Using recycled paper products is a high impact, practical, and easy way to reduce your carbon footprint. Recycling one ton of paper saves enough energy to power the average home for 6 months and 7,000 gallons of water.
The good news is that corporations and businesses are not the only ones that can implement sustainability initiatives.
The everyday person can do their bit for their environment, whether they are busy professionals or busy parents. Buying recycled products is a good place to start.
This post will cover the benefits and highlight our favorite products made from recycled paper.
Buying recycled paper products is easy. You can find everything from household basics to innovative products far superior than the “virgin” material versions.
What Are Recycled Paper Products?
Even with the abundance of digital technology, going paperless still isn’t 100% practical. Recycling paper and products are the next best thing, but what exactly products are available in recycled form?
Simply put, waste paper is converted into recycling pulp paper. The pulp is then used to create various new paper products, including the following:
- Toilet paper. To make quality toilet paper or tissues, the paper pulp has to be cleaned, bleached, and sterilized. Alternatively, the pulp can be used to produce natural colored tissue paper to support those who want to raise their home sustainability levels.
- Office paper supplies. Recycled paper can be used to create all types of paper office supplies. These products are also suitable if you’re working from home or need stationery for your children’s school.
- Other paper products. Recycled paper has many versatile uses. So, it’s easy to incorporate recycled paper into various aspects of your life. The list includes napkins, greeting cards, paper towels, cardboard boxes, cards, and newspapers and books.
Recycled paper products are all around us. Chances are you’ll have no problem finding them on local store shelves or at online stores.
Read on to hear about our favorites but first, what are the benefits of recycled paper products?
Why Buy Recycled Paper Products?
Generally, recycling has many benefits. According to EPA, recycling municipal waste offers many economic and environmental benefits. Overall, it cuts back on litter, marine pollution, air pollution, landfill usage, and greenhouse gas emissions.
It also reduces the consumption of fuel, water, electricity, and other resources used to manufacture goods, which in turn reduces costs for businesses.
What’s more, EPA has reported that recycling produces jobs and generates wages as well as federal, state, and local tax revenues. With that in mind, here are some top reasons for choosing recycled paper products.
Cost Is Comparable
Recycled products are generally not more expensive than “virgin” paper products. This means that you can increase your sustainability levels by choosing to buy recycled paper at no extra cost to you.
Otherwise, the cost of sustainability can be a real barrier to entry for those interested in making their homes more sustainable.
For instance, things like installing solar panels and using less electricity can be expensive. However, when it comes to buying recycled paper products, there’s no excuse for not doing what you can to give the environment a break.
You’ll be surprised at the amount of carbon emissions the world can offset simply by choosing recycled paper products. The EPA estimates that recycling paper resulted in emission reductions equivalent to taking 33 million cars off the road for an entire year!
Landfills are one of the biggest environmental eyesores. The bad news is they continue to fill at an alarming rate.
If you consider how much paper waste the average household generates, then it’s easy to see that without recycling, there would be a lot more waste. The EPA estimates 46 million tons of paper was diverted from landfills because of recycling.
When you choose to use recycled paper products, it means you’re part of the collective global population that’s interested in generating less waste to save the environment. Remember how ants work together. One tiny and can’t do much, but when they band together, the results can be quite spectacular.
Conserve the Environment
Recycled paper products conserve the environment. That’s because waste paper contributes to land pollution, and this impacts the environment negatively in several ways. For starters, without paper recycling, more trees would have to be cut down, which leads to environmental degradation.
Remember, trees absorb carbon dioxide when they photosynthesize, so fewer trees means more greenhouse gas emissions.
In addition, by recycling paper, means there’s less landfill-driven pollution. When humans bury paper in landfills, it decays anaerobically.
This releases methane, a greenhouse gas 34 times as damaging as carbon. Or, we just burn it, which of course also releases greenhouse gases and toxic gases into our air.
Our Favorite Recycled Paper Products
The good news is green conscious shoppers have a variety of options to choose from when purchasing recycled paper products. Here are several some of our favorites worth checking out:
Who Gives A Crap Toilet Paper
Who Gives A Crap is a quirky, B Corp certified company, meaning they’re at the top of the food chain when it comes to using recycled and sustainable materials. WGAC, as they are fondly known for short, is one our favorite B Corps. Though you can’t totally rely on the B Corp label to avoid getting greenwashed, WGAC is legit.
