From writing grocery lists to mailing out letters, you probably use a lot more paper than you realize. If you want to live a greener lifestyle both at home and in the office, follow these tips to cut back on your paper usage:
Say “no” to junk mail.
The average adult receives around 41 pounds of junk mail per year, and 44% of this mail ends up unopened in the landfill. Based on these statistics, imagine how much paper is wasted every year on junk mail alone! If you want to reduce paper consumption, do your part to stop junk mail from ending up in your mailbox. One way to do this is by registering for DMAchoice, a service that allows you to unsubscribe from junk mail senders to cut down on the useless letters, catalogs and promotions that you receive in the mail. After you sign up, talk to your boss at work about signing up as well. Businesses tend to receive a lot of catalogs and magazines that they don’t need, so using a service such as DMAchoice would be a smart move for the office.
Consider reusable products.
How many napkins and paper towels does your family go through during the week? If you find yourself constantly restocking these items in your home, consider switching to the reusable kind to cut back on paper usage. Washing reusable cloths uses less energy than it takes to create paper napkins and towels. Another bonus? Switching to reusable cloths will cost you less, too!
Pay bills online.
A lot of the mail that we receive and send out has to do with bills. To cut back on your paper usage, ask each of the companies that you receive bills from in the mail to switch to e-bills only. Not only will this help reduce the amount of paper that you use, but it will also make paying bills more convenient for you.
Always do the dishes.
It’s tempting to avoid doing the dishes by serving your family’s dinner on paper plates after a long day of work, but don’t give in! Always stick to regular dishes so you don’t waste paper at home. Get the whole family involved with the after dinner cleanup so it’s not as big of a chore. Remember, kids are learning green habits from you, so if you teach them to use paper plates, these bad habits could carry on into their adult life.
Buy recycled paper.
No matter what you do, there will still be a need for you to use paper at some point, so be responsible and choose the right kind of paper. Recycled paper uses less energy and water than regular paper and also helps reduce the amount of waste that’s sent to landfills. Manufacturers make different types of recycled paper in varying levels of whites and thickness. Find the type that’s closest to the paper that you normally buy, and you’ll never be able to tell the difference—but the Earth sure will!
With these simple tips, you can significantly reduce the amount of paper that you and those around you consume!