Paper Recycling for Green Living

Paper recycling is really quite easy. You'll be amazed at how quickly you can reduce your paper waste by a few simple changes to your everyday habits.

Paper was invented in 105 A.D. by Tsai Lun. Today, the average office worker in the U.S. uses about 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year. Tsai Lun could have hardly imagined his simple invention would be so popular - and potentially create so much waste!

The most important step in recycling paper is to make it easier to recycle than to throw it away. We all have a trash can by our desk, but usually have to walk to the recycle bin. Reverse that. Put the recycle bin by your desk, and force yourself to walk to throw it away. This one simple change will make the recycling habit an easy one to keep. Take this step both at home and in your office.

Keep a recycling bin next to where you typically read your newspaper. Decorate the bin, or make one that fits in with your furnishings. Your recycling does not need to be a hidden secret - don't hide the bin away, be proud of it!

Paper recycling drop offs are found in many locations. Shopping centers, schools, municipal buildings often have paper drop off bins. Make it part of your weekly routine to drop off your paper, if you plan it right you will not need to use any more gas and a minimal amount of time. Again, make it easy and the habit will follow.

What types of paper can be recycled?

These items work with almost all paper recycling programs:

-Writing paper


-File folders

-White paper with colored ink


-Phone Books

-Copier paper

-Envelopes without windows

-Glossy coated papers

-The paper that wraps your paper reams

-Green bar computer paper

-Self stick notes


What can't be recycled?

-Paper dishes



-Waxed cartons

-Items containing plastic (like plastic view envelopes)

-Brown paper bags

-Plastic page protectors


-Carbon paper

Many of these items can be reused and recycled in other ways, just not with your paper

Why is Recycling Paper important for Green Living?

Every ton of paper you recycle reduces the amount going to the landfill by 3.5 cubic yards. You reduce the unnecessary harvest of trees, save 4100 kwh of energy for every ton recycled, and you reduce the oil and pollutants resulting from paper production.

Americans have come a long way in our paper recycling efforts. With just a few simple habit changes, we can have a major impact improving our environment and promote green Living.

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