Your options include premium 100% bamboo toilet paper, recycled paper towels, and forest friendly tissue boxes. Overall, it turns out WGAC actually gives a crap for the environment and the less privileged since they use 50% of profits to build toilets and sanitary systems in developing countries.
Seventh Gen Paper Towels
Seventh generation paper towels are unbleached, 100% recycled, and save water, energy, and trees. What’s not to love about them? This product is owned by a large corporation – Unilever.
Though we try to stick with supporting smaller business, in this case we think it makes sense. A large corporation can make a big impact when it comes to shrinking the world’s carbon footprint. We have first-hand experience using these paper towels, and they get our enthusiastic thumbs up.
Full Circle Cleaning Cloths
Full Circle cleaning cloths are incredibly eco-friendly, containing a whopping 95% post-production recycled fibers. These cleaning cloths are super absorbent and can absorb seven times their weight.
They are also reusable over and over again, which goes a long way towards reducing paper waste. Plus, they’re safe for you and the planet because only non-toxic dyes are used.
Printworks 100% recycled multipurpose paper is an affordable choice that easily meets your everyday printing paper needs.
This paper is made from recycled coffee cups and other paper materials. It’s a great way to make paper keep working for you instead polluting the environment.
Decomposition is a reputable and fashion-forward green brand that has been around since 1949. If you’re looking for a plug for stylish recycled stationery, then you can’t go wrong with Decomposition.
You can find sketchbooks, binders, pens, greeting cards, and other earth-friendly items.
Onyx and Green Recycled Milk Carton Pens
Making gel pens from recycled milk cartons is a very cool idea. Onyx and Green use recycled cartons and soy-based ink. We had the opportunity to test these novel pens, and while we are impressed with the idea behind the product, the quality isn’t what you’re used to with regular pens.
If you want to try some sustainable pens, we recommend the Bic B2P (that is plastic bottles to pens). You will find they work as well as any other regular pen.
Also, when you run out of ink after finishing your handwritten novel, Bic sells refills to make those pens last for years!
One tip, pay attention to the size of your pen tip and buy the right size, the refills come in .05 and .07 diameter.
Wisdom Supply is in the business of supplying 100% recycled paper products. For instance, they offer the glamorously green zero-waste binder courtesy of a relatively small women-owned B-corp with a large vision of a zero or minimal waste environment.
You can also get various cool recycled paper products, including recyclable pocket folders and no-waste notebooks.
How Else Can You Leverage Recycled Paper Products to Shrink Your Carbon Footprint?
Shrinking your carbon footprint has never been easier with recycled paper products! To milk this going green hack for all its worth, consider supporting companies that use recycled materials to ship their products.
According to Pact, the company’s mission is to build the planet’s favorite clothing company. This is reflected in their own packaging, which is made from 100% recycled paperboard and 98% recycled cardboard boxes and is in turn 100% recyclable. Your purchase also comes wrapped in biodegradable plastic.
Imperfect Food has a national Packaging Return Program that allows the company to prevent the offloading of over six million pounds of packaging material into landfills per year. All you have to do is return your packaging materials after delivery.
The company also upcycles as many paper materials as possible, and their boxes are made from 100% recycled fiber.
Who Gives A Crap
WGAC, mentioned above, isn’t only making recycled paper products. When you purchase products from them, you’ll get it in 100% recycled cardboard boxes.
Waterhaul Sunglasses, one of a bevy of sustainable sunglasses we love, utilizes 100% recycled shipping. This is just icing on top for their eco-friendly glasses that converts plastic marine pollution into a fashion statement.
Recycled Paper Products: A Proven, Thrifty Way to Save the Planet
Shopping sustainably is a fun way to shrink your environmental footprint. We love discovering new recycled products. It’s always a good day when you actually discover a quality item you can endorse to spread the green gospel.
If you haven’t already started incorporating recycled products into your life, now is the best time to start fulfilling your paper needs while prioritizing your environment.