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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Idea generator:

How do you keep from wasting energy and materials?

-I print everything on the back side of scrap paper I pull out of the recycle bin (including essays for school but excluding resumes).

-I wear clothes more than once if they don't stink and I have clothes that can't go in the washing machine so I just take them into the shower with me and get both clean with no wasted water.
 

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i buy food in bulk whenever possible.

i cook from scratch whenever possible.

i compost food scraps.

i send empty boxes, cardboard tubes (from toilet paper rolls and paper towel rolls), and other "waste" to school with my son for the kids to use in crafts at "creation station".

i re-use glass jars and metal coffee tins (with plastic lids) as storage for my dry bulk food items.

i re-use plastic tubs (from margarine containers, etc.) as "tupperware" for left-overs, packing lunches, and so on.

i re-use plastic grocery bags to line my garbage cans, and to pick up my dog's poop.

i wrap gifts in the pictures from old calendars, and the colour comics pages from the newspaper. if i mail a package, i cut-up and re-use brown paper bags from shopping to wrap them, and use old plastic bags to insulate/protect the contents (instead of buying bubble wrap or brown paper for wrapping).

i re-use the elastic bands they often bind produce with (like stems of broccoli, green onions, radishes) for household stuff (like re-sealing spice bags, etc.)

i recycle every metal, glass and cardboard thing that i can't find use for around the house, through our communities recycling program.

i have kept most of my son's old clothes for my daughter to wear as she grows. i shop for their clothes at second hand stores.

i keep their "gear" in as good condition as possible so that i can donate it or re-sell it when they are finished with it (toys, books, baby dishes, etc.)

i buy recycled paper products wherever possible (toilet paper, paper towels, scratch pads).

i cut up old t-shirts and baby blankets and use them as rags for household cleaning.

instead of buying brand name cleansers i learned how to make my own out of common household items like baking soda and white vinegar and essential oils.

my husband brews our own beer and wine, and he collects up our friends' and famillies old wine bottles and two-liter pop bottles to use in this endeavour.

we use the short growing season up here in canada to plant some veggies in our front "yard" (it's a 50 foot square enclosure at the front of our townhouse), and we de-constructed an old sofa bed of ours that was no longer any good for sleeping on or even sitting on, and used the wood frame to build a small greenhouse enclosure on our back deck, for growing tomatoes and herbs. we just covered it in clear plastic and cut a flap in the front to allow us access for watering etc.

we take public transit whenever possible, but we do own a very small (two door) gas-efficient car. we drive less than 25 km a week, on average; usually to the grocery store, and sometimes out to the mountains for a day hike.

wow.

we're awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ah yes, I wrap all presents in newspaper. and of course recycle and compost everything possible.

I also buy almost all my furniture and appliances at auction sales. Although I don't own my own home so have never bought a fridge or stove, I found my toaster at the dump, got my dresser for $1 and painted it with free leftover paint from the toxic waste disposal site, I got my table for $2.50 and painted it too, microwave, TV, couch, chairs, books-all from auction/garage sales.

Some people think of me as a cheapskate and a scavenger and well, I'm proud to be!
 
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