“Tree-Free” Paper Alternatives

Did you know that it takes 60 percent less energy to manufacture paper from recycled stock than from virgin materials?

Here’s a green living tip for you – start using “tree-free” paper alternatives! Below are some ingredients to look for the next time you buy stationery, envelopes, notepads, or folders:

Post-Consumer Waste. “Post-consumer waste” is the paper you throw out or recycle. Buying paper made from a high percentage of post-consumer waste helps reduce the number of trees needed to make paper “from scratch.” It also saves energy and keeps paper out of the landfill.

Hemp.  Hemp produces its own natural pesticide, and grows so quickly it produces twice as much fiber per acre as pine. Hemp was originally banned in the United States because it comes from the same botanical species as marijuana (even though it cannot be smoked). Paper, clothing, and other materials made from hemp are increasingly available from many manufacturers in the U.S.; hemp continues to be grown in several countries around the world.

KenafKenaf, a cousin to the cotton plant, uses 15-25% less energy than pine to make pulp.

Bamboo.  This fast-growing grass produces 4 to 5 times the fiber of the fastest-growing commercial tree species.

Agri-Pulp.  Agri-pulp combines agricultural waste along with post-consumer waste to make paper.

Cotton.  Another new paper option is made from organically grown cotton that grows in several colors, including green, brown, and white.

To learn more, visit www.earthshare.org.

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