Monday, July 18, 2011

#42 of 100... Use recycled paper products

This one's a no-brainer, right? Sources for paper, paper towels, serviettes, and toilet and facial tissue  shouldn't come from trees in a world swimming in paper waste. Products made from recycled paper are improving all the time. When we first started using recycled toilet paper, it reminded me of my curmudgeon uncle's joke from our summer of camping with him. Uncle Scotty said, "Campground toilet paper is like John Wayne. Tough and mean, and don't take the **** off of no one."  I would like to point out that since the early days of recycled paper products, toilet paper has gotten almost soft! But I still haven't found a recycled facial tissue that doesn't make my daughter's allergy sensitive nose all red and raw. So I confess that we still buy non-recycled soft tissues.

Of course, it never hurts to have a serious look at how we are using or abusing the world's paper supply. Do we really need paper towels if I have a rag bin in my broom closet? Could we use cloth napkins instead of paper serviettes? And how about recycling our own paper? One sided copies of things brought home from school and work can get chopped into four pieces -- the perfect size for grocery lists, notes to my kids, or telephone messages. Auto-reply envelopes from magazine subscriptions and charities work well for sending school field trip monies back to school -- just scratch off the old address and scrawl the envelope's true purpose on the back. Christmassy newspaper flyers are my family's wrapping paper of choice during the festive season, if we can't use gift bags from years gone by. My aunties are particularly excellent at paper recycling -- I love to get letters and notes from them because quite often the cards are made of bits and pieces of cards they've recycled or pictures they've taken. But the queen of paper reuse has to be my daughters' playschool teacher. Mary Lou had all the playschool parents saving the tissues wrapped around mandarin oranges, and used them to stuff a special art project later in the year. And she had more creative uses for old newspapers than I can catalogue here!

I'm sure you can leave comments about a dozen other ways to save trees. So, let's help the earth's forest lungs as much as we can...

P.S. Looking for more Simple Suggestions? Try here.

1 comment:

  1. A great aunt's collection of pretty handkerchiefs has me converted! Softer that soft kleenex too?


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