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10 Green Living Ideas for Frugal Families

Cut Out Paper and Plastic Waste

By now, it's common for a lot of us to bring our own reusable shopping bags to the grocery store. It's a small gesture, but certainly one that helps. Consider Ireland, which actually introduced a plastic bag levy in 2002. Suddenly, the average Irish person's plastic bag consumption tanked from 328 a year to 21 [source: Guardian]. That's a lot fewer plastic bags floating in the ocean and filling up landfills.

Beyond reusing shopping bags, our technology has given us a lot of useful ways to cut down on plastic and paper consumption. By receiving and paying all bills electronically over e-mail, you're not only saving the cost of a stamp. You're also cutting the bottom line for companies who are forced to print out your bill, which might actually make your costs less, in the long run.

There's also the question of junk mail. Take the time to go through your postal mail and ask to be removed from lists you're not interested in. Still want to see what deals your local grocery chain or gym has? Ask them to send it to you electronically, where you can cheerfully trash it without guilt.

Or should we be recycling that e-mail? Continue to the next page to find some easy tips for making recycling part of your family's everyday routine.