Raise your environmental awareness for sustainable living
The Paper Saver is just one of the many simple ways we can think differently about how to live more sustainably.
Some stark paper waste facts that form the foundation of why we do what we do:
- 5.9 million tonnes of paper waste were generated by Australians from 2018-19, a 5.4% increase from 2016-17.
- 17.7% of household landfill waste was paper, the second highest type of waste after organics, and well ahead of plastics.
- In the US, a whopping 67.3 million tonnes of paper waste were generated in 2018, and was the highest type of waste at 23.05% - far ahead of plastics at 12.2%.
Paper is made from a natural resource we need to protect.
While it is important to reduce the use of plastics, paper is often regarded as the lesser of the evil due to its recyclability and faster rate of biodegradability.
But it is crucial to remember that paper comes from trees, the key natural resource that forms the basis of sustaining life on earth by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and thus slowing the rate of global warming.
Hence, we should be minimising our use of such a vitally important natural resource as well.
Tips on how to save more paper and live more sustainably:
- Reduce our disposable item purchases, such as razors, food storage products, ink cartridges, notebooks, coffee filters, etc.
- Replace paper towels with cloth towels or napkins - just wash and reuse!
- When printing, print on bleach-free, recycled paper
- How often do you read your junk mail? Put a sign on your letter box to stop the paper waste coming in.
- Carry your own eco-friendly bags when shopping so you can reduce the shopping bag wastage.
- Reuse envelopes, wrapping paper, paper bags, and other paper materials wherever possible
- Reuse your one-sided leftover papers as pages of the Paper Saver as your reusable, eco-friendly notebook for all your notes and ideas. Nothing beats scribbling away with the good ol' pen and paper!
- Create a spot or tray for all single-sided used paper that can be repurposed, ideally near the printer, for printing mistakes, or that annoying last page with just one line on it!
Other papers such as letters, bills, activity sheets the kids bring home can also be placed here - you'll be surprised how quickly this pile builds.
- Pack a waste-free lunch whenever passable - use reusable containers and bags.
Most of us are familiar with recycling, but these are some less commonly known tips:
- Remove staples from papers before putting paper into the recycling bin as staples should be recycled alongside other steel products like cans.
While automated recyling machines can cope with very small amounts of different materials such as staples in paper, multiple materials can confuse the machines, causing contamination.
This may lead to the need to dump the recyclable materials into landfill; output of the recycled materials being less pure; workers at the facilities are put at risk; machinery can be damaged. All result in increased costs of recycling.
- When recycling notebooks, check that the covers are recyclable and that the different materials are separated before recycling, especially spiral notebooks. No one at the recycling plant will be pulling the spiral bind apart from the paper, and it will just end up in landfill; worse, it may send the entire batch of recycled materials into landfill for the above reasons.
- Choose products that come in recyclable or compostable packaging
- When you are done with the pages in the Paper Saver Reusable Eco Notebook, simply slide the paper out, file the notes you want to keep, while putting the remainder into recycling. Your paper has been fully utilised and you can now refill and repurpose more of your discarded paper as pages of the Paper Saver Reusable Eco Notebook.
- Finally, compost - start a compost pile with garden trimmings and food scraps.
Australian Bureau of Statistics, November 2020
US Environmental Protection Agency, July 2021