Peak & Prairie
June / July 1999
by Mary Romano,
Lifestyles Education Committee
Watch the Content of Recycled Paper
Did you know that there are two categories of waste paper used in recycling? Pre-consumer waste paper includes trimmings and rejected lots from the paper mill itself, and waste from printers and bindery trimmings. Paper manufacturers have always recycled waste paper generated in mills, it’s just that now they can call it “recycled.” Post-consumer waste is paper that has passed through its end use as a consumer item (paper from offices, stores and homes) and may include boxes, newspapers, magazines or books. So to create demand for paper recycling, buy recycled paper with “post-consumer content.” The recycling content will likely be given as say “60/30” which means 60 percent total recycled content with 30 percent post-consumer content. A few high quality 100 percent post consumer content papers are available (“Quest” by Simpson), but at a premium price. Plenty of affordable papers are available with at least 20-30 percent post-consumer content.
Think Before You Buy: A Guide to Precycling
Source Reduction is a formal way to say that the best way to reduce waste is not to generate it in the first place. Every time you shop at the supermarket, eat supper, go to a restaurant or buy a newspaper, you impact the solid waste problem. You can make a difference in your daily life by practicing environmentally sound habits and educating others to do so as well.
When we use strategies that encourage waste-reduction before we buy, we are precycling. The more you precycle the less trash you generate.
There are three basic steps to precycling:
1) Decide what you really need. Is it compatible with your values?
2) Consider alternatives to buying new such as borrowing or renting.
3) Select a functional, durable, useful, repairable product for the need.
For additional information:
Co-Op America’s National Green Pages.
The Master Recycler Training Manual in “Discussion Course on Voluntary Simplicity” Northwest Earth Institute.
The Green Consumer by John Elkington, Julia Hailes and Joel Makower.
The Green Lifestyle Handbook, Ed. Jeremy Rifkin.The RMC Sierra Club, Lifestyle/Education Committee Eco-Living Guide.
|To find out which recycling vendors take what in your area contact Colorado Recycles at 303-231-9972, or try their web site at http://www.colorado-recycles.org/. For odd items get the guide provided by EcoCycle, phone 303-444-6634; http://www.ecocycle.org/.|
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