With a ban on plastic straws trending, everyone is becoming more aware of how their actions impact the environment. Summer seems to be a prime time to get in shape with workout challenges, but what about green challenges? I've stated in previous articles before that the smallest actions can make the biggest difference.

1. Go one month without single-use plastic.

Did you know that 8 million metric tons of our plastic waste enters the ocean each year? See how much of a difference you can make by going without any single-use plastic for one week. It may seem difficult, but it can be an eye-opener to where you can cut your plastic use from day to day.

2. Grow something new.

Help fight carbon dioxide emissions! Plants take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen back into our atmosphere. Whether it's a succulent in your kitchen or a tree in your backyard, plant something new.

3. Go one week living a zero-waste lifestyle.

On average, Americans produce 4.40 pounds of trash every single day. Imagine where it could go and what impact it has on our planet. After five weeks, it's the equivalent of the weight of an average American woman.

What if we went from producing a person's weight in trash every month to zero trash? Try going waste-free for one week. You'll learn so much about yourself and the impact you have. For tips on how to live a zero-waste lifestyle, click here.

4. DIY one product you would normally buy that is packaged.

There are a ton of recipes out there for shampoo, body wash, laundry detergent, deodorant, and more. Before you buy that item packaged in plastic, try and make your own. There are plenty of recipes on Pinterest.

5. Compost!

It's super easy to compost. Any organic material, like fruit and vegetable scraps, just go into a bucket, and it all decomposes to eventually become dirt. Click here to learn how to start your own compost!

6. Give something a second life before going into the trash.

Turn that glass bottle into a vase or that cream cheese container into an organizer. Give things you would normally just throw away a second life.

7. Skip the car ride.

The next errand you have to run and make, ask yourself: is it possible to just walk, take my bike, or use public transportation to get there? Seize the moment and do it! Save a little bit of gas and be adventurous. You'll reduce your ecological footprint, too.

Everyone has an impact on our planet. Make yours a positive one and choose a green challenge. Mother Earth will thank you later for it.