- Plastic grocery bags. I do have some reusable bags that use for grocery shopping when I remember too. When I forget, most of the time I'll use a paper bag that I can just toss in the recycling bin when I'm done with it. Not all recycling companies will accept plastic bags in the curb-side pick up. When we do get them, we reuse some of them. They have a second life as doogie waste bags. I use them for packing away holiday decorations too. There is a grocery store near us that has a recycling bin for them. I take them there if we have a lot of them that we are not going to use.
- Old towels. After so many washes your bath towels can start to feel rough and they are not so nice to use anymore. When ours get to that point, they become the property of ours dogs. We use the old towels to dry them off when they get wet outside and when we bathe them.
- Paper plates. We have stopped using paper plates very much. We have nice dishes, and we use them at every meal. Yes, we do have to use water to wash them, but it keeps us from putting paper plates in the land fill. I have bought paper plates four times in two years. The first time was when we first moved into our house and we didn't have our dishes moved up here yet. The second time was for one of our Mardi Gras parties, and we decided not to use them. Those are still in my pantry. The third time was for our Superbowl party. I got black and gold plates, and I still have more - for the next the Saints go to the Superbowl :-). I don't know what the fourth time was for.
- Bottled water. We used to buy bottled water rather regularly. This is another thing we have stopped because of the expense of it and because of the trash that the empty plastic bottle creates. When we do use it, I try to make sure the empty bottle gets recycled.
- Carpooling. James uses a carpool to get to and from work.
- Junk mail. You can remove yourself from junk mail lists. We have done that, and it has greatly reduced the amount of junk mail that we receive. Here is one website that offers the service: National do not Mail List
- Gift wrap. I think gift bags are a little less wasteful than using wrapping paper because it is more likely that the recipient will reuse a gift bag than wrapping paper. I do still use wrapping paper because we have several rolls of it that we bought a while back. Be creative. If you are giving a gift to someone that sews, wrap the gift in some pretty fabric. When I was a kid, I always thought it was fun to get a gift that was wrapped in the funny paper.
Be kind to the planet. It's the only one we have!
Note: I wrote this post before I left for Haiti, and scheduled it's publication date.