Paper: we use it all the time without thinking about it. From toilet paper to printed documents.
The excessive use of paper is so common, and if we are serious about protecting our environment, we need to start carefully examining this issue and how we can make it better.
In one year, a person uses almost 230 pounds of paper; each family’s paper use represents the equivalent of approximately six tress cut down! Every Christmas, 31 square miles of wrapping paper is thrown away!
Up till now, it seems it’s much easier for us to keep our old, and often wasteful, habits than it is to adopt a new attitude towards our paper use. But in reality, it takes very little effort to make some very significant changes on this front. That’s why I put together some hints and advice to help. It requires very little time to do this. But I’m sure that since it ensures for a better future for us and our planet, we are not going to regret taking action!
1) Don’t waste toilet paper. Watch what you use both at home and in public places. Take only what you really need. 3 squares of paper can work just fine for the most part!
2) Reuse used papers. This is one of the easiest things you can do. Use the other side of used paper for scratch paper or taking notes. You can even cut it in small pieces and do little post-its.
3) Avoid printing things that are not useful. Is it really necessary to print that 100-page book if you can read it on the computer? In offices, it’s possible to keep most of the documents digitalized and safe. If you must print, use both sides of the page. Printed documents take up a lot of space, and anyway, it’s easier to find the information you’re looking for on the document when the file is on the computer.
4) Don’t get by post what you can check online. For those who have internet access, go paperless and receive bills by email. The yellow pages? Why not search online instead? On Google, you can find almost every address, phone number, or any other information you might need. Advertising? Just do it on the internet. You’ll save money, and anybody in the world can see the ad on the web.
5) Donate your newspapers and magazines to places that are in need. You can give old magazines to beauty salons or doctor’s offices’. The newspapers can be given away to any neighbor that has a pet or even to recycling centers.
6) Recycle. This is a fundamental action, even though there are some materials that are not recyclable. Just in case, if your neighborhood doesn’t already have a procedure for sorting garbage from recyclables, contact the nearest recycling center. They’re there to help you.
Recycled paper items: cardboard boxes, newspapers, office documents of all kinds, paper bags, etc.
It’s important to say that they can be drawn on, written on, or even painted on, and they can still be recycled.
Not recyclable products: toilet paper, photographic paper, or metalized, carbon and tracing papers.
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