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Welcome to Green Gal's blog, where you'll find stories, recipes, gardening updates, and green tips related to nature, adventure, placemaking, and food systems. This blog is written by a young woman entrepreneur who is also a beginning farmer-gardener and seasoned sustainability educator who loves to grow, cook, ferment, and eat local and ecologically happy food.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Paper

Recycling paper is the least someone can do to help the environment. Rather than fill the landfills with sheets of paper and deprive our world of trees, recycling gives those papers another chance. Most people have gotten used to recycling paper, and that’s a great thing. But let’s take it one step further—reusing paper. When you print on only one side of a paper, why not use the other side?

I have a drawer near my printer filled with paper that’s only been used on one side. Look at your printer manual to see how paper is fed so you can figure out how to put used paper into the feed. I use old paper for almost everything I print, unless it’s a formal paper or something that shouldn’t have writing on the other side.

Encourage your family to use it for things they print that they will soon recycle. Or tell your sister who loves to draw to begin drawing on the backsides of papers.

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Wrapping paper is one of the biggest wastes of paper. Because of the shiny coating they put on it, it becomes non-recyclable. Each Christmas, Hanukah, birthday and time when one uses wrapping paper, long sheets of non-recyclable paper get thrown into the landfills.

Try to buy recycled/recyclable paper to wrap gifts in or use the classic brown paper packages (tied up with string!). Or use the Sunday funnies for an entertaining gift wrap.

If you want to really get into it, save used wrapping paper from Christmas (from those relatives who haven’t caught onto the green movement) to wrap gifts for next time, as well as ribbons and bags. I have an entire drawer full of used wrapping paper and bows.

My personal favorite to wrap gifts with is used cloth. I cut up my dad’s old shirts and ripped pillow cases. It makes for an interesting choice that can be used again and again. Sew or use safety pins to connect the ends.

What are you doing to save paper?

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We say we love flowers, yet we pluck them. We say we love trees, yet we cut them down. And people still wonder why some are afraid when told they are loved.
-- Anonymous

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