Your local coffee shop is now recycling paper cups. Nice!
But really, we should all just be using—and recycling—less paper.
It's easy to slip into the recycling-bin habit. At my house, the kids' art piles up and while I can't justify stifling their creativity, I cringe every time I move one of those mountains to the recycling bin!
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There are other easy ways curb paper recycling:
- Ask sales staff not to print receipts — you'll also avoid BPA.
- Bank and pay bills online — even cheques can be avoided with money transfers.
- Opt out of the phone book — it's like a tree branch landing in your recycling bin!
- Rid yourself of ad mail — put a No Junk-Mail Please note on your mailbox
- Get news online — it's the same information as in print!
- Resurrect the hanky — paper-free nose blowing is possible!
- Purchase with less packaging. — do those socks really need to be wrapped around cardboard?
- Carry a commuter mug — no paper cup, nothing to recycle.
Most municipalities in Canada ship their recycling to far-off processing plants. Many paper products, for example, end up overseas. Whatever its destination, there's another whole set of environmental costs associated with turning old paper into new products.
The more we use, the more we tax the environment — even when we recycle.
Most of us waste some paper. But before you throw it in the recycling bin, be sure you've used it at least twice. Envelopes make great notepaper. Egg cartons are perfect for starting seeds. Magazines are fun for kid crafts.
And whenever possible, skip the paper and recycle less!
Share your tips to minimize paper waste for a chance to win a signed David Suzuki Foundation T-shirt. Just in time for the holidays...
Tovah Paglaro, The Queen of Green