22 July 2008

simple ways to reduce paper waste: part 2

Part 2 of 2
Read part 1 here

6. Drink from a reusable coffee cup

Save paper, save the water used to make the paper, and spare the dump another piece of rubbish. Pick your vessel!

"We are happy to serve you" ceramic mug

Sumo Emotions Cup [Uncommon Goods]

Oxo Good Grips Liquiseal Travel Mug

Photo Travel Mug - Silver 14oz

Customizable Photo Travel Mug - Silver 14oz [Kodak Gallery]

7. Use recycled paper products
Choose napkins, paper towels, toilet paper, and tissues made from paper, not from trees. Go with these brands that are both high quality and environmentally friendly:

AVOID: Bounty, Scott, Viva, Kleenex, Puffs, Charmin, Cottonelle (they're all made from trees!)

Better yet, opt for cloth napkins at meals, dish towels to clean up spills, and handkerchiefs to wipe your nose. Keep rags handy to wipe up really nasty spills.

8. Make your own greeting cards and wrapping paper
  • Turn old cards into new cards here
  • Repurpose old magazines before you toss them in the recycling bin. I like to cut out images from magazines and glue them to a piece of card stock or on an old or ugly card I have lying around
  • Use a colorful page of the newspaper to wrap gifts
  • Wrap gifts in a nice piece of fabric like a scarf, furoshiki style
  • Reuse tissue paper from clothing shops or gifts you've received
  • Take care when you open gifts and reuse the paper later on
If you don't have time to make your own, buy recycled. Here are some options:
Not sure if the card you want is recycled? Flip it over and take a look!

9. Use both sides
  • Making copies? Set the copy machine to print double sided. This can be done whether the original is 2-sided or not.
  • Finished with that printout? Flip it over and use it for note taking or doodling
10. Narrow the margins

The default setting for Microsoft Word margins is 1.25". You can make them narrower by selecting "Page Setup" (usually found in the "File" menu) and changing them to .75". Just think of all the paper you'll save when you're printing your novel or latest screenplay.

Join the Change the Margins campaign.

simple ways to reduce paper waste: part 1

Part 1 of 2

Junk mail, catalogs, bills, receipts, packaging, magazines, office paper, newspapers, wrapping paper, greeting cards, paper plates and cups, napkins, paper towel, toilet paper. The amount of paper in our lives is astounding. But there are so many easy ways to cut back on paper waste. You'll not only saves trees, you'll save water, money, and aggravation (especially when it comes to junk mail!).

1. Reduce junk mail and catalogs

  • Green Dimes: Their basic service is free, but you've got to opt out of each sender yourself. A $20 one-time fee gets you auto-opt out (including catalogs) and they'll plant 5 trees, too. $36 gets you all the stuff $20 gets you plus some extra goodies like CFLs.
  • 41 pounds: That's how much junk mail a person receives in a year. And it costs $41 for 5 years, with 1/3 of that going to the nonprofit of your choice. Like Green Dimes, they also let you opt out of catalogs
  • DMA (Direct Marketer's Association): It just takes $1 (sent by snail mail) to get off of mailing lists you don't want to be on. This is the service I used a few years ago and the only unwanted mail I get is from various charities I've given to since signing up.
  • Catalog Choice: It's free to join and you can opt out or opt in to as many catalog mailing lists as you want (as long as they're in their database, of course). You can check the status of your request (whether it's been accepted or not) whenever you sign in.
2. Cancel the paper and read the news online

3. Get your bills delivered via email
Check your bills and you'll probably see the option to have them sent by email, either as a checkbox directly on the bill (that you'll send via snail mail for the last time, see below) or by logging into your account online.

4. Pay bills online
Stop writing checks, save a stamp, an envelope, and the paper it takes to make those checks. It's so easy to set up, all you need is the payees address and your account info. But it varies from bank-to-bank so I won't go into the process here.

5. Plan your online purchases
Reduce cardboard and packing material waste. When buying stuff online from one vendor, make sure you purchase in bulk and choose the option to send the stuff in one shipment.

the joy of almonds

They're very low in cholesterol, a good source of protein and fiber, and tasty to boot. Slivered, sliced, toasted, salted, delicious and good for you. But do you know about the other wonderful ways to enjoy almonds?

almond milk
A good substitute for cow's milk or soy milk, almond milk is sweet, creamy, and lower in calories than its counterparts. It's a good source of vitamin E and a handful of beneficial minerals. It also has a smooth texture, as compared to soy or rice milk.
You can buy it pre-made (chocolate, vanilla, or plain), or make your own (I just love the use of "nut bag" in this recipe).

almond butter
More nutritious than peanut butter with less fat, too. I like it unsweetened, it's just naturally yummy. Again, you can buy it already made, make your own, or get one from one of those fancy grind-it-yourself nut butter machines (there's one at our Fairway in Red Hook, Bklyn).