There are a lot of tips out there on how to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle. Some are outlandish or require more time and effort than most of us can give. Others cost so much that it’s almost impossible. So we’ve compiled a list of real steps that you can take to reduce your environmental footprint.

How to be More Kind to the Environment

Shop for a Greener Energy Provider

One of the simplest ways to reduce your carbon footprint is to make an energy comparison and look for energy providers who produce more green energy, whether it’s solar, wind, hydroelectric, nuclear or biofuels. You could switch to an energy company that produces more green energy and get the same benefits as putting solar panels on your roof. It’s actually better to go through the utility company since they’ll take advantage of economies of scale to bring down the cost of solar and wind power equipment. And you can take this step if you live in an apartment or rental unit that wouldn’t let you put solar panels on the roof.

Make a Few Changes to Your Diet

There are a number of ways you could lower your ecological footprint by changing how you eat. Eating more locally produced, seasonal foods reduces how much energy is required to transport food. Not everything has to be organic, but you can help the environment by buying organic products. Skip buying bottled water and use a water bottle instead. If the local water tastes that bad, get a water filter.

Buy Strategically

You can also change how you purchase. Buy food in bulk with reusable containers. Then you aren’t throwing out single-serve containers and packaging all the time. But in saying that, be careful when it comes to food wastage. This means buying the small sachet of spices if that’s all you need for a recipe. You might want to buy frozen foods instead of refrigerated so that it’s less likely to go bad. Or buy dried fruit instead of fresh, since it will last longer.

When it comes to clothing, you can save money and materials by buying things that last. Don’t buy trendy items that you’ll get rid of next year. Buy classics you can wear for years. Buy quality items that will last for years. And while you’re at it, consider buying used clothes, books and furniture instead of new ones. You can even take it to the next level by buying these used items at local charities, helping those in need while recycling these materials.

Think Before You Buy

Before you buy anything, ask if you really need it and why you want it. The less you buy, the less you consume. Relying on shopping lists will help limit impulse buys in the store. And plan your shopping trips to minimize the amount of driving you to do. For example, research the items online instead of driving store to store looking for the best deal.