When purchasing paper for your printer only buy 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Before we move on, let’s give a quick breakdown of what post-consumer recycled means: post-consumer recycled content is waste that was used, disposed, and diverted from landfills. Pre-consumer recycled content means waste that never made it to the consumer such as scraps and trimmings. If you don’t see either post or pre on it, but it says “recycled content” this means it is made up of part post-consumer recycled and part pre-consumer recycled. All are good options, but technically post-consumer recycled content has greater eco-benefits than pre-consumer because it is waste that was diverted from a landfill.
This simple tip of purchasing 100% post-consumer recycled paper doesn’t take a major lifestyle change but does have a big effect. According to CoolCalifornia.org, you can save 5 lbs. of carbon dioxide per ream of paper. That has potential for a lot of emissions being saved.
Greenamerica.org states some interesting data that will make you feel even better about making the switch to recycled paper:
- Recycled paper production emits 40% fewer greenhouse gases.
- Recycled paper production uses 26% less energy.
- Recycled paper production creates 43% less wastewater.
If you want to see for yourself the difference your choice makes, check out this Paper Calculator where you can calculate your direct impacts depending on the type of paper you use. It breaks it down into wood, energy, ghg, water, solid waste, ecosystem and pollutant impacts.
And don’t just purchase recycled paper but be sure to recycle paper as well to further reduce greenhouse gas emission, save landfill space, save energy, and conserve natural resources. Did you know that the pulp and paper industry are the 5th largest consumer of energy and that paper and paperboard make up about 26% of solid municipal waste in landfills? Recycling one ton of paper can save 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 380 gallons of oil, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space and 4,000 kilowatts of energy — enough to power the average U.S. home for six months — and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one metric ton of carbon equivalent (MTCE).