It’s no secret that pollution is a major problem all across the world. There are plastic water bottles littering waterways and smog that makes the air harder and harder to breathe every year. There are more cases of asthma attacks in recent years than ever before. Fish are dying, and plant life is struggling to adapt to climate change. We need to reverse what we have done to the environment or we will face natural disasters, floods, droughts, and famines like we’ve never seen before. We have a huge problem on our hands, and something has to be done to fix it. There are small changes that you can make to your life to help decrease the environmental footprint that you have.

1. Turn Off the Lights

One huge thing that you can do is to simply turn off the lights. When you leave the house, make sure that you turn off all the lights and unplug any appliances that don’t need to be plugged in. Go through the home and replace all your lights with more efficient LED lights. You want to make sure that you’re using as little energy as possible. Sometimes, it’s easy to think that your efforts won’t make that much of a difference. But if we can get hundreds and thousands of people to simply turn off the lights, it will make a huge difference. A good rule of thumb is to only have lights on in the room that you’re in. If it’s light enough to see outside, then keep the lights off.

2. Be Smart With Water

You should try to be more conscious of how much water you’re using and what temperature that water is. Using hot water takes more energy because of the gas needed to heat it. If you have a pool outside, consider switching to a commercial solar installation power heater instead. If you look at the swimming pool pricing for solar heated pool and gas heated pools, you’ll see that over the long term, you’re saving more by upgrading. Just do the little things to save water. Turn off the faucet while you’re brushing your teeth, take shorter showers, use warm water instead of hot water, don’t take baths, and the list goes on and on. Every opportunity you have to use less water, take it.

3. Drive Less

The Center for Biological Diversity reports that 15% of carbon dioxide comes from cars alone. If we could reduce the amount that we drive and use public transportation instead, we could reduce our carbon emissions to 2%. That is a drastic improvement. All that you need to do to make the change is drive less. There are so many accommodations being made that makes biking easier and riding the bus more convenient. Try to make as many changes in your life as possible that reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions you’re contributing.

4. Become a Vegetarian or a Vegan

The idea of vegetarianism is on the rise. The meat industries have been exposed as rancid and unethical. People are beginning to also see the health benefits of cutting the meat from their diets. It’s important to the environment as well since the cattle industry contributes to 18% of the overall greenhouse gases. Cutting down on your meat consumption is vital to reducing the effects that we are having on the environment. Becoming a vegetarian or a vegan is the best way to help in this area. With transportation, it’s impossible to fully cut out all types of transportation. With meat consumption, however, it’s possible to drastically reduce, if not eliminate the damage that is being done.

Take it into your own hands to change the negative effects that we are having on the planet. If enough of us make the needed changes, our environment will begin to blossom again.