- Use bar soap instead of body wash. There's less packaging, which means less dumpster waste (or recycling energy). Furthermore, less energy is required to transport a year's worth of bars of soap than bulky containers of body wash.
- Cut that sponge in half!
- Use a toaster oven or microwave instead of a conventional oven, if possible.
- When washing dishes, start with the smaller, easier to clean items like silverwear and glasses, and let the rinse water pour into a pot or pan that needs to be soaked.
- Reuse old notebooks that haven't been completely filled. I got the idea from my friend and I'm currently finishing up a Pre-Cal notebook from 10th grade.
- If you're bored and don't mind the putrid smell of trash in exchange for a few free things you can dumpster dive. It's cheaper than thrift stores and saves landfill space
- Otherwise, Freecycle is quite good :)
Babies (or not):
- This one is a bit scandalous, but I highly advocate using the "Ovulation Method" of birth control (ONLY if your periods are regular, otherwise it probably won't work). This, coupled with pulling out, has worked for me for over 3 years. I had heard that pre-ejaculate contains sperm, but apparently this is only after ejaculation has recently occurred. If you're concerned about STDs or cannot risk getting pregnant please use a condom or abstain from having sex.
- There is no question that breast milk is best for babies. You can use a breast pump and store the milk in bottles if you're hesitant about the act of breastfeeding.
- Use cloth diapers instead of disposable ones.
- Aside from shopping at thrift stores, you can make children's toys out of "trash". Toddlers especially love things like the inner cardboard from toilet paper rolls, small boxes, etc. Just make sure it's nothing that can hurt them (plastic bags, small pieces).
- Avoid phantom loads by unplugging devices that aren't being used (ex: blenders, computers, stereos). If this is inconvenient you can use a surge protector and turn it off when the appliances are not in use.
- Haven't got around to fixing that leak yet? Put a plastic container under it and reuse the water for soaking dishes, watering plants, or whatever else you need water for.
- Consider living with roommates. A 3-bedroom apartment usually takes up less space than 3 1-bedrooms and the cost of rent per person should go down. Living with roommates can possibly create problems that wouldn't happen if living alone, but at the same time if you lock yourself out or need a favor it's nice to have someone nearby who can help you out or just keep you company. It's always a good idea to know what you can and cannot tolerate and discuss this with your potential roommates to try to prevent any problems from occurring.
- Gardening fruits and vegetables means eventually free (organic) food and no pollutant transportation involved in getting that food to you. You can use pots if you don't have a yard.
- Working from home can eliminate the transportation involved in getting to work. With cellphones and email you might be able to pull off working from home at least one day a week.
- Keep your inside doors open in the summer to facilitate the flow of air. Likewise, keep the doors closed in the winter to prevent heat from escaping (particularly in the bedroom).