Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Operation Use-Less-Paper: The first 3 steps...

I've become hyper-aware lately of how much paper is still being wasted in our household.  Some of it isn't our fault.  I'm usually appalled at the amount of extra paper that comes to us in the mail.  Like sheets of printed invoices for online orders.  This is the reason why, when I send you an order from House 54, I don't include the printed receipt with it.  I figure you got it in email form already anyway, and there's no sense in wasting the paper just to be redundant.  But as far as what I have control over, here's what I decided to make some tweaks to...
1.  My calendar.  This is a biggie, folks.  I'm seriously attached to this thing.  I get the kind that's in book form and lasts like 2 years worth of monthly calendars.  A LOT of info goes into that thing over a 2-year period.  I can have it open on my counter and see the whole month worth of stuff, or close it up and take it with me.  BUT, I can do the same thing with my iPhone.  And use zero paper in the process.  So when it's life is up by the end of June (it's one of the ones that goes based on the school year), it won't be replaced.  *This is me making quite a pitiful sad face, but understanding that it's worth it for the greater good.

2.  My kid's artwork.  The Kid likes to sit down at the kitchen table and crank out pages worth of drawings.  It helps him focus some of his wild energy into something quiet and creative.  That's pretty much a win-win in our house, except for the amount of paper he can blow through in an hour.  So I've started making him draw more than one thing on each page, and then turn it over and do the same thing on the other side.  This is why crayons rock.  They don't stain my table, and they don't bleed through the paper so that the other side is rendered useless.
3.  In-store receipts.  These are pretty small, and, for the most part are not our biggest offender.  BUT they're a huge offender for another reason.  Did you know that register receipt paper contains a huge amount of BPA?  It's what gives it that smooth, glossy feel.  YUCK, right?!  So unless I'm making a purchase for a home improvement (which I need the receipt for documentation to claim on my taxes if/when we sell our house), or something for my business (also for tax/accounting purposes), then I refuse the receipt at the register.  I tend to be pretty picky about what I open my wallet for and don't buy things that I'm not madly in love with, and I hardly ever buy clothing without trying it on first.  So the likelihood of me needing to return something is pretty low.  But if I do, I'll take my chances that I'll be offered store credit for my item without a receipt, or I'll just go on my merry way being happier that I'm stuck with an unwanted item, than with fingers covered in BPA.  Hopefully enough folks will catch on, and with enough refusals of receipts, companies will either change the paper they're printed on, or better yet, offer people an electronic option instead.

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. I hate the ridiculously long receipts you get at the grocery store and now they even hand you ads from the coupon machine.

    1. Aaaah! me too! And the coupons are always for something completely unrelated to what we buy, so they're even more wasteful.