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How can I recycle paper and cardboard?
The United States is the world's leading exporter of waste paper. Not exactly a product to be proud of! Only about 29 percent of our waste paper is currently being recycled. But recycling is often as simple as reusing. Here are some everyday tips on cutting waste:
Reuse scrap paper that's printed on one side. Use the reverse side for notes and phone messages.
Reuse envelopes. Stick a label over the old address and resend.
Reuse gift wrap and bows. Reuse greeting cards by cutting off the front flap and using it as a postcard.
Reuse cardboard boxes. Break down old boxes and keep until needed. Offer them to friends who are moving, or donate them to schools, libraries or museums. And save gift boxes, too. That way the store won't have to give you a new box when you buy a gift.
Reuse paper bags. Take paper or cloth bags to the grocery store with you, including plastic produce bags. Keep bags in the car at all times for unexpected stops.
Buy products made of recycled paper. It not only saves resources, it cuts down on air pollution, too.
Take newspapers and magazines to recycling centers, or give magazines to friends, hospitals, schools or nursing homes.
And finally, avoid excessive use of paper products. Look for products with a minimum amount of packaging. Use durable products such as sponges and rags instead of paper towels and cloth napkins instead of paper.
By following these simple guidelines, you'll not only be helping to save resources and energy, you'll be saving money, too.