2. Go Barefoot. Leaving shoes at the door can reduce the gross stuff we track in by 2/3! Less dust tracked in means less pollen, less lead, less mold, and fewer pesticides. And that means less respiratory distress and less vacuuming (yay!). Additionally, when you leave your shoes at the door, envision also leaving the stress of the outside world there, too - letting your home act as your sanctuary where you can get away from the world.
3. Use Cloth Napkins. This will immediately reduce the amount of trash produced by your household, and also will take one regular expense out of your grocery bill. The life of your cloth napkins can be up to 10 years. If you spent $3 on napkins every season, the savings more than pays for the initial cost of the cloth napkins, and they don't really create added laundry - they'll fit into whatever load you're doing.
4. Enjoy Houseplants. Houseplants are a major weapon in the fight against indoor air pollution, and yet they consume zero electricity and are super cheap to maintain. (See article in this issue for more information!)
5. Use Glass for Food Storage. It lasts indefinitely with careful handling; it does not absorb food smells or colors; it will not react with acidic foods such as tomato sauce, and it does not release any questionable particles. Again, glass containers will last for literally generations, where plastic food storage containers may need to be replaced shortly after their purchase.
6. Use Slow Shipping. Regular ground shipping saves on greenhouse emissions (up to 5 times less than overnight or air) and is a much more energy efficient way of transporting goods. Order gifts from one place rather than many, and have the items sent in all one shipment rather than as they are ready.
Amazingly, most of the things we can do to save energy and reduce waste also cost us a lot less, so we have more money to spend on really important stuff, such as organic chocolate!