<a href="https://www.greenlifestylemag.com.au/blogs/julie#">Green challenges</a>

Green challenges

Thinking global and acting local, Julie Grundy takes on any challenge we throw at her.

Choosing recycled paper for lower impact

Paper recycling facility

Paper recycling facility

Credit: iStockphoto

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Australians use 3.5 million tonnes of paper each year - it's part of our everyday lives. But it doesn't necessarily have to come from old-growth forests or plantation timber.

There are so many more recycled paper options out there than there used to be. Most of the major brands offer a line that's got at least some recycled content in it. Of course, you do need to be a bit choosy - as always, buyer beware!

Some of them say "recycled" but what they mean is "we were going to chuck these offcuts in the bin but we decided we could get some use out of them after all". The term to look for on paper products is "post-consumer" recycled content. This means that it's paper getting a second-go-around, reclaimed after it was used, but before it went to landfill.

Recycled paper is absolutely fine for most office purposes. If someplace you do business with can't offer online billing, maybe you could ask them to at least switch to 100% recycled paper. You can absolutely use it at home for your own printing needs.

I've taken the recycled paper thing in a less formal direction. I've got a giant stack of paper that was given to me by a housemate several years ago. It came from his workplace, and has maybe half a page printed on one side of each sheet. I use this at home now, and because I don't print all that often, I've still got maybe two hundred sheets left before it's all gone and I have to buy new paper.

How did you go with the challenge this month? How many bills did you manage to get switched over to online notification? Did you have to contact any businesses to ask them if they would add it to their services?