Americans use millions of tons of paper each year. In fact, each person in America uses about 50 pounds of paper every year including: toilet paper, paper towels, printer paper, newspaper and gift wrap. Our yearly amount of paper consumption causes the death of close to a million trees. If we continue to use paper at this rate, we will rapidly run out of resources.
If you are looking for ways to save paper, here are six unique ways that you may not have considered:
1. Take a Plate to Work
Do you work in an office that has a kitchen or lounge for its employees? Instead of using the paper, plastic or Styrofoam dinnerware that your employers provide, bring along your own reusable dish and cutlery. If you don’t want to purchase a new set of dishes or take your best plates to work, look for an eco-friendly camping dinnerware set.
2. Switch to Cloth Towels
If you grab a paper towel every time you need to clean up a small mess, it’s time to switch to cloth towels! A pack of dishtowels will cost you less than $10 and save you money in the long run. Instead of pulling off a sheet or two of paper towel, reach for your cloth towel the next time the kids spill a glass of juice.
Did you know that your local newspaper may be offered online? It may take some time to get used to not holding your favorite magazine or newspaper in your hands but once you’ve gotten over the lost feeling of turning physical pages, you’ll wonder why it took you so long to switch! Look for your favorite magazines online and as e-subscriptions on your Nook or Kindle.
4. Skip the Gift Wrap
No one is asking you to stop giving gifts to your friends and family, only to consider wrapping those gifts in new ways. Look around your house and see what kind of containers you have that you could turn into great gift boxes. Look on eBay and see what you can buy to use as a gift container that could be part of your gift. If you’re giving a gift to someone who loves to sew, wrap your gift in a yard of pretty fabric. The ideas are endless!
5. No Receipts
Stop and think for a moment: how many times a day are you handed a receipt? If you are given the option, let the clerk know that you don’t need the receipt. If you aren’t given the option of taking a receipt or leaving it behind, recycle your receipts when you return home.
While it’s not such a unique idea anymore, you’d be surprised at the number of people that still accept plastic bags at the checkout line. By bringing your own bags with you, you’ll cut down on the number of trees used to produce bags and the amount of waste that you add to the landfill. You can find attractive reusable shopping bags all over the Internet!
It’s time to start reducing our dependence on paper and paper products. Once you have tried these six tips, expand your horizons! Try couponing online, signing up for a library card and buying foods in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging you consume. The ideas are out there; you’ve just got to find them!
Randall Meyers is a freelance blogger for sidepon.com a site that makes it easy to find coupons for just about anything – for example, get 6pm coupon code 30% here. He likes to find ways to save the environment and save money!