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    Recycle

    Recycle

    The good news? Americans recycle nearly 60 percent of all discarded office paper. The bad news is that more than 40 percent is still getting trashed. From double-sided printing to in-house “closed loop” paper recovery systems, the bottom line is: when in doubt, don’t “toss it out.”

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4 Great Green Products Made in the USA Not too long ago, it felt next to impossible to find goods made here in the United States. And while it can still be a difficult task, especially depending on what you’re shopping for, the Made in the USA label has been making a comeback in recent years. That’s great news for both local and national economies alike and U.S. workers of all kinds, as well as for consumers. For eco-conscious consumers, the revival of Made in the USA products is an extra bit of welcome news because goods made here don’t carry the same environmental impact as those made overseas and then shipped here, wasting precious natural resources and polluting the planet along the way. If you’re looking to go beyond the standard eco-friendly benefits of Made in the USA products, here are four great products that are made in one of our great United States: J.R. Watkins Naturals – More than just a singular product, J.R. Watkins Naturals is an entire brand of products that are Made in the USA from all natural ingredients. With Bath and Body, Gourmet, Home and Remedies lines, whether you need to cure a cough, smooth dry hands, season your seafood or clean your kitchen floor, J.R. Watkins has you covered in all-natural, all-American style. Green Toys – Start little ones off right with Green Toys, an entire line of toys that are made in California from 100 percent recycled plastic milk jugs. In addition to being eco-friendly, by being free of BPA and phthalates, they’re also safe for kids. Their colorful line of toys includes airplanes, boats, building blocks, dish sets, shape sorters and a number of other fun, imaginative products. Reynolds Wrap Recycled Aluminum Foil – From storing leftovers to lining pans for easy clean up and many other essential kitchen tasks, aluminum foil is a staple that cooks of all calibers just can’t do without. Made from a mix of pre- and post-consumer aluminum, the 100 percent recycled foil from Reynolds Wrap even comes in recycled packaging that’s imprinted with water-based inks. Once used, the aluminum foil can even be recycled again through certain recycling programs. Maze Nails – Do you have a home improvement project on the horizon? Made in Illinois from 65% post-consumer and 20% pre-consumer recycled steel, Maze Nails is one of the few domestic nail manufacturers and the only one that touts its use of recycled content. Maze Nails is also committed to using recycled paper in its packaging, price lists and product literature. Tell us, what are some of your favorite green products that are Made in the USA?
The Economics of Recycling: Do Costs Trump Benefits? It seems just about everything these days has a price tag. When it comes to green technologies and processes, those price tags can sometimes come with a bit of sticker shock, and recycling is no exception. Recycling’s reputation as a money waster often originates from a misunderstanding about how much people in a given community actually pay for trash pickup and how that service is paid for. On the surface, in some communities, it may appear that citizens are shelling out more for a curbside recycling program than what they’re paying for regular trash pickup, but in actuality, trash pickup costs can sometimes be a bit hidden. Some local governments pay fees to hauling companies or landfills out of tax revenue, therefore lowering the direct cost that is presented to residents and businesses, while especially in the beginning, those same residents and businesses directly pay the full cost of a recycling program. These differences in billing practices, along with some outdated misconceptions about recycling, have contributed to the perception of recycling as a pricey process. However, studies from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) show that curbside recycling programs can cost $50 to $150 per ton, while trash collection and disposal runs $70 to $200 per ton. In addition, recycling aids in reducing: Environmental Costs – Waste is a part of almost every manufacturing process, but recycling cuts down on this waste by not starting the process from scratch. For example, mining wastes, processing wastes and emissions are all reduced by recycling aluminum. Recycling also conserves natural resources, reduces pollution and reduces the potential for environmental damage that can come along with both mining and manufacturing. Depletion Costs – Like many of our precious natural resources, landfills are limited in their abundance. They also are limited in the amount of trash they can accommodate and when one reaches capacity, a new landfill must be built. Due to the higher costs of complying with environmental regulations, purchasing land and constructing the landfill, new landfills are often much costlier than their older counterparts. Recycling helps stretch the life of a landfill, thus postponing the expense of a new landfill. Energy Costs – While energy savings vary by material, nearly all recycling processes use less energy than manufacturing with virgin materials. The EPA estimates that the recycling of aluminum cans, for example, saves 95 percent of the energy required to make the equivalent amount of aluminum from virgin sources. Continuing with the aluminum example, each pound of recycled aluminum saves the resources required to meet the electric needs of a city the size of Pittsburg for six years.

Related Resources

RECYCLE! It’s “A Plus” for the Environment Parents and teachers - if you're looking for a fun, hands-on way to teach kids about paper recycling, download and print this poster from Project Learning Tree and the American Forest & Paper Association. There's age-appropriate information on the science behind papermaking and paper recovery, as well as a "make your own recycled paper" activity and resource lists for further learning. [Full PDF]
Office recycling made easy Want to start a paper recycling program at your office? Here are a few tips for rescuing your office waste from the landfill. CASE STUDY: Office Recycling Made Easy

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RECYCLE! It’s “A Plus” for the Environment Parents and teachers - if you're looking for a fun, hands-on way to teach kids about paper recycling, download and print this poster from Project Learning Tree and the American Forest & Paper Association. There's age-appropriate information on the science behind papermaking and paper recovery, as well as a "make your own recycled paper" activity and resource lists for further learning. [Full PDF]
GreenBiz.com GreenBiz.com is a leading source for news, opinion, best practices, and other resources on the greening of mainstream business. MORE...

Paper holds a powerful and often sacred place in the history of human interaction. We mark each milestone in life with birth certificates, marriage licenses, baptism papers and high school diplomas....

 

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Time out. Every day, U.S. workers each use nearly 40 sheets of copy paper. read on

 

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