1. Reusable Grocery Bags
I originally purchased reusable grocery totes when we lived in a second story apartment in downtown Jackson, MS. Each tote holds much more than a single plastic grocery bag does, so I could carry in one trip what might have taken two or three trips otherwise. I paid no more than $1 for each of my bags, but many were free. Now most of the places I shop at give $.05 back for each reusable bag you use in a trip. It doesn't take many shopping trips before the bags pay for themselves. Add to that the fact that plastic bags aren't biodegradable, and the decision to purchase reusable bags practically makes itself.
2. Nursing Pads
I must confess that it didn't occur to me until a few weeks ago to use something other than disposable nursing pads. I blame that one on the narcotic-induced fog I was in following my c-section. I recently purchased some adorable reusable nursing pads on Etsy as a gift for a friend. They were so cute that I decided to keep them for myself (don't worry, I bought another set for her). Let's do a little math: I paid $20 (including shipping) for five pairs of nursing pads. I pay $10 for a box with 30 pairs of disposable pads. Even if you used just one set a day, it would only take two months for the reusable pads to become the more cost-effective choice. Not to mention they're adorable and way more comfortable.
Sidenote: if you're going to purchase reusable pads, I advise finding them on Esty rather somewhere like Target. You can get about twice as many for your money while also supporting someone's small business.
Around here, our main incentive for recycling is the fact that it allows us to pay for a smaller size garbage can. But let's face it: you don't have to be a tree hugger or green fanatic to realize that Earth didn't come with an endless supply of natural resources. By recycling, we can preserve the resources that we have left, instead of mindlessly depleting them and hoping there will be something left for our children.
4. Shop Local
I love buying fresh produce at the Farmer's Market. They're cropping (ha!) up everywhere now- if Sweet Home has one, then you know just about every other town does, too. I like shopping the local Market because I want to support local entrepreneurs. The decision is much greener than buying from a large supermarket because significantly less fuel is used to transport the goods to market. Also, the food is grown without the use of pesticides that are used on most conventionally-grown produce.
I'd love to hear some of the easy things you're doing to be more green!