NC GreenPower

Posted by: on August 3, 2012

I read a blog a couple of years ago from Simple Mom on How to Create a Paperless Kitchen. I really thought that it was helpful, but I just didn’t see how I could make it work! I have plenty of towels, but with a cat, sometimes I just don’t want to mix post-litter-box-cleaning hand drying and food drying on the same towel – you know what I mean?

Paper towels make up a huge portion of the paper market, second only to toilet paper. According to Ecology.com, world consumption of paper has grown 400 percent in the last 40 years. Now nearly 4 billion trees or 35 percent of the total trees cut around the world are used in paper industries on every continent.

But I have started to take small steps. I now reserve the thinner tea towels just for drying fruits and vegetables, whereas before I would go through 5 or 6 paper towels per meal just drying off zucchini. I also buy recycled paper towels or brands that offer smaller sizes to be torn off, reducing our usage because we only use half a paper towel at a time. For napkins, I only buy 100% Post-consumer waste (PCW). Recycled toilet tissue is a hard change, so I’ll leave that one to individual preference.

Want to learn more about how to be a smarter paper shopper? Download Greenpeace’s Recycled Tissue and Toilet Paper Guide if you are concerned about where your paper comes from and want to make a more informed decision of what to buy.

The guide from the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) is A Shopper’s Guide to Home Tissue Products and shows facts about our paper use with their “who to avoid” list of paper manufacturers.

For printed paper, be sure you are looking for paper suppliers that offer at least 10% if not 50% or higher PCW and are FSC Certified.

I recently purchased a box of tissues from Lowe’s Foods (where I get 5 cents for each reusable bag I bring) and noticed they have implemented environmental standards to some of their paper products.  I tracked down the FSC Certificate and found that it was valid and registered to an organization called Clearwater Paper Corporation, with a papermaking location right here in North Carolina. Seems like a good choice to me!

It’s no coincidence our Friday Freebie prize for this upcoming week is a 4-pack of SKOY Cloths. Jen at Pin-n-Tell blogged about her conversion from paper towels. Won’t you take the pledge, too? You can enter on Facebook by stating your pledge on our wall, or answering the poll at the top. If you are a Twitter follower, simply state “I pledge to reduce my use of paper products!”

 

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