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Monday, June 20, 2011

Paper Recycling–The True Facts and 20 Ways to Reduce Your Use of Paper at Home

paper clutter
Did You Know?
  • Americans are the heaviest paper users in the world, with an estimated average yearly per capita consumption of paper products of 700 pounds per year. source
  • 31 % off all trash in the landfills is made up of paper waste. Only 24% of all waste is recycled. The rest is composted (8.9%) or sent to  in trash to energy programs or landfills .  Source
  • Homeowners admit that one of their biggest problems is overcoming paper clutter.
What Can We Do About It?
But what can we do as simple consumers do about the problem with paper? there are some easy steps to take when it comes to reducing paper waste in your house.
  1. Start by reducing the amount of paper coming in the house. Register yourself with the Direct Marketing Association to stop the junk mail and unsolicited mail coming in.
  2. Reassess your subscriptions. Do you really  need that professional magazine? How about the 4 home and garden magazines that you get? Do you even have time to read them? Many magazines can now be accessed online for free the next month, others can be subscribed to via kindle.
  3. Make a pledge to not use paper plates and napkins. Use real plates even for lunches and real napkins even for packed lunches. Yes, your children will learn to bring home napkins. Just like they bring home their lunch box. bonus is they can use the napkin more than once before it needs to washed.
  4. Use dish towels and cloth rags. I personally prefer microfiber towels. I keep some of these in my kitchen and my bathrooms. I like to keep a bucket with some vinegar in it under the sink to soak the dirty dish towels and rags. Once a week I gather these up and do an overnight load of laundry.
  5. reuse envelopes as scarp paper. Write your grocery lists on these
  6. Use the full sheet of paper. This is an oldie that your grandmother will be well versed in.
  7. Get your books and magazines at the local library or used book store.
  8. Use a handkerchief, my husband has some nice white ones for dresser use and he likes to use bandannas for more casual days.  My grandmother gave me some vintage ones when she was cleaning out her stash one day, some are too pretty to use.
  9. Use paper from the recycling bin for notes and scrap paper. Only use the amount of paper that you need.
  10. Use a white board in for your message center or to write down your grocery shopping lists.
  11. Use rags for around the garage, to check oil and wipe up spills
  12. Buy food in bulk – this saves on packaging – You can store it in glass jars – Mason jars are wonderful for that purpose
  13. Switch to e –banking to receive your statements and use online payments to pay your bills. This will save you on stamps too.
  14. If you need to buy paper products by recycled paper products.
  15. Use cloth bags when shopping
  16. While everyone loves post it notes, I am now in love with electronic post it notes. They are all over my screen saver.
  17. Think before you print out – print on both sides of the paper, or do 4 pages on a side
  18. Increase your margins on what you print out. You will be able to fit more on a page
  19. Get creative with wrapping paper, use cloth, newspaper, bandannas.
  20. Use your phone to take notes when you are out and about. No need to ever look for a pen again.


Charise @ I Thought I Knew Mama said...

Excellent list! I'm going to share this post with others :-)

Dwija {House Unseen} said...

Thanks for this great list!

Another thing I do is to cut all the reams of handouts that my kids bring home from school into quarters and then staple them to make mini notepads. The kids love to use them for games, I use them for lists. They're stashed all around the house so if an idea pops into someone's head they can easily write it down or draw it :)

Lisa - the Granola Catholic said...

Great idea Dwija, my dh does that at work, taking paper scraps and stapling them together to make a pad. In the winter I use them as fire starters, or compost them in the compost pile.

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