Day 2 of our Downshifting Manifesto encourages people to start composting or recycling. I seriously doubt that anyone reading this isn't already recycling. While I could find no data on how many Americans compost, I am guessing it's far fewer than those that recycle. It REALLY isn't hard (it can be as simple as a pile in the corner of the yard, with a little leaves and dirt thrown over your kitchen scraps), but for some reason people find all sorts of excuses, from "I don't know how" to "I'm too lazy." This is the summer to get a compost heap going if you haven't already! There are plenty of on-line resources for backyard composting, or vermi-composting if you live in an apartment in the city (or in bear country). Composting is great; not only do you keep trash out of the waste stream, but you keep methane gas out of the atmosphere and have awesome organic fertilizer for your garden, trees, or house plants.
If you're already recycling and/or composting at home, try to bring these concepts into a local school, your place of work, or a local business in your neighborhood. Start from the premise that the people involved want to do the right thing, but aren't sure how to get started. See if you can help them come up with a plan for starting a compost or recycling project, and help implement the plan. Once people are introduced to the ideas of recycling and composting the seeds of change are planted, and habits begin to sprout (clever turn of phrase or overworked metaphor…I leave it to you to decide).