Recycling is one of the environmental success stories of the last couple of decades.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, recycling and composting kept 82 million tons of material out of landfills and incinerators in 2006. That’s up from just 34 million tons in 1990.
In 2006, there were more than 8,000 curbside collection programs around the United States, which served about half of the US population. These curbside programs, along with drop-off and buy-back centers, kept about 32 percent of the nation’s solid waste in 2005 out of a landfill.
But there’s more to recycling! Besides just recycling your own waste, you should take it a step further and start buying things that are made from recycled materials to help close the loop.
Here’s one small example of buying a recycled product instead of something made from new materials.
At my workplace, Clean Air Gardening we’re using 100 percent post consumer recycled office paper. It is actually more expensive than regular paper, but we don’t mind the extra expense, because we think it’s important.
â€œPost consumerâ€ means something that was used by consumers or businesses and would otherwise be discarded as waste. It isnâ€™t just excess or damaged materials during the manufacturing process that have been reused.
You can also buy paper that has a lower percentage of recycled content like 20 or 30 percent, if you are looking for a less expensive option.
So, are you using recycled paper at your home or office?
If not, you should be! It’s small steps like this that really start to
add up and make a difference.
Next time you buy paper, ask for recycled!