Limiting Consumption gets lost in all our efforts to be efficient.
Here are some hard rules to test out.
1. Buy nothing in a package that cannot be composted. No plastic, foil or glass. This includes fast food containers. Ever tried a shampoo bar? Burt's Bees sells a paper wrapped bar of shampoo. It works well and is what people used to use before liquid soaps.
2. Buy nothing in a bottle. Even if it can be recycled. Nature does not recycle, it cycles. We must cycle things through our lives with the end in mind, not just a bin. By the time it leaves us it should be totally broken down by worms or the soil.
3. Plan the second life for all purchased items. What will you do with the package, wrapper...? Most bags in packages are sterile inside and can be shaken out and used again. They are too expensive to throw away. You paid for it. A co-worker at a job did not even know there was such a thing as wax paper, let alone baggies until she was in college. Her mother reused all the wrappers and bags from packaging for their bag lunches and storage.
4. Perimeter shop for food. Only shop outside the aisles in fresh and bulk foods. The aisles are bad news, economically, nutritionally and environmentally. (Except for some baking products). Try using your own containers for bulk purchases. Buy concentrates (soaps, cleaners, and extracts) as much as possible.
5. Live like you do not have a trash can, garbage disposal or recycling. Reduce your need.
6. Start cooking from scratch and buy ingredients, not packaged foods. Or make the original scratch in the soil as you plant seed and grow your own food.