impact of disposable paper products on the environment

4 Dec

wasteThe impact of disposable paper products on the environment is huge. Perhaps, the problem is far too many people have disposable income. So spending it on disposable products makes life easier. It doesn’t have to be that difficult or inconvenient to make smart choices with your money on the small things.

When you buy a house, you take the time to make sure the environment is going to be one that is safe, clean and are pretty careful of how you part with your money. The same care should be taken in all the smaller purchases – they add up and have a big impact on the environment.

In an earlier post I offered 12 tips to reduce office paper consumption but today, we are going to look at the impact of paper products as a whole. Changing from disposable products to reusable is simple and very cost effective. I probably don’t have to mention facts about forest destruction and the energy (which produces CO2 gas) used for paper production – but I will. In Canada alone, over 500, 000 acres of forest are destroyed to create these products for you – that’s every year.

So what can you do?

  • consider replacing all your paper plates and cups with real ones
  • bring a portable travel mug with you everywhere
  • use a handkerchief, wash cloth, napkin and rag instead of tissue paper and paper towel
  • if you use a paper product, buy recycled and chlorine free
  • there is even family cloths, a toilet paper alternative – not for everyone

Here are some questions for you. What else can you do? Consider what products you buy when you buy a paper product.

  1. Is it recycled paper?
  2. Is the packaging excessive & can it be recycled?
  3. Can you reduce how much you use?
  4. Is it chlorine free in the process used to make it?
  5. Does the company have a good track record for environment and community support? There are a few sites that can help you find out such as BadBuster and Greenwashing.
  6. Want to discover healthy, green products – check out GoodGuide.

A few minutes of research and time is all it takes. Simple changes, huge impact. The overall impact of disposable paper products on the environment is just one step to change. Please share some tips, ideas and tricks on how we can change our paper consumption habits for a greener planet.

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5 Responses to impact of disposable paper products on the environment


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December 4th, 2009 at 8:25 pm

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tools for Twits, mary beth janssen. mary beth janssen said: rt @simplystephen50 simply time to share impact of disposable paper products on the environment […]


Ruth - Web Career Girl

December 6th, 2009 at 1:58 pm

The more I learn about green living the more I am so shocked at how much of what we have is disposable. This even extends to things we think we need but don’t really use. Paper, though, is a huge issue. That statistic you mentioned about Canada’s forests is so shocking! I especially like your tips about replacing common paper towels with cloths etc. This is something I am doing in my kitchen! I am not sure about the toilet paper, though.


simply stephen

December 7th, 2009 at 8:58 am

Mary Beth…thanks for the mention

Ruth…the dependence we have on the products that are produced with obsolescence in mind is indeed a shock. The only way to change the impact is to change our habits of consumption as a whole. Not an easy task but those simple things like replacing paper towels with cloths (that could even be made by your old clothes) are so simple and painless. The impact those changes have not only save the environment but your pocket book too.

Yeah, I use real toilet paper too.


Tess Bold Life

December 7th, 2009 at 11:07 am

I’m still working on paper in my office. I’ve changed so much I’m sure I can do it as well. Thanks for making us aware of what can be if we all do our part. One step at a time…


simply stephen

December 7th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

Tess…like life it is a work in progress. Steps in a forward direction are what counts. I’m sure in a year from now, you will have made dozens, if not hundreds of changes so…keep it up. Raising awareness is one of my goals…I am happy people are listening. You are welcome, but more importantly thank you for making the changes in your life.

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