i am trying to be more environmentally friendly too. i wrote out a list of things that are going to change around our house. this is part of our list (according to my memory):
*organic cotton menstrual pads versus disposable pads. we not only save on disposing of the pad itself but the loads of packaging it comes in.
*compost bin for all food scraps and trimmings instead of putting them in the trash. recycle the rest. that virtually eliminates 95% of all the stuff coming in our house, going in the trash, which is pretty damn good! as it is, our rubbish bin is never full anyway, so it's just going to get better.
*when in the grocery store and packing up fruit and veg to be weighed at the checkout, try to not pack small amounts of produce in seperate plastic bags if you can help it (for example 2 peppers, 3 tomatoes etc)
*using org cotton soft cloths for pee instead of toilet paper. we are still going to use toilet paper (unbleached and recycled in recyclable packaging) for bowel movements. were thinking of installing one of those mini showers for our toilet so that we can wash straight after a bowel movement instead of using toilet paper. it's more hygienic and less wasteful.
*using org cotton cloth hankercheifs instead of paper tissues.
*buying only what we really like and will go the distance as a previous poster mentioned. and buying only what you really need!! there is no need for 10 different knives when 3 can do everything you need it to do.
*instead of trashing something you don't need or use, give it away to charity or freecycle. i really believe when you give, you recieve.
*buying food in bulk straight from the farms or warehouse (if you can).
*letting little kids cut up and write all over old magazines instead of new clean paper, and when they are done with doodling and cutting it into little bits, recycle it. if they ask for a fresh sheet of paper, then by all means give them one - but if you can keep them satisfied with old magazines, why not!
if you'd prefer to not have them cut up and doodled over, donate them to local hospitals.
*we already store and cook nearly everything in glass, which is recyclable if it does break and is non toxic.
*take good care of your stuff!!! don't knock your plates and cups around in the sink when washing, wash your clothes on the delicate cycle, etc.
*any waste water that you can catch, water your plants with.
*put a "NO JUNK MAIL" sign on your letterbox.
*ask for your bills to be sent electronically instead of by mail. my identity paranoid dh even did this for our mobile bill and boy was i surprised!
*save used paper as scrap for writing down shopping lists, notes etc.
*creating an arts and craft box filled with empty egg cartons etc and letting my dd go wild. i've found she gets far more excited with stuff like this instead of conventional toys.
*re-use plastic containers for storing nails, nuts and bolts and other small stuff.
*washing and re-using glass jars (the jars that pasta sauce and tomato paste come in) for storing dried herbs instead of putting them in recycling.
*buy recycled!! if we don't buy it, we don't create a market for it.
i can't think of anymore right now, but here is a link filled with good ideas:http://www.nelincs.gov.uk/environment/recycling/101.htm
good on ya for wanting to do more, mama!!!