I've brought a set of inexpensive silverware to work to replace wasting plastic forks and knives. I have a ceramic bowl at work, too. Not only is it healthier than eating out of Styrofoam, it's safe for the microwave and not going to a landfill after lunch each day.
Coffee shops are the worst. Investing in a reusable mug is earth friendly and saves me a bit of money for refills. I have one for each of my favorite restaurants, tucked in my car for when I need to re-java. I also write in to customer comments suggesting a switching to a paper form for cups. My next challenge is to address Styrofoam ware in the hospital setting. Some refuse is not up for discussion and must be thrown away, but with some there is leeway. Cafeterias come to mind. I wonder if someone has worked it out on paper for saving with plastic versus garbage removal. Maybe it's time to put the value on going green.
Walking instead of driving is one I'm not able to change. Much. If I'm shopping in a large mall I'll make a point to hoof it, but I'll never be the employee who bikes in to my job. I've made peace with that. There are those, however, who are capable of taking more steps despite the time involved. They should plan for the extra minutes and just do it. I was disgusted last night to see parents in running vehicles inching along in a housing development while their children ran from house to house. Exhaust and laziness isn't only uncool, it's not healthy for anyone. Ask a cardiologist. Or maybe have that dialogue in a graveyard. They're filled with those who put off moving for later and ultimately left too soon.
Recycling is something we are all doing now. But is there a way to repurpose items instead of tossing? Even getting a few uses out of something is better than nothing. Can a local school use items like toilet paper rolls and egg cartons for craft projects? It might be worth looking into.
And finally there are the old standbys. Shut lights off when out of a room, don't run water while brushing (I'm still working on that one), and keep windows and doors closed to fit the weather. I'm cold intolerant but still try to keep the thermostat at a reasonable temperature. Air conditioning only goes on so the rest of the family doesn't melt or disown me. We lower our shades in the sunny windows in the summer, too. That's about the only thing I learned in 9th grade Earth Science; white deflects and darks absorb heat. It's also why I wear black and sit in the sun spots in my kitchen in the winter, and fight the cats for the space.
There are lots of things I do that are bad for the environment. Every day I get a new chance to change it. Making sure my kids, grandkids and greats have a good life isn't only about how we raise them, it's how we'll leave the earth to them to live on. One tiny footprint less each day.