Electricity and natural gas are so integrated into our lives that we don’t even notice we’re using them until the power goes out or the gas is turned off, and suddenly we can’t do all the things we normally do. All that energy use is contributing to global warming. The less we use, and the cleaner the sources of that energy, the lower our greenhouse gas emissions.

Generally, you use the most energy to make something hotter or colder, so you can get cut your emissions fastest by focusing on more efficiently heating and cooling your living space, your food, your water, and your clothes.

Just as important, ensure that the energy you use is clean. Remove fossil fuels from your home environment (including coal, oil, propane, and natural gas) to not only reduce emissions that contribute to global warming but to clean up the air you’re breathing in your home! To gain access to cleaner energy, push your utility to phase out fossil fuels and ramp up renewable energy production.

Conserving energy is important even if your local grid is clean. Excess renewable energy can be exported to communities that rely more heavily on fossil fuels.

Many of the changes that make a difference cost money, and if you rent, you may not control the energy efficiency of your home. So it’s also important to support policy and financial initiatives to make it easier and less expensive for everyone (and more advantageous for landlords) to make meaningful changes.