Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Books, Catalogs and Magazines

When it comes to printed matter, there are many out there who can benefit from what you are ready to discard or recycle as paper.

Besides the typical options of public, school and church libraries, books and magazines and inspirational pamphlets are a great aid to rehabilitation for those who've been sent to prison or juvenile detention centers. Halfway houses and nursing homes may need something new. If you can't give the books away, sell them on or Form a magazine swap at work or in the neighborhood.

Cancel any subscriptions you don't need. Take a moment to call the toll-free number on all those catalogs and be removed from the mailing list. Better yet, take the time to be removed from mailing lists.

Most magazines and catalogs are made from virgin paper and much of it now coming from the boreal forest where our North American songbirds breed. This Brown Thrasher is one of those songbirds.

Facts from Audubon:

Many products with roots in Canada's boreal forest find their way into our homes, so our thoughtless consumption of them drives the destruction of the forest. The advocacy group Forest Ethics reports that about half of the paper used to print magazines, newsprint, and the 17 billion catalogues produced annually in the United States was once boreal bird habitat.

The majority of mailed catalogues are produced using virgin boreal wood fiber logged in clearcuts as big as 30 square miles. Disposable paper products like Charmin, Puffs, Kleenex, and Bounty use more than 2.5 million tons of pulp annually, most of it unrecycled, from trees sawn in the boreal. In fact, Canada's boreal forests are razed at a rate of about five acres a minute to feed the voracious consumption of wood and wood products of the United States alone.

Here's a few tips on saving paper and forests from my previous
A Touch of Nature blog:

Junk Mail:
Get off the lists for junk mail and marketing phone calls.
Get instructions and other tips.

Printer Paper:
Although we rarely get junk mail, we receive enough paper that we don't file away, so we use that for printer paper. Sending letters on the back of mail also sends a message to friends and family to think creatively on how they can reduce their impact on our forests. We volunteer at various places and sometimes it's an opportunity to take away a pile of paper for your printer. In the act of asking for it, we've educated people to the idea of using it rather than trashing it or recycling it.

Note Paper:
Envelopes cut or torn in half provide a good size for note paper. We have a small box/tray at each phone and store this note paper in them. Sometimes you get mail that can't be used for printers because it's wrinkled or part of it is printed on the back. We tear that up and use it for note paper also.

Sometimes I want to send a postcard to keep in touch rather than a long letter. We use the greeting cards we receive for this purpose. The top or left side of the card is not written on, so it's easy to tear that part off and cut to the maximum size (4.25" x 6").

Magazines and Newspapers:
With the internet available 24/7 I find that most of what I used to have to dig for in shelved or stacked magazines can now be found in a few minutes, so we don't do magazine subscriptions. Sometimes we receive one as a gift and then I make sure it passes around to several people to make it more useful. Do your newspapers stack up before you "get to them?" If you don't read the magazines or newspapers you've got coming into the home, cancel them. They not only rob you of time and money, they do take trees to produce

I keep a list of the places we like to shop and they are all online now, as most businesses are. We've canceled all catalogs and when we shop we type in or mention on the phone that we do not want to receive promotional materials and catalogs. Besides saving paper and storage space, it sure keeps your budget more manageable and your house less cluttered.

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