10 Easy Tips for Reducing Your Daily Paper Waste

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People often forget how often they encounter paper and paper products during the day—this includes books, newspapers, toilet paper, cereal boxes, the labels on water bottles, catalogs, junk mail, money, parking tickets, receipts, napkins, and the list goes on. Consuming more than any other country per capita, the average American uses more than 700 lbs of paper per year.

The following are a few important facts about the paper companies and the paper industry you should take into consideration before buying or using any paper products.

  • Did you know that forests store approximately half of the earth’s “terrestrial carbon”? These carbon rich forests counter the pollution that causes global warming.

  • Unfortunately, half of the earth’s existing forests have been used up, cleared, or burned—more than half of what’s left is severely degraded.

  • Each year, a massive amount of wood is harvested for consumption—approximately 40% of this wood is used for papermaking.

  • Used paper makes up approximately 25% of all landfill waste.

  • Paper companies in the United States (and the paper industry) are the 4th largest contributor of harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

  • If office paper use was reduced by 10%, approximately 1.5 million tons of greenhouse gases could be prevented. That’s equivalent to the emissions of 280,000 cars.

  • Why choose recycled paper? Compared to processing virgin wood, recycled paper uses 45% less energy, 40% less greenhouse gas emissions, 40% less particulate emissions, 50% less solid waste, 50% less wastewater, and no natural resources or wood.

  • In previous years, less than half the amount of used office paper (43%) was recycled.

The following are easy tips for saving or reusing paper brought to you by a recycled paper company.

1. Be a “post-consumer” consumer—buy recycled paper, recycled paper products (i.e. toilet paper, paper towels) and avoid purchasing any goods or products made from virgin wood.

2. Don’t buy paper table napkins—cloth is a more environmentally friendly choice.

3. Don’t use Styrofoam peanuts for packaging.Shred used office paper and use that as an alternative.

4. Use dish towels regularly, not paper towels.

5. Change your computer settings before printing any documents—print to both sides to save paper.

6. Paying bills online is not only more convenient, it saves paper. Take advantage of your car insurance, cable company, rent, health insurance, and other “ecobill” options.

7. If you bring your lunch to work in a paper bag, reuse it!Better yet, opt for a cloth bag you can reuse and wash time and time again.

8. If you have a pooch, purchase biodegradable doggie bags.

9. Buy all desk planners, wall calendars, and paper office supplies from a recycled paper company.

10. Paper or plastic? Say no to both at the grocery store. Purchase a reusable cloth bag and use that for carrying groceries home.

Erica Ronchetti is a freelance writer for Greenline Paper Company, America’s green office supply store. Visit our website for more information on environmentally friendly office supplies, paper company products, and recycle paper at Greenlinepaper.com.

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