipe. If youíre worried about it getting grotty, just line the bottom with some old junk mail. I was fussing with lining the whole thing with newspaper, but got lazy and found that actually most of the time it is only the bottom of the bin that gets dirty anyway!
Ŕ Use hankies instead of tissues. If you find hankies from the shop not soft enough, cut up flannelette or old soft shirts, zig zag or overlock around the edges and use those. I have done them in different fabrics for each of the kids and myself, so that when I end up with everyoneís hankies in my bag we know whose is whose.
Ŕ Use reusable nappies. Follow the link from my home page to nappies for more info on these. If youíve only seen terry and flannelette squares, make sure you follow the link, as modern cloth nappies are much easier!
Ŕ Use reusable female pads (if youíre female!!!). The bonus is that these are actually lots nicer to use than disposables anyway!
Ŕ Use cloth wipes and washers instead of disposable baby wipes. (Actually, itís a real nuisance using disposable wipes with cloth nappies.)
My little extra comment here Ė changing to hankies and reusable nappies has made a huge difference to the amount of garbage we have each week. I would guess from looking in the bin on collection day that we have perhaps less than half our previous level of garbage, and our supermarket trolley is also much less full.
Ŕ When your kids do a lot of big drawings/paintings, and youíre wondering what to keep and what to throw away, use the ones that you donít want to save for wrapping paper. It looks great.
Ŕ Compost your food scraps or feed them to worms/chooks.
Ŕ Use newspapers to line garden beds. I also have a nifty little ďtoolĒ for making seedling pots out of newspapers. You raise the seedling, then plant it with the newspaper around it Ė reducing transplant shock.
Ŕ If you need bags for your fruit and vegetables, take light cloth ones with you. Donít get fresh plastic bags each time.
Ŕ When you get fruit and vegetables home from the shops, store them correctly so you have a chance to use them before they go off. I love the veggie storage containers from Tupperware, as things stay fresh in them for so much longer. When I get slack and donít use vegetables quickly, they stay good for use later.
Ŕ Get food/groceries/fruit and veggies delivered. By ordering ahead and having them delivered, I generally find that I make less impulse purchases (definitely avoiding the coffee in a disposable cup as I walk around the shops!). It also should mean that less fuel is used in the delivery than it would be if each individual went to the supermarket. As a bonus, it is easy, it is often taken into your kitchen (no lugging bags up the stairs from the car) and you can get a great range.
Ŕ Carry a coffee cup (one of the nice ones with a lid) with you for take away coffees.
Ŕ Instead of wrapping paper for presents, if you donít have a kidsí drawing handy to use, put the present into a cloth bag (a calico shopping bag). Add a ribbon if you like. You can get one with a particular logo or purchase plain ones for only about $1 each. This is less than some wrapping paper and a lot less than little paper gift bags. It also gives the receiver a nice little extra handy gift, and perhaps helps them to use less plastic bags themselves later.
Okay, its almost 1 am - thatíll do for my starter list. Send me your suggestions to add - you can just add them to the forum! Select the link "Read others' ideas ...".