Thursday, May 1, 2008

Because Sometimes You Just Can’t Help It

We try hard to be “paperless” in our planning practices, but there are some times in meetings when you still need to use paper. So the goal becomes, to minimize its use, choose the right product and then reuse/recycle it properly.

When choosing a paper, there are some terms to look for and be familiar with:

Post Consumer: Post-consumer paper is produced using paper that has already been a product (and probably put out at your curb). It is different from pre-consumer waste, which is the re-introduction of manufacturing scrap into the production process.

Recycled: A new product that has been made from re-processed materials. Recycled products can be made from post-consumer or pre-consumer waste.

Recyclable: A product that can be re-processed where facilities exist.

FSC or SFI-certified: Forest Stewardship Council or Sustainable Forestry Initiative-certified. These schemes identify and verify environmentally responsible papers.

Tree Free: Refers to paper that does not use tree fiber, but other kinds of fiber (i.e. hemp, sugar cane).

PCF: Process Chlorine Free: This most commonly means that the paper was produced without chlorine.

Changing from virgin paper to 100% post-consumer paper makes a huge difference. But don’t believe me…use this fun calculator to see the amount of trees and energy you can save by switching.

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