Don't Forget To Buy Recycled Paper Products

recycling paper

Why aren't we buying more recycled paper products?

Most of us have become pretty good at recycling paper but when it comes to buying recycled products....Not so good.

If I put together a list of why more of us don't buy recycled paper I think it would look like this:

  • Convenience
  • Quality
  • Cost
  • Maybe not in that order but I think that about sums it up.

    A recent news article showed land in a rain forest covered with stumps of trees that had been cut down in an effort to supply the demand for paper products. A sad sight. Outside of the damage to the rain forest itself, cutting acres upon acres of these trees to supply our needs for something we throw away just doesn't make sense.

    When we lose too many of our trees we make it all the harder to fight global warming. The trees absorb the carbon dioxide that's causing us so many problems and they release oxygen.

    Managed effectively, trees are a sustainable resource but many of our paper products don't come from trees that have been managed by groups like the Forest Stewardship Council.

    What Is The Forest Stewardship Council?

    This independant, non-profit organization works to protect forests throughout the world. They believe that the key to forest preservation lies in forest management. By meeting certain standards set by the FSC, forest managers can attain certification that assures that the wood comes from managed forests. More and more businesses and governments are interested in purchasing FSC certified wood making this an important certification to attain. Good for business, good for the environment.

    There will always be a need for new or virgin wood. The paper that has been recycled can't be used forever and in certain applications new paper is needed for good results. To help insure that new paper comes from forests that are managed with respect for local people, the environment and animal habitat look for paper that has been FSC and chlorine free certified.

    According to the EPA only about 46% of all our paper
    is being recycled.

    Buy Recycled Paper

    Buying recycled paper products helps cut our need for virgin papers. As demand increases recycled paper products will keep getting better, will be easier to find and be more affordable.

    Beware of products that claim "made with recycled paper". Recycled materials may be in this product but unless they include percentages such as made with 30% PCW (post consumer waste), we don't know how much and it could be very little. The higher percentage the better.

    I know most of us want to do our part and it can be overwhelming all the work and commitment that needs to be done to make changes in our environment. But simple steps and a growing awareness that we must start to make changes now will go a long way.


    Recycled Paper Products For The Office

    Shopping for office paper is a good oportunity to support environmental efforts.

    A good place to look for recycled paper products is a company called Neenah Paper. This company offers several lines of recycled paper. One of their lines, Environment Premium Recycled Papers, is made from 100% post consumer papers, FSC certified, made with 100% green energy and certified processed chlorine free. It doesn't get any better than that.

    It meets many different environmental criteria but how does it meet the needs of the consumer according to the list above.

    Convenience: This paper might not be found at your local office supply but there may be a distributor in your area. You can find out by clicking the purchase button on Neenah's website and click find local distributor. You can also order online.

    Quality: My business needs do not require the use of paper for presentations or other needs of large offices so I am not an expert on paper but based on what this company offers these recycled paper products seem like they would meet the needs for many different applications while offering high quality.

    Cost: In comparing this paper to 500 sheets of 24lb. conventional writing paper, the pricing was surprisingly comparable and if you shop around as I did you can find this paper at an even better price at The Paper Mill Store, another supplier of paper goods with a strong interest in being environmentally responsible.

    I know it's more work than running down to the office supply store but it's a good thing to support companies that make recycled paper products. When they are stronger they create more affordable choices, have more clout and can implement industry changes faster.

    Those Daily Necessities:
    Toilet Paper, Paper Towels And More

    recycled toilet paper

    These products are such an everyday necessity that it's easy to forget where they come from. But this is where we can make a big difference.

    The NRDC (National Resources Defense Council) writes about how many trees could be saved if each of us would purchase one recycled product. Here is an example from their site:

    If every household in the United States replaced just one box of virgin fiber facial tissues (175 sheets) with 100% recycled ones, we could save 163,000 trees

    Take a look at their website, it's surprising how many trees we could save by making one simple change.

    In my house I have made the switch to recycled papers, toilet paper, paper towels, etc. These I buy locally. It does cost a little more but I make cuts elsewhere if needed.

    There was a little resistance at first, they're not quite as soft or absorbent. So what. It works just fine and if it helps the environment then I'm good. We are used to it by now and no one has come home asking why our toilet paper is not as soft as ....

    It's getting easier to find recycled paper products at local stores and if you can't, ask for it. Stores want our business and will make the effort to stock more products if we start asking. You can order online but it's often cheaper and more convenient to buy locally.

    Where To Shop For Unique Recycled Paper Products

    recycled toilet paper

  • Recycled Newspaper Jewelry
  • Here is a unique fun use for recycled paper of all kinds. Recycled Newspaper Jewelry is created from newspaper, coupons, lottery tickets, sweetener packets and more. Even comic strips are used. This Garfield brooch is fun and creative and certainly eye catching. While not inexpensive, they certainly are unique and would make a great gift for any eco chic women.

  • Twisted Limb
  • They create beautiful, handmade 100% recycled paper that can be used for invitations, programs, thank you notes, envelopes, etc. The flower and seed inclusions along with things like grass clippings create wonderful one of a kind papers.

  • Botanical Paperworks
  • Plantable Papers, recycled paper products infused with seeds, has been featured on several news shows. An interesting alternative to throwing away or recycling old cards, invitations, etc is to plant them. The paper has been embedded with wildflowers which when planted in the ground and watered should sprout in a few weeks.

    Related Pages

    Recycled Plastic

    Recycled Glass

    Recycled Jewelry

    Getting tired of all the junk mail? How many of us open our mail right over the recycling bin or worse the trash can? Why not save a tree and stop the junk mail from coming in the first place. Check out the site below for techniques and tips to stop unwanted junk mail.

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