Monday, September 14, 2009

There is more than junk in the mail.

Bleatings from EnviRambo.

Argh!!! Have you ever had a piece of paper eaten by your printer? Frustrating, isn't it? Have you ever had a post eaten by blogger? Infuriating! I have experienced the paper munching many times, but this is the first time blogger has decided to take a bite out of my day. Instead of reading the originally planned benefits of the feather duster, that I now do not have time to rewrite, I am going to stick you with a recycled post - about recycling no less - off my personal blog, greeen sheeep. I apologize to any of you who have seen this before.

My printer is full of FREE paper. Yours can be, too.

In an effort to reduce my paper consumption I started printing on both sides of the sheet. It wasn't enough. Then I started keeping digital logs of client's emails rather than printing all of them. It still wasn't enough. Switching to recycled paper made me feel a little bit better, but I still wanted to do more.

One day it struck me. I can kill three birds with one stone.
  1. Reduce my paper consumption.
  2. Reduce my paper waste.
  3. Save money by recycling my own paper.
It's simple. Any 8 1/2 x 11 paper coming into our household that has a blank side goes into the printer paper tray. Whether it be junk mail, donation requests, church newsletter, school information, the children's old assignments, anything. As long as it has a blank side it can be reused. And, it does not matter if it has been folded, hole punched, or stapled. It all goes through just fine, I promise. Just be sure to remove any staples first!

I have managed to buy far less paper by scavenging any half blank sheets I can find. I have reduced the amount of paper that ends up in the trash by reusing it. Sadly, our municipality does not recycle paper, only newsprint. Ridiculous! And, I have saved money by recycling (reusing) all the free paper floating around the house.

People are freely giving it to you. Why not use it? Do some good for the planet and your wallet at the same time. Put your mail to work!


JAM said...

I do this as well - sometimes my paper does stick together, but I've never had any major problems in my printer. If your town doesn't recycle paper - here's another good use for it. Shred any paper that isn't glossy (or with plastic envelopes, etc.) and mix it in with your kitchen scraps in your compost. It provides a good "brown matter" to your kitchen "green matter" and composts really well. We give it the first step of using it for bedding for the chickens rather than buying pine shavings, but if you haven't got chickens it can go straight in the compost.

Rosa said...

That is awesome! You have more patience than I do - i mostly don't even open the envelopes.

It is good compost, like JAM said.

And don't worry *too* much about the plastic bits if you compost paper - they don't compost, so you can just pick them out when you use the compost. They stick out like little clear plastic flags.

Farmer's Daughter said...

This is a good idea. I've resorted to cutting it up for scrap paper since I try to never print at home, and print sparingly while at work.

We also use the newspaper ads (we don't get a paper but still get the adds each week) and junk mail to start the fire in our woodstove.

jimmycrackedcorn said...

It's excellent that this works with your inkjet printer. My old laserjet toner printer will jam if I try to print on the other side or use something that has been folded. We keep the blank sides for shopping lists, doodles, and a stack in the kids' art table.

Deanna said...

Good idea, and so simple it should have been obvious to me (but wasn't). I have used it for scratch paper but really had not considered it for the printer.

Lisa Sharp said...

That is a great idea.

I'm shocked about your town not recycling paper. My town has terrible recycling but even we recycle paper. I thought I had it bad. lol

Over Coffee - the green edition said...

I totally do this! I have a pile on the floor next to our printer and any paper that is slightly crinkled goes to the kids for drawing, writing, making flashcards with etc. I just assumed everyone does this ;-)

daharja said...

Smart move! :-)


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