Paper recycling is one of America’s best environmental success stories. The Paper Industry Association Council estimates that over 63 percent of paper generated in 2010 was recovered for recycling. This figure represents nearly a 90 percent improvement since 1990. With more paper recycled, less ends up in landfills and fewer trees are harvested for new paper products.
Ditch Your Bills
Most utilities, banks and credit card companies offer paperless statements. Some companies even offer a cash incentive to get you to make the change. It offers an advantage to you and the business. It can also reduce the amount of trash your household generates.
With any newspaper or magazine subscriptions, you have several options. With newspapers, you can cut back on deliveries and receive just the ones you read, such as weekday only or weekend only options. You can move either subscription to a digital platform when renewal times rolls around. As a final option, you can drop the subscription and patronize your local library instead.
Paper Bag Reduction
Paper bags cost the environment nearly four times as much energy usage as plastic bags. Reducing the number you use can have a significant impact on your carbon footprint. Ways to cut back include:
- Use cloth bags at the grocery store
- Use a bin for collecting recyclables instead of a paper bag
- Recycle any bags you get
- Use old bags for packaging or as wrapping paper
If you are a geocacher, you can go paperless by using a geocaching app such as c:geo – opensource on your smartphone. You will have all the info you need in the field, along with maps and hints. Some programs include maps to help you plan your entire route.
Instead of taking notes at school or meetings, you can use a note-taking app. Some apps include a tagging feature to help you locate notes quickly. You can take notes by typing or using a stylus. Some apps include voice-to-text to simplify the process even more. Going digital allows you to reduce the amount of paper you use. It also makes getting rid of past notes easier without contributing to landfill waste. Simple changes can make a big difference.