Eco-friendly, sustainable, veganism, and minimalism have been buzzwords lately. We hear everyone from influencers to celebrities, mom-bloggers to coworkers stressing the importance of a greener lifestyle.

Sustainability is very much needed in today’s day and age in which resources are visibly being depleted, the water contaminated, air polluted, climate affected, earth destroyed. Humans are responsible to blame for these catastrophes, but we’re also the only ones who can do something to fix it, as well.

Here are some simple steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint and live more sustainably.

Switch it off

Let’s start with a hack that saves money and saves electricity. Turn off all your appliances when you are not using them. This includes unplugging the television, the microwave, the iron… anything that’s not actively being used! A lot of people don’t know this, but even when the device is turned off, it’s still drawing power from the wall.

It might be a strange habit to get into, unplugging your coffee pot after pouring a cup of joe every morning, but once you see that energy bill start trickling down lower and lower, you’ll be searching for more things you can pull from the socket each day.

Don’t let the faucets run

Home water conservation is something too few people take seriously. Privileged first-world countries tend to think of water as an endless resource, there whenever we need or want it, but it’s actually a precious commodity and millions of people around the world labor to receive just a few purified sips to stay hydrated.

Bottom line: use your water wisely. You do not need to keep the faucets running while doing your skincare routine, brushing your teeth, or washing the dishes. Speaking of faucets, make sure the ones in your home are not dripping or hire a plumber who can properly seal them. You’d be amazed by how much water is wasted drop by drop, day by day.

Reduce food waste

It’s devastating how much food is wasted around the world when so many people struggle and starve. If you’ve ever worked at a restaurant, you probably see firsthand how much extra food gets tossed away, or in some cases, meals that are untouched altogether!

As a general rule of thumb, don’t buy more than you need at the grocery store. Otherwise, it could spoil before you even get the chance to consume it. Make meals at home more often than dining out, and whenever you have leftovers, remember to put them in a compost. Food that makes its way into landfills releases gas as it decomposes, putting more C02 into the atmosphere (which is the last thing earth needs), but a compost can be used as a fertilizer in the garden to keep your life and your home greener.

Try to eliminate the use of plastic products

Plastic has found its way into almost every aspect of life—it’s literally been found in rain drops coming from the sky. It won’t be easy, but challenge yourself to not use plastic products as much as you can, including the packaging a product comes in. Plastic water bottles, utensils, straws… the list goes on and on (and those ideas demonstrate why dining in is more sustainable than consuming elsewhere).

Carry a canvas tote bag with you whenever you go shopping, as well as a reusable straw and refillable water canteen.

Purchase energy-efficient appliances

If you can, invest in appliances that conserve the most energy. They require minimal electricity and help cut costs while being less of a drain on the power grid. You don’t have to go all out with big purchases; you can even start by replacing LED lightbulbs around the home.

Last but not least

Reduce, reuse, recycle. Make this your mantra. Start by reducing the limited resources you use, including food, water, and energy. If you can, reuse or repurpose an item instead of throwing it away. Try to mend broken things or give them a new purpose to cut down on consumerism. When that’s not possible, be sure to recycle so it doesn’t go to waste.