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First Green Tip for January, 2015

BUY RECYCLED PAPER PRODUCTS, such as greeting cards, paper plates, paper towels, computer paper, envelopes, gift wrapping, etc. It’s good that we all recycle our waste paper, but if there’s no market for the recycled product the system won’t work. Besides, using recycled paper products vastly reduces the amount of trees that are destroyed, and trees are crucial for absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere. Forests around the world are being decimated at a prodigious rate.
“If every household in the U.S. replaced just one package of 40 paper plates made from virgin fiber with 100% recycled ones, we could save 487,700 trees, 1.2 million cubic feet of landfill space, and 176 million gallons of water; plus we could avoid 29,900 pounds of pollution,” according to Seventh Generation.
According to Natural Resources Defense Council’s web site (http://www.nrdc.org/land/forests/gtissue.asp) devoted to paper products:
“If every household in the United States replaced just one box of virgin fiber facial tissues (175 sheets) with 100% recycled ones, we could save 163,000 trees.
If every household in the U.S. replaced just one roll of virgin fiber toilet paper (00 sheets) with 100% recycled ones, we could save 423,900 trees.
If every household in the U.S. replaced just one roll of virgin fiber paper towels (70 sheets) with 100% recycled, we could save 544,000 trees.”
 
NRDC suggests we AVOID Kleenex, Puffs, Charmin, Cottonelle, Bounty, and Viva. Instead, look for Fiesta, Green Forest, and Seventh Generation. You can find some of these brands at The Garden Patch on Edison Road and at Whole Foods on Grape Road. Does anyone know where else to find recycled paper products locally?
Ten Thousand Villages sells paper vases and picture frames, among other recycled paper items, and Etsy.com is a great place to shop online for craft items made from recycled paper.
If you want to take action besides what you choose to buy, tell tissue manufacturers to stop using virgin wood for throwaway products. Ask stores like Martin’s to carry recycled paper products. Encourage friends and family to buy recycled products.
Laura Fuderer
Conservation Chair
South Bend-Elkhart Audubon Society