Remember, "100% Recycled" is Just a Start


Photo: Michael Graham Richard
Vote With Your Wallet
Mélanie, my fiancé, is working on her master's thesis. She tries to keep printing to a minimum, but many professors still require hard copies. When she ran out of paper, I was the one who went to buy more. I ended up buying the second cheapest kind of paper (made by Cascades, see pics above and below), and it reminded me that "100% recycled" should be just a starting point.
Photo: Michael Graham Richard

As you can see above, this paper is not only made from 100% from recycled fiber, but it also wasn't bleached with chlorine, the mill was powered by renewable energy (biogas in this case), avoiding air-polluting emissions, the wrapper is 100% recyclable, etc. Of course, the foundation of all this is that these claims should be verified and the environmental certification processes should be solid and thorough.

But once we have that, what matters is for you as a customer of these paper companies to make the greenest choice possible. It's still better not to print in the first place, but if you have to, make sure you get the very best. It's not even more expensive (at least in my experience - that might depend on where you are), so there's really no excuse!

Don't get me wrong; the kind of paper you buy isn't as important as things like where you live (close to where you work, play, and shop, preferably), how you get around (walk, bike, transit, fuel-efficient car), where your electricity comes from (get Green Power if you can), and what you eat (seasonally, locally). But with something like paper, it's so easy to make the right choice that it's worth doing.

More Recycled Paper
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