In our everyday lives, we make tremendous use of all manner of paper products. Just think about the amount of junk mail you toss every day, the number of catalogs you throw out without even glancing at them. Think of how many cereal boxes, paper towels and how much toilet paper your family uses every year. Incidental items such as labels on cans and bottles, receipts and so on are also made of paper. What can you do to reduce your use of paper. Read on to find out!
First, you must educate yourself in regards to the reasons for cutting back on your use of paper. Understand that the forests from which paper is made are major carbon producers and do a great deal to counteract pollution which contributes greatly to global warming. More than half of the forests upon which we depend have been damaged or destroyed for industrial use and paper production. In fact, over forty percent of the wood taken from these forests is used to make paper products. About a quarter of the waste found in landfills consists of paper products.
Once you understand the tremendous problems caused by excess use of paper, you can take positive, proactive steps to counteract this problem. In the US, the producers of paper products are some of the largest producers of greenhouse gas causing emissions. Reducing the demand for non-recycled paper would greatly decrease this number. In fact, using just ten percent less office paper would reduce greenhouse gas production by one-and-a- half trillion tons. This is the same amount produced by approximately 300,000 automobiles. The goal of reducing the use of non-recycled office paper can be accomplished by using less paper in the office, reusing paper that has only been used on one side and choosing to use recycled paper.
In the office, you should either shred used paper and send it out to be recycled or reuse the shredded paper as packing in items being shipped from your office. Recyclable, biodegradable shredded paper is a far superior green choice for packing than Styrofoam or plastic packing materials. Also, always be sure to print on both sides of the paper anytime you print a document at home or in your office. Remember to choose recycled when selecting printer paper, calendars, note pads and all other office paper products.
In addition to purchasing recycled office paper, you can also purchase other recycled paper goods such as napkins, paper towels, toilet paper, paper plates and cups and so on. This single choice will tremendously reduce the amount of new paper waste your home and office generate. Choosing to use reusable cloth napkins and dishtowels and taking the time to wash plates and glasses rather than purchasing disposables will help even more. When it comes to bags, don’t use paper or plastic. Use washable, reusable cloth bags instead. Sturdy canvas tote bags can be used for shopping, bringing your lunch to school or work and more.
When it comes to paper products you receive in the mail, opt to go paperless. It’s better, cheaper and more efficient to pay your bills online or have the amount of your bill deducted automatically from your credit or debit card or checking account. Choose to read your magazines and get your news online, too. It’s quicker and easier, and you won’t get ink on your hands.
Going green by using recycled paper products and practicing reusing and recycling paper in your home and office is a strong, positive doable step you can take that will make a big difference in the health of our planet. Follow the tips presented here to go green in your paper use habits.