We all probably know about the importance of recycling. However, when it actually comes down to recycling our waste paper, most of us could be doing more than we realize.
In New York City, for example (which happens to be a very green city considering all the people that live there), New Yorkers recycle over 7,000 tons (14 million pounds) of waste paper every week. While this sure sounds like a lot of recycling, studies show that an additional 300,000 tons of paper could be recycled over the course of a single year.
Taking huge strides to become the Green Apple, the city of New York has implemented a public works education campaign to let New Yorkers know what can and can't be recycled. Whether you live in New York or not, pay attention, cause the following paper recycling tips are pretty universal (Check with your local waste management center for specifics).
Paper items which can be recycled are white, colored and glossy papers (staples are okay), envelopes and mail, paper bags, newspapers, magazines, catalogs, wrapping paper, phonebooks, softcover books, cardboard egg cartons, catalogs, corrugated cardboard and smooth cardboard, which includes paper towel and toilet paper rolls, cereal boxes and other packaged food boxes. Paper items which you cannot recycle include hardcover books, soiled paper, waxed or plastic coated paper and soft paper products like tissues, napkins, toilet paper and paper towels.
Another great way to help save trees and the environment is to make use of preventive recycling. One of the best things you can do in regards to paper recycling is to help put an end to junk mail.
You can do this by always writing "do not share my information" on forms in which require you to provide your address and personal details, by directly contacting your bank and credit card companies - asking them to remove you from their mailing lists, by registering with the Direct Marketing Association's "Mail Preference Service" for $1 at www.the-dma.org and ask to be removed from mailing lists and by calling 1-888-5-OPTOUT to be removed from credit card offers.
And last but not least, be sure to use 100% recycled paper. If you thought it was too expensive, think again.