Going eco-friendly is a lot easier than some people think it is. It’s not a change that happens overnight, but it’s not one that’s disruptive to your life, either. All you really have to do is focus on creating better habits in your home and daily life.

Start by finding small ways to improve your footprint on the environment. For instance, maybe you’ve already purchased a reusable straw or maybe you’ve been more mindful of your home’s air conditioning use.

These make a bigger difference than you might think, and they’re just two of the many steps you can make in the right direction.

Here are 8 more eco-friendly tips you can start using right now to better impact the planet.

1. Stop Using Plastic

Plastic is one of the biggest environmental problems the world is facing. This is something millions of people purchase and throw away every single day. The production of new plastic releases harmful emissions as more and more plastic ends up in landfills and in our world’s ocean.

It’s a vicious cycle, and the best way to stop it is to stop using plastic.

Take your own bags to the grocery store. Purchase glass food storage containers instead of plastic ones. Don’t buy any more plastic water bottles and start refilling your own instead.

2. Notice How Much Paper You Waste

The use and waste of paper aren’t as bad as that of plastic. But, certain paper consumption habits could be better. Think of all the paper towels you use in your home and all the paperwork that gets printed at work.

Those paper towels are more harmful to the environment than you may think, and most of the time, paperwork and business documents don’t have to be printed.

Use cloth at home instead. Send more emails instead of letters, and if you really think something needs to be printed, opt for double-sided pages. Also, buy recycled paper products whenever you can!

3. Eat Less Meat

Another way your buying power can improve the environment is by buying less meat. The production of meat has many harmful environmental effects.

The biggest issue with buying and consuming a lot of meat, though, is arguably all the gases that are emitted. The three biggest meat companies in the world emit more harmful gases than the entire country of France, and their numbers are close to those of many top oil companies.

Think about that the next time you want to order or make a burger.

4. Try Composting

You don’t necessarily have to go vegan to save the planet. But, trying to reduce your meat consumption to a few times a week can make a huge difference.

This will also benefit your overall health, as you’ll be eating many fruits and vegetables in place of meat. Consider composting while you’re cooking with these foods. Composting is pretty easy to do at home.

All you really have to do is save your food scraps and separate your compost bins for solids and liquids. You can then use your compost for gardening purposes or learn about creating energy out of compost. Or, donate your compost to a local business or organization who knows how to make good use of it.

5. Invest in Better Appliances

The next way to improve your impact on the environment is to invest in better appliances. This applies to all the appliances in your home. Whether it’s time to buy a new refrigerator, dishwasher, or washer and dryer set, opt for one with a great energy rating.

This investment pays for itself. Such appliances lower your water and electric consumption significantly, helping the planet as they do so. But, this means you’ll be able to save on your monthly bills, too!

If you want to further improve your home’s energy use, see if you can switch to using solar or wind power to power your property. It’s easy to discover what renewable energy is and how it works if only you make the effort to start researching.

6. Watch Your Water Waste

Although energy-efficient appliances do help your water waste, they’re not the only thing that cuts back on water use. Every drop matters.

Be mindful of the showers and baths you take. Try not to handwash dishes anymore but rather run full loads in your dishwasher. Don’t run your sprinkler system every single day, and consider how much of that gets wasted by spraying on the sidewalk or the sides of the house.

7. Donate Your Old Things

How much old stuff do you have laying around the house? How many times in the past have you opted to throw something away rather than donate it?

You’d be surprised at the number of perfectly good mattresses, couches, dressers, and other household items that end up in landfills. These are items that other people can use, but you have to be willing to make them accessible to them! The next time you need to get rid of something like this, drop it off at a local donation center instead of the dumpster down the street.

Even old, worn-out pieces of furniture can be recycled.

8. Support Eco-Friendly Corporate Initiatives

At the end of the day, living a more eco-friendly life comes down to making better decisions as a consumer. Think long and hard about all of your buying habits, and keep a closer eye on the large corporations you support.

Almost everything available to you as a consumer is offered by an eco-friendly company. There are green initiatives in place for everything from producing makeup to coffee to clothing and furniture. The trick is to find these conscious corporate initiatives and start supporting them over other businesses.

Bringing Eco-Friendly Tips into the Workplace

It’s one thing to be more eco-friendly at home and another to make green living an integral part of your life. Don’t be afraid to share these eco-friendly tips with your friends, family members, and even your coworkers.

The more of an example you set for them, the more likely they’ll be to be more green, too. If you’re looking for ways to make the entire office more eco-friendly, click here!