Friday, September 12, 2008

14 Ways to Conserve Paper

I once read that paper is precious because of the thoughts and sentiments that are written on it ... once written, the ideas are forever released and shared with the world. I personally believe that paper is precious because of the natural resources that were used to make it. Every piece of virgin paper represents the consumption of trees, water, electricity, etc.

Conserving paper not only saves our natural resources, it saves us money as well. Most paper products are rather expensive and ... let's face it ... paper is usually a "single use" product. So here are some ideas for conserving it:
  1. Use cloth napkins instead of paper varieties.
  2. Check junk mail packages for usable paper. The backs of 8-1/2 x 11 sheets can often be used as printing paper, scratch paper, telephone message pads or coloring sheets for your kids.
  3. Instead of using new envelopes, use envelopes that come in bills, credit card offers, etc. Cross out or white out the company's address or use a label to cover it up. Another idea, glue pieces of other "waste" paper over the address.
  4. Save receipts from stores, libraries and banks and use the backs as shopping lists.
  5. Instead of printing out online receipts, save them as a file on your computer.
  6. Pay your bills online rather than receive an invoice in the mail.
  7. Use the back as well as the front of paper ... set your printer to double sided printing instead of single sided.
  8. Use cloth cleaning rags instead of paper towels.
  9. Use reusable dishes instead of paper plates.
  10. Use as little toilet paper as possible.
  11. Decorate, paint or color on the back of used sheets of paper and use them as gift wrapping.
  12. Recycle any paper that can't be used further.
  13. Write or call advertisers to get your name off their mailing list.
  14. Buy recycled paper products whenever possible.

Perhaps if we follow these ideas, we can reduce paper production to the point where the only paper produced will hold lofty ideas ... shared with the world.

As always, I would love to hear from you. Let me know how you walk gently on the earth.