Sunday, March 30, 2014

Star challenge #3 - The PAPER month!

Paper,  paper on the wall... who's the environmentally friendliest of us all?

Paper is everywhere. It is definitely one of those things we very much take for granted. And to be frank, I suspect most of us don't bother too much because we think of paper as pretty friendly anyway, being mainly a natures product and easy to recycle. Yes, that's true, but what is also true is that trees are the lungs of the earth and we cut down WAY more trees to make paper pulp than we are able to grow back. Let's start thinking of paper as something more like a gift from mother earth - something given from the earth "lungs" and maybe we will think twice before printing that not so necessary copy of whatever not so important document, shall we?

It's time to realise paper is too cheap, and as usual when something is too cheap, there is someone else paying the real prize. The real prize in this case is our sensitive eco systems. Only in Sweden 1800 species are endangered due to us humans messing about with their habitat. It will come and bite us, people! And we all know it.

Some facts about paper to think about:
  • The world consumption of paper has quintupled in the last 50 years!
  • Sweden is on the 11th place in consuming the most in the world! We use more than 200 kg /per person and year (c'mon, that's INSANE!!!!!!!!). 
  • The average world citizen only consumes 50 kg per person and year.
Okay, so now we all agree paper is an important matter and are eager to change our ways. This is what we want to challenge us with this month.

This month's challenge is to reduce the amount of paper you use and also learn to use paper smarter.
Complete the following:

  1. If you have to print something, print on both sides and/or print several pages/slides per paper page.
  2. Look into the possibility of changing your kitchen paper towels to cloth and see if it would work for your family.
  3. Cancel all catalogues (such as mail order catalogues), paper bills etc, where possible, and turn to the digital versions.
  4. Don't accept any ads in your mailbox - put up a sign!
  5. Give away magazines you won't read again to someone who will.
  6. If you have a paper/magazine subscription, check what your online options are instead.

If you manage this, you'll receive a star and 10 points.

Good luck!

Note! If you are a newcomer who wishes to jump on board the Sew for a change challenge, then you'll start with 61 points instead of 75. Check out all the rules here. Welcome!!!


  1. Great that you are flagging up paper as another everyday item we have an 'easy come, easy go' attitude to. There are many reasons for us to be more considerate about our use of paper. A key issue is that trees are a natural carbon sink. Add to that paper is a very water intensive industry (and generating water that is clean enough for industrial purposes is energy intensive) and making chemicals involves a lot of chemicals, particularly bleaches, too!

    I remember when I was a child, paper was always in short supply in our house - there were four of us so paper pads never lasted. Mum made us use every last inch of a page, we even made drawings on the inside of cereal packages. And those habits stuck. I make my weekend grocery lists on a piece of card from the box of cat food... ;)

  2. Good point there in the industry of making paper! I think it's easy to be fooled there and think it is just to take down a tree and mix with a little water and you magically have paper pulp. I wish!
    I too use all the little scraps of papers in the house for note purposes! I think it's genius! Why not use it once more before it's recycled?


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