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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Reducing Household Paper Consumption

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 40 percent of America's garbage is paper.  Reducing household paper consumption and recycling can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, conserve natural resources, and save landfill space.

Here are some easy ways to use less paper:

1.    Junk Mail. There is a lot of unwanted paper that enters our home. U.S. junk mail accounts for one-third of all the mail delivered in the world! Each year U.S. junk mail uses about 100 million trees, the equivalent of clear-cutting the entire Rocky Mountain National Park every four months. Cutting this paper consumption out is easy and will save you from having to recycle the unwanted paper. You can visit DoNotMail.org to use their free junk mail opt-out form. You can also cancel all catalogs that you do not want delivered by calling them directly.

2.    Phone Books. If Internet is easily accessible, you may not need to use the thick phone books that arrive on your doorstep unsolicited. To prevent this waste, you can visit the National Yellow Pages and Consumer Choice. It just takes a few moments to enter your zip code, register, and opt-out.

3.    Use Electronic Bills and Pay Bills Online. I have been using online banking for years and I can honestly say I love it!  It’s a nice and easy way to keep track of all your payment transactions. I have all my bill payment recipients on one page and I can easily view who I have paid, how much and when. Check with your bank provider to find out what online payment options are available. Not only is this service free with most companies, but you may also save on stamps and check printing. Plus, you’ll have way less paper clutter to keep organized!

4.    Use Less Paper Towels and Napkins. You will be amazed at how much less paper you throw away when you use cloth napkins and cloth dishtowels. This little gem saves me tons of money too!

5.    Use the Whole Sheet of Paper. Last but not least, don't forget to use both sides of the paper when writing or printing. Save the sheets of paper you used to print on one side for lists you might want to make. Also, teach your children to draw on both sides of the paper. I keep a box of paper scraps for my children to use for art whenever they feel like crafting.

What are some of your paper saving tips?

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On Wednesday, September 14, 2011, The Solar Company in Castro Valley, CA wrote

Great tips! Something else I always try to do: opt to NOT receive a printed receipt at the gas station or Starbucks. Unless I'm saving the Starbucks receipt to go back after 2:00 pm to get a discounted drink, it'll just end up in my recycling bin anyways.

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