We are one of the lucky few who have a washer/dryer in our apartment. After putting up with sharing laundry facilities in our parking garage for couple of years, we happily gave up a dishwasher for a washer/dryer. It's not ideal that they are located in our kitchen, but it's quite efficient for house-keeping. Once Matt started his saving-energy crusade, I looked around at some ways I could cut-back as well. The dryer was the first thing that came to mind. I found this drying rack at Target (on sale at the time) and now I hang my laundry until it's about 80% dry, then I throw it in the dryer for 15 or so minutes. Most people would say that they don't like the way materials feel when air-dryed and I would agree! But I haven't noticed a difference at all- even if they air-dry the entire way, I still fluff them a bit in the dryer. I've also started using Method laundry detergent. From the picture, you'll notice that it's a pump. I love that I can just pick it up and pump the soap right into the washing machine. However the best part is the packaging - much MUCH less plastic wasted than the other brands. Now... this option isn't cost-effective, as it costs a dollar or two more than the leading brands (unless you find it on sale!).
Back in May, just before my birthday, Matt and I were taking a stroll around Costco when I noticed these Snapware glass containers. I was oo-ing and ahh-ing and explaining to Matt how great these were, because they wouldn't leave stains! I must have made a pretty big deal about it, because a few days later I unwrapped them as a birthday gift. :) At first I was mostly impressed that he had listened to me... but as time passed, I was (and am) so grateful that he listened! I love these containers! They come in lots of sizes, perfect for leftovers and taking food to work. However the BEST part is that they're helping me use less plastic. Since I received them in May, my usage of Ziplocs and Saran wrap has decreased by 99.9% at least!
That's all for now. We've both been making efforts to leave lights off and using natural light during the day. I also have caught myself thinking twice about paper cups and utensils, examining packaging of products, and we stopped buying bottled water over a year ago. I highly recommend the documentary "No Impact Man" - I guarantee you won't go to the lengths this family does to unplug from the world, but his hope is that you'll at least do one of the things.