Paper Recycling for Families

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Guilt definitely motivates me. As a writing mom, I get tons of paper press releases, media kits, magazines, etc. This is one area where I strive to use the three R's: Reduce, Recycle and Reuse.

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Reduce: When I think about the 100 million trees that are used each year to make junk mail I cringe. That's why I logged on to ProQuo. ProQuo is a free easy-to-use Web site that allow consumers to remove themselves from marketing lists. Much like the National Do Not Call Registry for telemarketing, ProQuo works to help reduce junk mail. Register at ProQuo and choose which lists you want to remain on and which one you do not. I noticed a difference in about three weeks.

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Recycle: I keep a Folding Recycling Bagin my hall ($6). When I come in with the mail, I automatically sort and toss things into this tote. I also buy recycled paper from Staples. It's a tad more expensive, but I consider it an investment. $49.99 per case of 5,000 sheets. When ordering invites and cards, I also search out green stationery. A favorite company--Paper Shouts--uses 100% recycled, high-quality, uncoated paper. Making me feel much better about those sweet birthday invite (see left for a sample boys b-day) I've ordered for our July soiree!

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Reuse: This is the easy one. First, I ask myself: "Do you really need to print this?" Turns out most times I don't. Next, I try to print on both sides of the page. And finally, leftovers are turned into art paper for my almost three year old. Check out Family Fun Magazine for fresh crafting ideas.

And there is good news on this front: According to The American Forest & paper Association in 2007 more than 56% of the paper consumed in the US was recycled. But we can do better...

I'd love to hear how you tackle the paper war in your house.
Email your comments and other green tips.

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