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Eco-Friendly Printing and Writing Papers

Eco-Friendly Printing and Writing Papers

Americans use approximately 31.5 million tons of printing and writing paper each year, an amount requiring over 535 million trees and more than 12 billion gallons of oil to produce.

Here are some tips to help you choose the most environmentally-friendly papers for your school and office needs:

  • More paper products are now recovered than sent to landfills in the US, yet 65 percent of used printing and writing paper still ends up in the waste stream.
  • The pulp and paper industry ranks first in use of industrial process water, third in toxic chemical releases, and fourth in emissions of the air pollutants known to impair respiratory health.
  • Simple changes in our paper use and purchasing practices can help limit the depletion of forests and loss of habitat, reduce pollution and decrease the stress on our landfills. To this end, Green Seal recommends papers with at least 30 percent post-consumer recycled content and the use of chlorine-free production methods. Any pre-consumer or virgin fibers used in the recycled content paper must not be bleached with elemental chlorine.
  • Several companies are using chlorine derivatives, such as chlorine dioxide, in place of elemental chlorine, which is acceptable given sufficient post-consumer recycled content.
  • Green Seal also recommends some papers made with 100 percent virgin tree pulp, if processed completely without chlorine or its derivatives. Green Seal encourages both the increased use of post-consumer recycled fibers and the elimination of chlorine usage.
  • Purchasing products that are chlorine-free and include post-consumer fibers will reduce the strain on natural resources, promote resource conservation and waste reduction, and minimize toxic emissions.

Green Seal reviewed the products of 20 manufacturers and evaluated them against the environmental criteria mentioned above.

To read Green Seal’s environmental rating of printing and writing papers—59 product recommendations—download Green Seal’s Choose Green Report!

Read more: Career, Healthy Schools, Life

Adapted from a Green Seal Choose Green Report, by Green Seal. Copyright (c) by Green Seal. Reprinted by permission of Green Seal.
A Green Seal Choose Green Report, by Green Seal

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.

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+ add your own
2:54AM PDT on Mar 27, 2012

Thanks for the information.

11:36PM PDT on Jun 20, 2010

Good info. Thanks.

3:14AM PDT on May 15, 2010

thank you

4:40PM PDT on May 14, 2010


1:10AM PST on Feb 12, 2010

thank you

1:09AM PST on Feb 12, 2010

thank you

8:48AM PST on Nov 23, 2009

Thanks for the information.

11:05AM PDT on Jun 19, 2009

mega kabin

5:22PM PST on Feb 13, 2008

As a teacher, I have my students submit their papers electronically, no paper for them to waste. We still use paper in class but for those that can for homework it is not needed to print anymore

3:37PM PDT on Sep 7, 2007

I've notified Care2; they're fixing the download link. :)

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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