Sustainable Living & Sustainable Lifestyle

Make a positive impact on the environment in 12 simple steps

12 Steps Everyone Can Take To Help The Environment Right Now

Even after decades of environmental awareness campaigns, people still do things every day that hurt the environment more than they should.

Some of it can simply be accounted for because of lack of knowledge. Which is why lists like the following, which may seem simple and obvious to some, are important for others to read.

Help The Environment Right Now

It’s also not a bad idea to remind even the most aware environmentalist of simple steps to take to reduce their carbon footprint. While the average citizen can’t do much about climate agreements among nations or imposing regulations on giant corporations, they can live the future they want to see in their own homes.

The following list hits upon some of the simple but effective ways of doing just that. And many of these steps have the added bonus of benefiting your pocketbook.


The first step is becoming aware of things you do every day that waste energy. Take some time to see where you can make changes that will cut energy consumption and the waste of resources. Many people skip easy solutions to environmental issues simply by not taking this first step.

Go Paperless

With the digital storage capacity available through cloud services, you no longer have to keep paper records of most things. Opt out of getting printed financial statements from banks, credit card companies and insurers. Get all the paperwork emailed to you, instead. You can do the same when buying tickets to sporting events, museums and movies.

Ditch Bottled Water

Rather than spend extra money on bottled water and using more plastic containers, instead purchase a water filtration pitcher or system for your home. After the initial investment, you will save money over the long haul. You also can all but eliminate the use of plastic bottles.

Turn Out the Lights

An “oldie but a goodie.” Even after public awareness campaigns and many articles such as this one, people still use their lights too often. They leave them on in rooms they are not in. They forget to turn them off when they leave the house. It creates a larger electric bill and also increases the use of energy in your home.

Switch Lightbulbs

If you still use old-style lightbulbs, you are far behind the times. LED and fluorescent bulbs use far less energy and last much longer.

Turn Up The Thermostat

Or down, in cold weather. This is another tip that’s been around for decades, but people still ignore it. Electric companies sometimes must have “rolling black outs” because demand from homes is so high, especially in hot areas in the summer. Turn the thermostat a little higher. You’ll save money and cut back drastically on energy use.

Drive Less

Fuel consumption in a car, and the carbon dioxide it produces, is one of the major causes of global warming. Join a car pool to get to work. Bike or walk to destinations near your home. Your wallet will thank you, as well the atmosphere.

Buy Local

If there is a farmer’s market or local produce store in your area, take advantage of it. Tons of energy is used each year to produced processed food and then transport it around the country. If you buy local, you are cutting down significantly on those costs. Also, it supports the farmers in your area.

Reduce Consumption

This is a larger issue that cuts across all categories. The goal is to live simply. Every time you buy junk you do not need, it hurts the environment because of energy used in making the product and transporting it. Try to use items such as clothes, furniture and appliances until they are completely worn out. Considering replacing items by shopping at thrift stores.

More Plants, Inside and Out

Every tree and plant in the world is serving the function of cleaning the air. Planting trees, bushes and having house plants make your home more attractive and also clean the air of pollutants.

Only Wash Full Loads

Families do the laundry, typically on a specific day, whether they have a full load or not. Simply waiting until clothes are so dirty they have to be washed cuts down on water consumption. In the United States alone, residents could fill 7 million swimming pools with water they save simply by washing clothes less often.


Over the years, many people have gotten used to recycling while others never quite got into the habit. It’s important to adopt that habit, as soon as possible. Separate your garbage and recycle those products that be recycled. On the other end of the consumption loop, try to buy items made from recycled material. It’s not difficult and can save you money as well as help the environment.

Simple? Yes. Does everyone do it? No. Decades of “conspicuous consumption” have continued to influence the lives of Americans. By focusing on these easy steps, you can make a big difference in impact on the environment.

Your bank account might look a bit better, as well.

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