Being environmentally conscious or eco-friendly doesn’t have to take a lot of effort. In fact, there are many things you can do right now that would make a lasting impact – especially over the long term.

By now everyone is aware that you should turn off the water when not in use, and ensure lights are turned off when you leave a room. But many people are left wondering what else they can do. Start by utilizing these ten easy ways to become an environmental steward.

1: Shop Locally: Shopping local reduces shipping needs for that area. This, in turn, reduces the amount of carbon emissions released by commercial vehicles that bring outsourced items.

2: Car pool or use public transportation: When you car pool or use public transportation, you efficiently cut down on your own carbon footprint.

3: Invest in solar power: Solar power creates electricity from the sun’s energy. Since it is a renewable resource, it creates virtually no problems for the environment, whereas the burning of coal releases copious amounts of carbon.

4: Nix disposable items: You can reduce the amount of waste your home produces by skipping disposable items. These include cups, plates, bowls, cutlery, straws, diapers, and razors, among other things.

5: Reduce paper waste: Reducing paper waste is easy. You can start by using washable cloths instead of paper towels or napkins. Read the newspaper? Don’t throw it away when you’re finished. Instead, donate it to a local animal shelter who can reuse it before it hits the landfill.

6: Compost: Creating a compost pile eliminates a lot of the food items heading to the landfills. It also creates nutrient-rich fertilizer that can be used for your yard, garden, or household plants.

7: Use refillable bottles and cups: Instead of using plastic water bottles or disposable coffee cups, purchase ones which can be refilled. This can have a massive impact, as a single person can consume as many as five water bottles every single day. One cup can eliminate nearly two thousand plastic bottles a year.

8: Keep Loads Full: loads of dishes or laundry, that is. By ensuring each load is full, you can save significant costs on energy which would have just been wasted anyways.

9: Use recyclable totes instead of grocery bags: This helps to alleviate a considerable amount of landfill waste. Durable, affordable totes are easily found at sites like Custom Earth Promos.

10: Reuse containers: You can reuse nearly any container your purchases come in. Food containers can be washed and used to store leftovers. Even boxes can be repurposed into storage units.

Utilizing these ten simple tips can make an enormous difference to the health of planet earth. While all of them used together makes the biggest difference, even just two could have a significant impact. For example, an average family of four who uses #7 and #9 alone could save approximately 7,300 plastic bottles and 416 plastic bags from being dumped in landfills each year.