Did you make a resolution to go greener in 2015?  Maybe you made a resolution to save a little green in 2015?  Whether you did or didn’t maybe now is a good time to make a few and simple changes, follow this 15 part series for my favorite list of 15 to kick off the New Mid-Year (or anytime of the year) Greener You.  Read on for Step 3 and if you missed Step 1 or Step 2

Step 3.  STOP!! the paper coming into your home… and some suggestions of what to do with it when it does come into your home.

Image courtesy of Judith E. Bell via Flickr
Image courtesy of Judith E. Bell via Flickr

Let’s face it, paper in form of junk mail, statements, catalogues, newspapers and magazines all add to the clutter and storage space in our homes and contribute to our landfills if we don’t recycle them.  Not to mention the time to sort through, shredding and then tossing into the recycle bin (or horrors into the trash.

But Amanda, how do we stop this influx of paper? Pull up a chair and I will tell you how.

  • Statements, Invoices, Bills: Most if not all major banks, credit card companies, utilizes offer online statements with a choice to send the statement to in email or store it on their servers.  If you need a statement all you have to do is go online and retrieve it.  Another major perk is you can set up alerts for when your statement is ready and when payments are due.
  • Junk Mail and catalogues: This one is a little bit harder because mailing companies can be relentless but here are six (6) steps from EcoCycle that has reduced our family’s junk mail 90%.  Stop the future influx of junk mail by not completing the additional information requested on warranty cards outside of the information needed to register your item.  You know what I mean the age, marital status, household income, etc.  See more about this marketing gold mine on Bankrate.com.
  • Newspapers and Magazines: Stop the presses! Discontinue your paper and magazines subscriptions as most of the articles and pictures are available on line.  If you just absolutely have to have a hard copy, reduce your newspaper subscriptions to weekend only and make sure you recycle those puppies responsibly.

Now what to do about those pesky paper items that do make it to your mailbox or household?

  • The simplest answer is throw it all into your recycle bin.
  • But in our household we shred almost everything that comes by post or is thrown at the foot of our drive including old school work.  We especially shred those bank or credit card statements or bills as they should be shredded to protect your information.  Personally, I don’t like to place my shredded documents (statements, old tax returns etc) into the recycle bin as this is no longer a guarantee that your personal information is safe.  See this blog on Credit.com for more information how this shredded information can and is being harvested.

Picture courtesy of:  David Morris via Flickr

  • Uses for Shredded Material.
    • Packing material: when we need to ship an item.  To save on the mess we might put it in a really old storage bag or one of those innocuous plastic bags from the store.
    • Magazine’s and colored flyers make great confetti or colorful filler for those Easter baskets or gifts.
    • Make your own Fire Starters (my son’s a Boy Scout so this a must in our house for those rainy camping days, plus they make great gifts).
    • Make your own Paper!
    • Recycle it in your compost bin.
    • Use it as a base for mulch in your garden. This is what we do, not only does it help retain moisture and keep those fruits and veggies off the ground but we use a lot less mulch.
    • Cover those bird, hamster, rabbit cage bottoms.

Question 1: How do you use stop paper coming into your home?  Share your answer on Facebook or Twitter.

Question 2: What creative ways do you use reuse or recycle the paper coming into your home?  Share your answer on Facebook or Twitter.


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