At first I resisted the idea of being "green", because it seemed too overwhelming. Then I realized that every little action helps. Sure, doing all of it, and doing it all consistently, makes the greatest impact. But shutting off the light switch just once helps. Doing it twice helps even more. Developing the habit helps even more than that. What's the alternative - leave the light on all the time because it's too much effort to conserve energy?
So there are a number of things that I do in my household to try to "be green". (There are an even greater number of things that I could/should be doing. It's a process.) Most of these are the easy ones that lots of people do, so I'm not really patting myself on the back for how innovative I am being. These are just the things that have been easiest to incorporate into my life.
I recycle quite a bit - and I find myself looking at packaging differently when I buy things. Most plastic packaging I'm finding can't be recycled in my area. It's better for me to buy in glass since that can be recycled.
Reusable things - I use reusable grocery bags. I use tote bags for just about everything. Whenever I see cheap tote bags on sale I pick up a couple. I have some plastic grocery bags, but I'm trying not to bring any more of those in my house.
I use reusable sandwich bags I got here. Okay, I bought one, but I love it and will get more eventually.
Obviously we use reusable diapers, and are using reusable wipes more often now.
In addition to grocery tote bags, I use muslin vegetable bags. If I forget them, or if the veggies are too big for the bag, I just skip the bag entirely. It annoys some cashiers, but I think it's pointless to use a plastic bag for all of half-an-hour.
I use family cloth. That's the term for adults in the house using cloth wipes instead of toilet paper. In the interest of TMI, I'll say this: I mostly use it for number One, and the paper for number Two.
I use kitchen cloth. That's one term for using cloth to wipe up in the kitchen. The other term is un-paper towels. I have a ton of cheap washcloths that I use. They wipe the baby's hands after she eats, they wipe spills on stove, counter, sink, table, floor. I am even planning to start using cloth napkins soon. (My dad is going to think I've gone loony,)
Yes, using cloth products can increase the amount of water you use in laundering. But if you are already doing a load of kitchen towels, what's a few more washcloths? If you're already washing diapers, what's a few more wipes and some pads?
I'm interested to know what others are doing to try to be "green" - please share with me in comments!