I love the great ideas! Here are some of mine:
* we use empty kitty litter containers (the big plastic tubs, 14kg) as toy storage (washed out, of course!). They're great because they come with lids and handles.
* no buying any books or magazines, everything is from the library, or youtube.
* upcycling and recycling clothes - everything stained or ripped gets made over into rags, doll clothes, or clothes for us. For example, I've made some pairs of pants for DS and DD using DH's old tshirts, using this tutorial: http://www.rookiemoms.com/make-some-easy-kids-pants/, and a bunch of skirts for myself from old tshirts as well. I use old clothes that are defective (holes, stains), that a second-hand store wouldn't accept.
* bring food with us when we go out, for picnics, day trips, activities around the city when we'll be out during meal-time, and always for work.
* make our own coffee instead of buying it on the outside in disposable cups.
* grow our own veggies.
* bring our cloth bags everywhere, not just the grocery store.
* cook a big meal and freeze leftovers, and along the same lines, eat all our leftovers, even if it means dinner the next day is just a bunch of little servings of multiple leftovers that may not really "go together".
* use freecycle.org for lots of stuff (a truly awesome site).
* kids run around nude in the house when it's hot, or else wear very little clothing to cut down on laundry and cooling needs.
* Birthday party decorations - instead of buying paper ones that are only used once, I sewed a celebration bunting to be reused for parties (like this http://simoninigans.blogspot.com/2009/04/celebration-buntingflagsgarland.html), and printed, coloured, and laminated a "happy birthday" sign to use over and over.
* cloth napkins made out of old dish towels and a stained table cloth - cut into squares, hemmed or serged the edges, used for every meal instead of tissues.
* playing board games and doing puzzles instead of watching TV or surfing the net when the kids are in bed and DH and I are relaxing in the evenings. A little friendly competition is a great aphrodisiac.
* swapping clothes and toys with my other mommy friends. It's such fun to get a mystery bag of old toys and knick knacks from her kids for my kids to explore.
Ooo, I just thought of this one:
* we put our garbage and recycling and composting on our next-door neighbour's curb along with her stuff on garbage day, so the garbage truck doesn't have to stop at our curb. I think if everyone did this, we could halve the amount of stopping and going the truck does. Plus, it's good exercise (so we don't have to have a gym membership)!
Edited by atpeace - 7/10/11 at 8:44am