Collier and Lee Counties Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

Tips for a Tree-Free Home

Many Ways to Pare Down Paper Use

violetkaipa/Shutterstock.com

If one in five households switched to electronic bills, statements and payments, the collective impact would save 151 million pounds of paper annually, eliminating 8.6 million full garbage bags and 2 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the PayItGreen Alliance. While computers continue to offer significant environmental benefits, there are other “tree-mendous” things we can do to conserve forest resources.

• Paper bags can be substituted for plastic bags as trash can liners and serve as compost-ready receptacles for fruit and vegetable scraps. Chasing Green describes many ways to reuse paper bags after cutting them along the seams; use them to wrap gifts and shipping boxes or let the kids paint or draw on them.

• Use the blank side of sales receipts, envelopes, shopping lists and other paper scraps to jot down to-do lists, notes and more. The family can keep a small pile that everyone can tap into.

• Replace paper napkins and towels with cloth napkins or portions of old T-shirts that can be washed and reused.

• Choose paper products that are gentle on the Earth in how they are made. TreeZero Inc. markets, supplies and distributes 100 percent carbon-neutral paper made from recycled sugarcane waste fiber.

• Consider “branching out” and help protect trees that are being threatened by overharvesting, development and the effects of climate change by supporting the Alliance for Community Trees, a national nonprofit that plants trees in communities across the nation. Get the shovels ready to pitch in when the Arbor Day Foundation celebrates its 148th annual tree-planting events on April 26—especially important this year due to the destruction of many trees from recent hurricanes and fires.


This article appears in the February 2019 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Bug Apocalypse

The number of invertebrates and insects such as moths, butterflies and bees has dropped worldwide by 45 percent in the last 35 years, raising alarm about the global ecosystem.

Fish Revival

Following the removal two years ago of an obsolete dam, shad have returned to New Jersey’s Millstone River for the first time since 1845.

Horse Sense

The wild horse herds on North Carolina’s Outer Banks survived Hurricane Florence by huddling on high ground, hiding in maritime forests, and possibly by swimming.

Bat Cave Rescue

A fungus known as white-nose syndrome is decimating U.S. bat species, but scientists hope that genetic strategies and cave treatments will turn the situation around.

Mind Meld

Scientists are making progress toward using brain implants to help speech-paralyzed patients "voice" their thoughts.

Add your comment: