In addition to the changes I make every month for a month and the year long non-consumerist challenge, I've made a lot of smaller day to day changes in my life since starting this blog. Here are some of the changes I've successfully made:
1) Using rags instead of paper towels for almost everything. (I have one roll of paper towels that's lasted me about 5 months or so. I plan to keep it that way.)
2) Not drinking bottled water.
3) Cutting drastically the number of bottled and canned sodas/other drinks I consume. And when I do succumb, I only drink from aluminum cans or glass bottles. No plastic bottles.
4) Using my own bowl/spoon/fork/plate at work instead of disposables.
5) No more frozen meals or other one-serving convenience meals.
6) Saving bread bags to hold produce.
7) Washing out Ziploc bags and re-using them.
8) Saving yogurt containers as Tupperware.
9) Borrowing kitchen stuff from a friend instead of buying my own stuff.
10) Buying beans, rice, sugar, etc in bulk and bringing my own containers.
11) Not using the garbage can under my desk at work so that the plastic bag isn't being changed every day. (I use the trash can in the kitchen instead.)
12) No heat.
13) Opening my window more often because outside air even in polluted LA is better than indoor air.
14) Switched from rubber cement to eco-friendly glue
for scrapbook projects. The only problem is that this glue smells so good I want to eat it!
15) No toilet paper for number one when I'm at home.
16) Letting it mellow. (Which frankly, is SO much easier from an 'ew' standpoint when there's no tp in the bowl.)
17) Using compressed sponges from Trader Joe's that come in minimal packaging.
18) Using the nylon bags that California Cuties come in for scrubbies.
19) Reusing envelopes to make shopping lists on.
20) Using the bar soap that had accumulated in my bathroom instead of buying new body wash.
21) Getting on my hands and knees and scrubbing the floor instead of using the Swiffer. (Which to be honest never REALLY worked.)
22) Being okay with some dirt.
23) Adopting a live and let live standpoint when I see ONE ant or spider or other bug in my apartment. (I plan to take action though if I see a whole gang though.)
25) Spend more time in my bedroom which gets a lot of natural light instead of sitting in my living room where I always have to have a light turned on even during the day.
26) Walk as much as I can to things.
27) Using my stash of plastic grocery bags from when I still got plastic grocery bags as trash bags. It now takes me at least two weeks to fill one little grocery bag up.
28) Cutting down drastically on fast food, take out, delivery etc. Trying to only get delivery or fast food when I know that the restaurant does NOT use Styrofoam.
29) Use a diva cup!
30) Buying organic all the time as opposed to only when I feel like I have enough money.
31) Subbing ingredients in recipes instead of going out and buying a whole bottle of watchamagiggit just for one recipe.
32) Using a hand towel at work instead of paper towels in the bathroom.
33) Donating money to environmental organizations and writing letters and emails regarding environmental issues.
34) Keeping my microwave, electric kettle and toaster unplugged when not in use.
35) Shutting down my computer every day instead of leaving it on.
Okay there's probably more, but that's all I can remember for now. Here are the changes I have NOT yet made, but have hopes I will implement soon:
1) Go to the farmer's market instead of buying produce at the store.
2) Get rid of non-stick pans.
3) Use natural cleaning products. (I'm using up the "unnatural products" that I still have from my pre-environmentally conscious days.)
4) Compost. Well maybe. I have fears about killing my worms. Or else the worms gnawing at me in my sleep.
5) Using no A/C. (I actually kind of hate air conditioning so this shouldn't be SUPER hard on me.)
6) Using solid shampoo. This one won't happen for a while. I go through about one shampoo bottle a year, and I still have PLENTY of shampoo left.
And here is some stuff that just didn't work for me:
1) Bringing my own Tupperware to restaurants for leftovers. For some reason I just can't remember to do this. Ever.
2) Using hankies. I hate this so much. I don't know why it's so hard, but it is. Luckily I haven't gotten a bad cold since I started this project, but if I did, I will probably just use my toilet paper.
3) Making my own crackers. Yeah.
There's probably stuff I'm forgetting, but for now that's what I've got. I have to say, that the BIGGEST change I've made is simply: being more mindful of my actions at all times. If I could boil down "green" living into one thing, that would be it. We all occasionally screw up. The point is not to be perfect, the point is just to always be conscious of your actions and choices.