Conservation Corner - March 19

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Promoting Energy Awareness, Conservation and Sustainability

By The Staff

Some additional tips for REDUCING as the first step in Recycling

Paper – Committed “tree hugger” or not, most would agree that trees are an important part of our ecosystem. Trees soak up carbon dioxide, produce oxygen, and provide habitats for 50 percent of the world’s species. But, did you know that the paper industry is the third largest energy user in our nation, that the U.S. has less than 10 percent of its natural forests still intact, and that turning trees into pulp for paper produces toxic chemicals that, when released into our waterways, harm fish and other aquatic species? So, how can we reduce our use of paper and save some trees in the process?

Use both sides of the paper: double-sided printing; use the blank back sides of paper for scratch paper or to make scratch pads

Electronic Communication: email, send your thank you notes, greeting cards, invitations, etc. electronically. (Did you know that the University of Florida set an example this past year by sending their Holiday Greetings electronically?)

Think twice before you hit the print button or make “extra copies.”

Use reusable cups, plates, and napkins rather than “disposable” paper products

Call or email businesses that send catalogs and ask them to remove your name from their mailing lists. Shop on line instead.

Use recycled paper products. Recycled paper saves 70 percent more energy than creating new paper, uses percent less water, and reduces water pollution by 35 percent and air pollution by 75 percent.

And just one more tidbit. Did you know that white paper is not “cleaner” than brown paper? In fact, it’s “dirtier.” Making white paper requires chlorine, which further pollutes our waterways during paper production.

Source: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Living by Trish Riley