Ten Ways to Save a Tree
“Every ton of recycled paper
saves seventeen 40 foot Douglas Fir Trees.”
- Opt-out. Remove your name from junk mail lists, credit card offers and unwanted catalogs. Take a few minutes
to stop the flow. See the article, Avoid the Avalanche of Unwanted Mail.
- Rethink magazine subscriptions.
Keep only those that you love. If days go by after a new issue arrives and you haven’t cracked
the cover, it’s an indication that you aren‘t that interested. If you decide to keep a subscription, share those magazines
- Think before you print. Before you print, decide if you will refer to the article again. If you just want to remember a site,
add it to your list of favorites. If you do want a copy, press print preview to determine if you need to print all of the pages. That
eliminate the excess page of advertisements that often accompany an article.
- Rediscover the library. Limit the amount of books
that you purchase. Borrow the books that you will only read once. The library is an excellent source for movies and music and magazines
that you don’t have a subscription to.
- Write on the back of papers before recycling them. If kids are doing spelling tests or
figuring math problems have them dig through the recycling bin to find a piece of paper that has nothing written on the back. I use
any extra copies that I have printed from the
computer as scratch paper. I outline plans or take notes. This way each paper is fully used.
- Repurpose the recycling. Pull extra return
envelopes out of the recycling for kids to play with. They can play mailman with the envelopes or use the plastic credit cards to play
- Recycle books. Donate them, give them to a friend or sell them at a used book store Just make an effort to get the books
into the hands of someone who will enjoy them and keep them out of the dumpster. Buy books from the used bookstore and feel good about
in circulation while saving money!
- Recycle newspapers. I know, I thought everyone did. But listen to these stats: The EPA estimates that
75% of what Americans throw into the trash could actually be recycled. Currently only 25% is. If every Sunday everyone recycled their
newspapers, 500,000 trees
- When in doubt, check it out. There are a number of websites that give very detailed information about what you can and can’t
recycle. Check your city or county for guidelines.
Here are a few of my answered questions:
Shredded paper? Yes, if it’s sealed in a bag.
Greeting cards? Yes, if you remove any foil, metallic or glitter covers. An alternative
would be to look for an organization that will reuse the cards. St. Jude’s Children’s Home used to collect them but they’ve
been inundated and no longer accept them. But I found a local church, First Baptist Church in downtown Minneapolis, which reuses them
for craft projects.
Which cardboard boxes? If its stored in the cupboard, its recyclable. If it goes in the fridge, freezer or microwave,
- Keep the cycle going. If you are already recycling, good for you! Now start purchasing recycled products. Look for a
high recycled content
in items like printer paper and paper towels.
There are more products available all of the time. My sister-in-law bought Adirondack
chairs made from recycled milk cartons.
KAREN HENKE is a professional organizer and the owner of Come2Order. With a collection of 17 years work experience in design, space planning and organization, she now helps others come to order.