It’s no secret: the planet is changing. Our beloved Earth is heating up, and fast. Weather is changing and sea levels are rising. And while our politicians wrangle with the issue and cut deals with each other, businesses, and foreign powers, there is still more that we can each do on a personal level to reduce our carbon footprint and try to help out this big blue orb we call home. Here are a few tips.

It’s time to trade in the clunker

Ah, your old car – it has served you well. But no amount of sentimentality can mask the reality that an old car is an inefficient one. Modern cars get better gas mileage.

On top of that, big car companies like Ford offer hybrid cars that use electricity to save gas for when you really need it. That cuts gas mileage own to a fraction of what your old clunker uses. In short, upgrading your car means you can help the Earth even without changing your habits.

Public transit and you

But change your habits you can, and one big way you can do so is by ditching your car entirely – for some purposes, at least. Could you opt to commute by train or by bus? By pooling people’s transportation needs, public transit presents a far, far more energy-efficient option for getting from place to place. Take a look at your schedule and habits and see where you can find places to use public transit instead of your car.

Saving energy at home

You don’t just use energy on the road – you use plenty at home, too. But you can invest in energy-efficient options with the help of appliance manufacturers, contractors, and perhaps even your fuel company. There are countless ways to save money at home, from better insulation (which makes your heating system more efficient) to solar panels (which provide clean energy that reduces your need for traditional sources of power). Maybe you could invest in a more efficient efficient laundry machine or refrigerator, too!

The low-carbon diet

Speaking of your refrigerator, have you looked in there lately? What you eat can have a major impact on your carbon footprint, too. Greenhouse gases abound in the meat industry, which means that those of us who swap some of our red meat for salads are a little more green in more ways than one! If you choose to eat fewer processed foods and less red meat, and if you keep an eye out for labels that guarantee sustainable methods and organic farming, then you’ll be taking yet another step to reduce your environmental impact.