Everyone wants cleaner air to breathe and a better planet to be left behind for future generations. Certain groups can’t do this on their own; it requires everything from simple steps to lifestyle changes by all of us that live on this earth to make this possible. Not just any one person or group of people caused us to be in the pickle of an environment that we have now, we are all responsible. Just as we are all responsible to clean it up and salvage what we can.

Energy Star offers these five simple steps that we all can do to reduce the amount of air pollution we put into the environment. Step 1: Change five lights.

Yes changing your standard incandescent light bulbs into compact fluorescent lights can reduce the amount of energy you need to run those lights. Do this in your most frequently used lights. If every household did this we would collectively prevent more than one trillion tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted into the atmosphere.

Step 2: Look for and purchase products that have earned the Energy Star label.

There are products in more than 40 categories ranging from appliances, home electronics, lighting and more. Asking for these products and purchasing them will help you reduce your energy consumption, reduce air pollution and the product you choose may qualify for a rebate. Check the Energy Star website for what products qualify.

Step 3: Heat and cool smartly.

Have your heating and cooling system repaired and maintained by a qualified contractor. Be sure to keep your air filters clean and changed often. Install a programmable thermostat so you don’t use as much heating and cooling energy when you are not at home. When it’s time to replace old equipment, be sure to install an Energy Star qualified system. If one in 10 households did this, the change would prevent 17 billion tons of greenhouse gases.

Step 4: Seal up your home.

Break out the caulking gun and get to work! Sealing your windows, doors and adding insulation to your home can reduce your energy bills significantly. Replace old drafty windows with new, energy-efficient models. Not only will your home be more comfortable, but you will save money too!

Step 5: Tell your friends, family and anyone else who will listen.

Spreading the word about how people can reduce their energy costs and help save the environment is usually a welcome topic of conversation. Spread the word to everyone you know. Already Americans have purchased one billion Energy Star qualified products last year alone and have reduced air pollution equivalent to taking 18 billion cars off the road. This is great, but so much more needs to be done.