Reduce your carbon footprint with lots of little changes that pile up to make a big difference. Go ahead and do your part, starting today.

1. Stop throwing away your dryer lint! Put it in the backyard for the birds — they use it to feather their nests.

2. Donate old newspapers to animal shelters and take plastic shopping bags to the nearest food pantry like Caritas, 300 S. 15th St., or Salvation Army, 4721 W. Waco Drive. Better yet, buy reusable bags and break the plastic bag habit.

3. Take your own mug to the coffee shop — they might even give you a discount for bringing your own cup. Check it out and let us know on our Waco Today Facebook page.

4. Use cloth napkins instead of paper napkins at dinner.

5. Share your magazines — read them, then pass them on. Friends for Life and area nursing homes are good places to drop off magazines for the older population’s enjoyment.

6. Schedule your errands back-to-back to consolidate your trip and save gas or ride your bike or walk when possible.

7. Pack your lunch in an insulated lunch bag instead of paper or plastic bags.

8. Join Freecycle to find items you need or get rid of items you don’t. The Freecycle Network is made up of 5,121 groups with 7,064,695 members around the world. It’s a grassroots, nonprofit movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free in their own towns. Each local group is moderated by local volunteers. Membership is free at

9. Buy a refillable container for your water or morning coffee instead of using paper cups or store-bought water bottles. Buy one like the Brita on-the-go filtration bottle with a built-in filter instead of purchasing bottle after bottle of “spring water.”

10. Get the junk out of your trunk (literally!) — extra weight in your car decreases fuel efficiency.

11. Pick up litter as you’re walking around. You didn’t get to enjoy that $5 latte, but you get to know you put the cup in the recycle bin for free.

12. Switch to a manual can opener. It’s really not that complicated!

13. Have a yard sale — or visit one before you head out to buy something new.

14. Borrow from libraries instead of buying personal books and movies. This saves money, not to mention the ink and paper that goes into printing new books.

15. Share power tools and other appliances. Get to know your neighbors while cutting down on the number of things cluttering your closet or garage.

16. Start a backyard compost pile. You can find complete guides to composting online.

17. File your taxes electronically to cut back on paper usage. Look into having your tax forms emailed to you instead of mailed.

18. Get e-tickets for the movies through apps like Fandango or get e-tickets and boarding passes when traveling.

19. Ask dinner guests to bring reusable to-go containers with them (or keep inexpensive ones you don’t mind losing on hand) so you can easily pack them some goodies to go home.

Resources:; “The Green Year” by Jodi Helmer;