A lot of people want to help the environment the best that they can but have trouble finding where to start. This list includes some simple yet effective ways to make a positive impact on our planet.

1. Turn off lights and unplug electronic appliances when you're not using them

This is such a simple thing that we can do on a day-to-day basis to help the earth. Turning off and unplugging appliances when they're not in use reduces electricity and in turn reduces the use of resources needed to generate that electricity.

2. Reduce your food waste

Annually, Americans waste an unfathomable amount of food; about 30-40% of the food supply according to most studies in recent years. Being conscious about how much food you buy and then put on your plate can help the environment enormously. The more food we waste, the more resources were wasted to make that food, and the larger the carbon footprint left behind.

3. Switch to a reusable water bottle instead of plastic ones

Most of the time, plastic water bottles can end up in landfills, where they can take up to 450 years or more to degrade naturally, or in oceans or other places where the plastic can harm animals in the area. Switching to a reusable water bottle eliminates the use of plastic and therefore eliminates the amount of plastic that ends up in the environment where it can harm wildlife.

4. Use cleaning products that are eco-friendly

Finding and switching to these products is a lot easier than many people may think, and it goes a long way in reducing pollution and contamination in the air. Being conscious of the products that are labeled not toxic, natural, or eco-friendly can have a big impact on sustainability efforts.

5. Pay attention to your water usage

Although the earth is mostly covered in water, only a very small percentage of that water is suitable and available for drinking. And although water is always returning to the earth through the water cycle, making an effort to reduce water usage can help protect against droughts since the water may not always be returned to the same areas in the same amounts. Also, reducing water usage reduces the amount of energy needed to deliver that water to you, which helps conserve fuel resources and cuts back on pollution.

Though there are many ways that we can help make the earth a safer and cleaner place to live, these are just a few simple ways to get you started. Encourage others to join you in adhering to some of these tips so that more people get involved in sustainability efforts. The more people we have dedicated to protecting the earth, the better off we'll be in the long run.