Around your home you probably have those little bits of old soap bars that you just discard. Hotels have a lot of them. For years we would "throw them away," but after listening to Annie Leonard's audio book The Story of Stuff I was struck with one idea; there is no away. This applies to much of what we call trash. So why throw out stuff that could be made perfectly useful without any life cycle cost. This really applies to soap pieces.
We now follow a simple recipe. Collect the left over soap bars, cut them up into very small pieces, add lemon juice and a little glycerine, put the mix into boiling water (to liquify and to sanitize), let it cool, put the liquid in an empty soap dispenser and let it sit for a few days. Liquid Soap!
By itself this won't make much of a dent in the size of the flow of items to a landfill, and it will not make you solvent financially. But if everyone did this, then that is another story. It is one really simple thing that illustrates life cycle costs; no shipping of liquid soap containers; no manufacturing of those plastic bottles that liquid soap comes in; no throwing something out. There is the cost of heating the boiling water but it is certainly offset by the other savings. Check our one item per day on the "Then and Now" pages for other things we are trying.