I enjoy reading David's Do One Thing series as I find it useful for not only the recycling, waste reduction but also the recycling, money reduction aspect that many ideas have.

Below are the ideas and how effective I have been in doing them. This series has been ongoing for him since 2008. There are quite a few ideas and I thought I would go through 20 at a time.

1.Buy A Recycled Plastic Toothbrush.(link)-
This is the oldest one and I have to purchase them (target has them). Pricing isn't going to be cheaper as I have not yet seen coupons for these, but if a greener planet is worth the cost, than this is a perfect avenue to look into

2.Reuse Paper-bags As Shipping Envelopes.
I don't remember the last time I used a paper bag, wait, I got a couple from the Chinese place last night. However I have them saved for my lunch. Instead I use extra plastic bags, fill them with my shredded paper and use those as packing.

3.Have Multiple Recycling Containers.
My apartment complex doesn't have the option and neither do any nearby towns. I could still separate my trash and drive it to the recycle center that is 20 miles away. However, I will admit, I am lazy in that department and the gas spent isn't worth it to me.

4.Buy Your Music In Digital Format.
The last time I bought a Music cd was last Xmas for a niece. Otherwise I have this covered. One major reason I prefer digital music is that it is easy to transfer and I don't have to worry about shelf space for the music. Now I just need to burn the old music cd's to digital format.

5.Make Next Car Rental A Green One.
When I lived downtown Denver and didn't have a car, this would have been the perfect tip for me, as I rented a car 1-2x a month for groceries and get away. Since then I haven't had a need, yet.

6.Drink More Tap Water.
I do this already however I am still trying to get my partner to give up filtered watered, but at this point the cost isn't horrible - maybe about $10 a year. Not a lot but still, I need to keep track of my nickels and dimes and save where I can.

7.Turn Off The Dish Dryer.
This one is crossed off my list already, I have yet to see the need to use this unless I lived in Barrow, Alaska

8.Use Reusable Coffee Filters.
This transition is a bit slower, we have moved from bleached white paper filters to recycled, unbleached coffee filters. I have high hopes that once we get down to the last few of the bulk amount of filters we will be able to move on to the a reusable filter.

9.Turn Off Those Gaming Consoles When You Are Done.
Game consoles are used about once a month for a period of a week. When they are not in use, they are unplugged, but while in use they are left on due to a last of trust that the memory cards will actually work. Don't ask.

10.Unload Your Trunk Junk.
This is a must for me in the summer, I hate to hear things sliding around. But in the winter I do keep necessary winter gear in order to stay prepared for the unexpected Colorado snow dumping.

11.Forget The Fresh Linens.
Recently we stayed at a hotel and didn't have linens changed for the weekend we were there. We don't change them that much when we are home why would it matter at a hotel? I guess it is kind of like freaking out about a straw when eating out and never using one at home. Unnecessary.

12.Don’t Limit Reusable Bags To Just The Grocery Store.
I agree on this one. I also use my canvas bags at the library, taking items to work and when we traveled cross country, we packed with them as well instead of plastic bags.

13.Switch To Recycled Content Toilet Paper.
For this household it is a matter of brand loyalty when it comes to TP. The chances of wiping with a product other than what one is used to is would mean that we have had a mental breakdown and chaos has encompassed the entire world, that or the brand is no longer made to our liking.

14.Write A Letter Regarding Something You Care About. (link)
I do write letters about consumer goods, but have not yet wrote a letter to stand up for or against some consumer item.

15.Forget The Straw.
Speaking of straws and linens and things. I don't use mine even when given them, I set them aside so they don't get wet and drink out of the cup. Until there is a federal emergency that says we must use straws and toilet seat covers I don't see the need or the waste.

16.Buy Organic, Free-Trade Coffee.
I am nervous when it comes to new food. As an example it took about a year of badgering to break down and eat shrimp. I would like to find a coffee that is sweet in taste and where I don't have to use sweeteners for it. Until then I stick with my same old stuff.

17.Keep Scraps In The Freezer Until They Hit The Composting Pile.
First, I don't have a compost pile and I know no one who is nearby that would have a need for my scraps. But it is a great idea - my mom keeps empty juice concentrate containers by the sink and puts organics in those. I would probably do something like that myself.

18.Make Your Own Natural Antibacterial Spray. (link)
This article is specifically talking about cleaning counters, I just use soap and water and am satisfied with that as I am of the opinion that too much of a good thing (anti-bacterial) can work against use.

19.Buy Local, Handmade Soap.
I recently bought some through Etsy.com and have also asked for this for Xmas. My own store bought stock is getting low so I am trying out new kinds and look forward to the end result.

20.Save Ink and Reduce Waste By Making Small Adjustments To Your Printing.
I use both sides of the paper and I have tried recycled ink and have not had good luck after trying it twice. I do print info as a draft when ink is not already low.

Part 2 to come on Wednesday.


  1. Mrs. Money // Monday, October 26, 2009 3:53:00 PM  

    If you want to be ultra green, you could try cloth toilet paper: http://ultimatemoneyblog.com/extreme-frugality-family-cloth It works for me!

  2. Dawn // Monday, October 26, 2009 5:48:00 PM  

    @Mrs. Money
    I am NO ultra - especially in that form. I would have to live alone to even consider starting that idea.

  3. techwriter // Tuesday, October 27, 2009 6:27:00 AM  

    We used a reusable (metal mesh) filter when we first got our new coffee maker. It overflowed twice! Cleaning up wet coffee grounds is not fun. The bottom of the filter was solid plastic. The coffee was supposed to come through the sides of the filter, but I guess it fit too snugly in the filter holder. So I tossed it. If you get a reusable one, make sure it has mesh on the bottom, too, or at least a hole. (The alternative is to stop drinking coffee...)

  4. David // Tuesday, October 27, 2009 6:38:00 AM  

    Even better than recycling; Save money and the Earth and be clean at the same time. Get serious and add Bathroom Bidet Sprayers to all your bathrooms. Available at www.bathroomsprayers.com with these you won't even need toilet paper any more, just a towel to dry off! It's cheap and can be installed without a plumber; and runs off the same water line to your toilet. You'll probably pay for it in a few months of toilet paper savings. And after using one of these you won't know how you lasted all those years with wadded up handfuls of toilet paper. Now we're talking green and helping the environment without any pain. As for water use a drought is always a concern and must be dealt with prudently but please remember that in the big picture the industrial water users always far exceed the water use of household users and in the case of toilet paper manufacture it is huge. The pollution and significant power use from that manufacturing process also contributes to global warming so switching to a hand bidet sprayer and lowering your toilet paper use is very green in multiple ways.

  5. Dawn // Tuesday, October 27, 2009 4:31:00 PM  

    Good advice... thanks

  6. Steffen // Tuesday, October 27, 2009 9:29:00 PM  

    Recently, I read about and started using the ecofont (ecofont.eu/look_at_ecofont_en.html). As touted, it looks great printed. It is easy to read and impossible to recognize the tiny holes in the typeface.

  7. FindSavings // Wednesday, October 28, 2009 12:12:00 AM  

    Wow, I never thought about all of these ways! I already do a few of them, but now I can see parts of my life where I could make some more changes.

    Thanks for posting.

  8. Frugal expat // Wednesday, October 28, 2009 5:48:00 AM  

    Tip #2 is interesting and a good idea..

  9. Lawrence @ CRB // Friday, October 30, 2009 1:38:00 AM  

    One of my largest contributors is unplugging or switching off at the power strip all of the electronics in my house rather than turning them off when they're not in use.