There is a strong correlation between being frugal and being green! Having grown up in a developing nation with grandparents who had seen leaner times, all the "green tips" I see these days remind me of my childhood. Here is a list - most of which I am proud to say I continue to practice and am now preaching.
1. Use reusable shopping bags - I have to admit, the reusable bags we used, sewn out of leftover scrap material, did not look as smart as the ones we see these days. As a teenager - they made me feel very 'uncool' to be seen with them - and now a generation later when being green is in, I guess I was "cool" after all.
2. Recycle paper - Wow those huge bundles of newspaper actually earned us cash! The local recyclers would stop by the house and weigh the bundles and the cash would be significant enough to subsidize the next month's subscription.
3. Laundry - Growing up without washers and dryers meant eco friendly laundry. Not sure if the smog and pollution gave the feeling of fresh smelling laundry though. I do like the smell of Downy/Snuggle though full wash loads and cold water are certainly green.
4. Turn it off - Water when brushing teeth, lights when leaving a room, unplugging appliances after use - it was just something we did without thinking. Cost was prohibitive and supply sporadic, so we just formed habits that conserved.
5. Old washcloths - Never used paper towels and napkins growing up. Old sarees and dhotis were torn up as washcloths and used and reused for cleaning. Wiping hands with cloth napkins is now being seen as not hygenic - thought I wonder if all the extra sanitation is leading to allergy and other health issues.
Care to share some eco friendly tips that you grew up with?