Paper goods come from trees. Many US companies (Kimberly-Clark is one), still use virgin forests to manufacture their paper goods: tissues, kitchen paper towels, napkins, toilet paper.
Unless you see a logo on the packaging that reads 100% post consumer recycled,Â you can be sure some (or all) of those paper goods are directly linked to deforestation. With a good dose of chlorine, too, among other chemicals.
There are alternatives. Help stop deforestation by following these simple tips:
Reduce Your Consumption of Paper Products:
- Buy (organic) cotton handkerchiefs, reusable cloths and sponges for the kitchen, rags to mop the floor, and toilet paper with a high percentage of post consumer content.
Buy From Sustainable Manufacturers:
- Look for this trustworthy logo, created in 1993 by the Forest Stewardship Council, which guarantees that sustainable practices were followed and that no forests were destroyed to manufacture the product, nor was illegal logging involved. Make sure to read packaging conscientiously: statements such as â€œ100% recyclableâ€ are designed to be misleading. Of course paper would be 100% recyclable, the question is how was it manufactured.
Think Twice before Printing
- As for printing practices in and around the office, we all know the drill: print only if you really have to, print on both sides of paper, and use post consumer recycled paper, available at stores like Office Depot, among others.
Enroll in Paperless Billing
- Credit Card statements, Utility bills, Phone bills, Cable bills, Cell Phone bills, Mortgage Statements...Â Statistics show that nearly 60 billion paper bills are mailed in the United States every year. If you are still receiving these in the mail, you are contributing to the massive consumption of paper that is a leading factor in deforestation. Switch to paperless billing now and put a stop to this unnecessary waste. Many companies will offer you a monetary incentive for this such as reduced fees, so itâ€™s a win-win.
Each and everyone of us has a responsibility to be a eco-conscious consumer.Â As long as we continue to consume and waste paper, deforestation will continue to be a practice employed to feed our enormous demand. Take a stand now -Â start doing what you can to reduce your own consumption, participate in recycling programs, and only buy from manufacturers that guarantee that sustainable practices were followed.