With climate change at the forefront of our daily politics and catastrophic storms brewing before our eyes, reality begins to set in when we are faced with the consequences of our own carelessness. Being kind to the Earth sounds as simple at tree-hugging and green thinking, but it’s our actions that are the true catalysts of positive change. Living in one of the least environmentally-friendly governments to date puts the pressure on citizens like you and me to reduce our individual carbon footprints for a healthier tomorrow, next year, and next century. The good news is that when we all put our best foot forward toward a greener environment, the larger effect can truly transform the world. Use these green tips and tricks to earn an imaginary gold medal for saving the earth!

Use a mug

The more you think about how much paper and plastic you use in a week or a month, the more you’ll realize how dependent you are on these recyclable goods you really are. While recycling goods is a fantastic habit to get into, skipping the bottled water or to-go coffee cups altogether exponentially changes your carbon footprint. You need your morning mojo to get your office efficiency pumping so you don’t have to forgo your coffee altogether. Instead of using paper or plastic, bring a mug from home to keep at your desk on in your office kitchen.

If you prefer the coffee from a local shop over a co-worker’s brew, buy an insulated tumbler that your favorite barista can fill to the brim every morning.

Recycle your electronics

Did you know that electronic waste makes up 70% of the world’s toxic waste from landfills? It’s caused by old computers, printers, television, and sound systems seeping into the earth and eventually making their way into our soil and water sources. Instead of chucking your old tech into the trash, check your city or state’s available options for recycling electronics. Each state has its own laws about tech recycling, so do your research before heading to a local recycler.

Nowadays, we go through technology fads faster than ever, leaving us with obsolete electronics that we’ve only owned for a few years. Once you get your hands on that new MacBook Air, make sure you use laptop recycling for your older model.

Ditch plastic and paper for cloth bags

Grocery shopping is a facet of life that happens at least once every two weeks to satiate your appetite needs. However, every time you go, you come home with dozens of plastic and/or paper bags which sit in your cupboards for ages before becoming useful. Reduce your paper and plastic usage by bringing your own reusable and washable cloth bags to the grocery store. Many American cities have banned plastic bags entirely and may even charge you for using a plastic bag. It’s this very forward thinking that prompts us all to reconsider how we consume useless goods. Keep your reusable bags in your car trunk so you never have to go paper or plastic again.

This one is a win-win. Beef tends to be the most expensive meat in local markets, and beef has the worst effect on the environment. Beef, in particular, is a monstrous greenhouse gas emitter, so reducing your steak consumption may be the easiest step to reducing your carbon footprint. Consider going meatless one or two days a week if you’re not ready or willing to committing to vegetarianism or veganism. You may even find a positive change in your own health. There are plenty of delicious recipes out there that will make your transition feel seamless.

Eat less meat

This one is a win-win. Beef tends to be the most expensive meat in local markets, and beef has the worst effect on the environment. Beef, in particular, is a monstrous greenhouse gas emitter, so reducing your steak consumption may be the easiest step to reducing your carbon footprint. Consider going meatless one or two days a week if you’re not ready or willing to committing to vegetarianism or veganism. You may even find a positive change in your own health. There are plenty of delicious recipes out there that will make your transition feel seamless.

Stop fast-fashion shopping

The fast-fashion industry is booming, and business has never been better for big retailers like Forever 21, H&M, and Zara. Fashionistas all around the globe have grown accustomed to new styles dropping every few weeks—effectively forming the habit of updating their closets just as frequently. Not only does this ploy work to put more money in big CEO pockets, but it hurts the environment and the sweatshop workers behind our favorite jeans and tees. Adopting a minimalist wardrobe and cutting your spending habits could put more money in your pockets while acting as a form of protest against the fast fashion industry.

Make 2019 your year of environmental consciousness. Together we can save the Earth, but it all begins with action. What will you do?