It didn't take me long into my recycling journey to master the art of putting my plastics in their proper bins. The same holds true for glass. Recycling was quickly becoming second nature to me, but the one area that I completely lacked in was recycling paper. When I would finish with a magazine or catalog I would just toss it in the trash. The same goes for all the sheets of paper that my kids would scribble on. I didn't even think twice about it, I would just throw it in the regular kitchen trash. Then one day my Husband said, "You know, all of that is recyclable too." I just stared blankly at him. You would think this bit of information would have already crossed my mind, but it never did. It was like this fog suddenly lifted and my mind said, "Oh yeah...Duh!" And thus began my recycling of paper.
Before jumping into the paper recycling world I got on my trusty computer and checked into the information available on recycling paper. What I found is just incredible!
The first thing you notice when researching the subject of paper is just how wasteful we are as a society. It really isn't something you think a lot about unless you start looking it up. For instance, did you know that around 40% of the garbage in our landfills is from paper? It just sits there, rotting. Also, the average American uses somewhere around 680-700 pounds of paper a year! Wow! What do we do with it all? I mean seriously, look around you and see just where all the paper products are and just what you use them for. As I do this I am amazed at how many things I could stop doing - like I could stop buying more and more notebooks and just use the back sides of the scribbled on paper from my kids for jotting down notes and shopping lists. This would cut down not only paper waste but monetary expense as well.
As I kept researching I came upon some other interesting fact such as, if every American recycled every phone book every year we could save 650,000 TONS of paper! (Paper Facts) Additionally, just by recycling one ton of paper (that is 2000 pounds) we could save about 17 trees! (Recycling Facts)
When you look at those numbers you can't help but want to get in on recycling paper too. It matters - all of it matters. So thus began my desire to make paper recycling just as second nature as plastics and glass.
So, you may be wondering just what types of paper you can recycle.
There are so many:
* construction paper
* computer paper
* the paper you put in the office copy machine
* and even the junk mail you get (like those pesky grocery fliers).
This really is just the tip of the iceberg and yet so many of us throw these items in the garbage every day without giving it any additional thought. Well, not me - not any more. I am now committed and when I get done with any form of paper I have trained myself to march it out to the garage and stick it in the recycle bin. It really is just that easy.