We all know that age-old saying: change starts at home. What I love the most about this proverb is that is can be applied to just about anything and remain just as true. We can change the amount of paper products we use – and that change can begin right at home. As per the Recyling Revolution website, did you know that in one year, one supermarket can go through over 6 million paper bags? With A 15-year-old tree, you’d get about 700 paper bags.Imagine how many trees you save just by doing your grocery shopping with a cute tote bag instead of the plastic or paper ones!
Here are five other totally doable, small-scale changes that can help you make a durable and positive impact on the world. Ditch paper products now!
Have Coffee In A Reusable Container
If you like getting your daily elixir (otherwise known as coffee) from a coffee shop instead of drinking it at home, then you are definitely familiar with the disposable Styrofoam or paper cups that drinks are usually served in. It’s astounding but Americans chuck 25,000,000,000 Styrofoam coffee cups every year.
You can take a big step towards sustainability by simply cutting out these paper products and getting yourself a cute tumbler or a mason jar and handing it to the barista when you make your order. In fact, some coffee chains have their own reusable tumblers for sale everywhere (and I mean, everywhere. I’ve seen cute coffee tumblers at tiny airport stores.) What’s more, your coffee will definitely taste a thousand times better and will stay warm for far longer.
Subscribing to Magazines? Switch to the Online Version
When I was a little kid, one of the things that I looked forward to the most was to have the ability to subscribe to magazines. The idea of having a weekly (or monthly) glossy-looking, beautiful tome delivered specifically for me to my mailbox just blew me away. I’m not going to lie, I’m still as excited whenever The New Yorker releases a new issue but having an online magazine subscription instead of a paper one was a no-brainer. Not only are you saving precious trees and resources but getting instant-access to amazing content plus you can literally read it anywhere. Believe me, going the online-magazine route is one of the best decisions I ever made.
Switch to Ebooks, plus candles that smell like old books
This is actually a two-fold win. One: you’ll be saving the planet unimaginable grief. Two: you’ll carry libraries with you wherever you go.
I absolutely love books. Ebooks are a perfect way of carrying all the books you need (that’s right, need) and making the most of them too. It is very easy to mark search for specific words or phrases on an eBook and being able to immediately download one is an absolute plus. What’s not to love?
As an avid reader myself I understand and sympathize with those that want to make the switch but miss the wonderful feel and smell of a printed copy. I’ve got good news for you: You can recreate that well-loved old-library reading atmosphere by using old-books smelling candles (these soy candles from Frostbeard Studio are amazing,) They are any avid reader’s best friend. I can tell you from experience that you will never regret losing that extra-weight in your bag and the planet will thank you for it. Ebooks are a keeper.
Choose Online Receipts
Next time you make a purchase, get an online receipt instead of a paper one. The benefits are endless. Online receipts cannot get crumpled, lost in the depths of your bag or pockets, or be illegible for a reason or other. They are also much easier to store and, best of all, they are Eco-friendly.
Consider Alternative Paper
Think about buying paper made from hemp, bamboo or organic cotton! These alternative paper products thankfully eco-friendly and tree-free. By investing in wood-free paper you’re not only investing on cute alternate designs but in your future and the health of the planet. Creativity abounds in this area! Many companies are known to develop paper from citrus fruits, cotton, banana, coffee beans and recycled fabrics.
Buy Recycled Toner and Ink
Cartridges contribute metal and plastic to landfills, but buying toner and ink that’s refilled can help alleviate this environmental burden. Each recycled ink cartridge saves about two ounces of oil and worldwide nearly 70% of empty printer cartridges are thrown away. Can you imagine the positive environmental impact switching to recycled toner and ink can make? We sure can.
Use a Whiteboard/Chalkboard instead of Paper Notes
It’s not easy to resist the allure of post-it notes. They come in all the colors of the rainbow (plus, pastels) and are the equivalent of office/work-space confetti. However, once you learn to look the other way and ditch the endless paper waste with a Whiteboard or Chalkboard you won’t spare them a second look. Not only are they reusable but incredibly easy to customize and decorate.
I hope this article helps you ditch paper products from your life today – it really does make a massive difference to our planet. Think about it – the average American uses seven trees a year in paper, wood, and other paper products. That’s roughly 2,000,000,000 trees per year!