No matter how many great paper towel replacements you find or recycling centers that you locate in your local area, there's no denying that moving to a paperless lifestyle requires work. By learning more about ways to reduce your paper waste, you can make the task easier, but the entire reason that paper towels, paper plates and other paper products exist in the first place is because they are convenient. In my own quest to live a greener life, I sometimes find myself tempted to take the easy route, and when I talk to friends, I realize that I'm not alone in this.
That's why I wanted to take a few moments and post some statistics that help me remember the importance of reducing my own paper waste. Sometimes all it takes is a reminder that even my small changes can make a difference when it comes to protecting our planet.
- Each year, Americans use roughly 734 pounds of paper each, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. By recycling just 119 pounds of newspaper, you can save just one tree, reports Government of Canada's Digital Collections. Even small changes like consistently avoiding one type of paper product or recycling all of the old newspapers and magazines around your home can have a huge impact.
- "When paper rots or is composted it emits methane gas which is 25 times more toxic than CO2," shares the International Institute for Environment and Development. When you don't add paper to your trash, you're not just helping to prevent over-crowding in landfills; you're also protecting the quality of the air we breathe.
- Around 30 to 40 percent of trash is packaging, explains the Cornell Waste Management Institute. That's not paper waste--that's total trash! By choosing products that use eco-friendly packaging, you're making a huge impact on the amount of toxin-producing garbage that sits in our landfills.
What's your paperless motivation? Statistics like these? Thoughts of future generations? Something else entirely? Share it with us in the Comments section