5 Tips for Reducing Paper Waste
Fact: A little more than 40% of industrial logging (cutting down precious trees) goes into producing paper products.
1. Empty your mailbox (and life) of unwanted mail: There are many options for ridding yourself once and for all of unsolicited, wasteful mail, flyers, ads, and anything else printed on paper. In parts of Europe and Australia, you can get a sticker that let's the postal/mail service know that you don't accept mail from mass services. Here in the US, there are services such as PaperKarma. PaperKarma is an app that is meant to be simple and easy to use and ensures that rid yourself of any unwanted mail. Once you have purchased the app (yes there is an associated cost), you take a picture of the letter you don't want, and they do the rest.
2. Give re-usable napkins, and paper towels a try:
There is no denying that the simplicity of paper napkins and towels is sometimes hard to say no to- especially in situations with large groups. The reality, however, is that making the switch to cloth is one of the most impactful ways you can cut down on paper waste. Use old clothes, curtains, and cloth to make napkins and towels. You will probably also find that you think more about what you eat when you know you can't clean up the mess with paper goods!
3. Reuse Cardboard boxes:
Save your boxes! Don't just toss cardboard boxes in recycling. There are so many things you can do with these boxes.
*Send a package with a used box
*Store things such as holiday ornaments in them
*Send the box back to the company if they have a recycling program
*Use the box to donate to charity using www.givebackbox.com
4. Always use re-usable shopping bags.
It's easy to forget your reusable bags at home! Prep for the upcoming week by stocking your vehicle or work bag with reusable shopping bags, such as these from Baggu
The prints are beautiful, and when they aren't being used they role up from easy storage.
5. Use less paper in your office work.
This does not just mean printing less. Here are few ways you can start using less paper today:
*Buy a thinner paper (just look at the label)
*Always print on both sides
*If possible, print using scratch paper
*Print 2,4,6, or 8 sheets per slide when printing a power point.
A few small changes go a long way. If implementing all 5 of these tips right away seems daunting, don't sweat it! Start small and where you can, and then work your way into bigger lifestyle changes as you go!
About The writer:
Kaitlin (Kait) Wheeler is a Masters level Clinical Social Worker with undergraduate degrees in Behavioral Psychology and Sustainable Health Science. Kait is certified mindfulness and trauma sensitive yoga educator and is passionate about bringing the empowering experience of yoga and mindfulness practice to our nations most at-risk individuals. Kait also uses the platform of her podcast- Chasing Bravery to share the narratives of women who are doing amazing things for others, and for our planet.
This summer Kait is based out of the beautiful Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota, where she is working with Indigenous youth and families to provide healthy coping and lifestyle skills (including yoga!) for managing chronic stressors. She will also be working in the organization's massive greenhouse, helping to bring sustainable nutrition options to the community where the organization is based.
Kait grew up in a home with parents who were passionate about living a sustainable, earth-conscious lifestyle, and she is thrilled to bring both her educational background and lived experiences to the position of the Sustainable Saturday Wolven Threads blogger! Follow Kait on Instagram @chasingbravery06, and visit her website- www.chasingbravery.com for more information on the podcast, her work, and personal blog.