Six Ways to Reduce Your Paper Consumption at Home


6-ways-reduce-paper-usage-wCutting back on home-energy costs doesn’t have to stop at a home-energy audit and weatherization improvements. There’s a lot of money to be saved not only on your utility bill, but also on your everyday product consumption.

Cutting back on the amount of paper you throw away or recycle at home can make a big difference to your pocket book and to the environment.

Check out these tips for using less paper.

Use cloth napkins and towels.

When you think of paper and recycling, you probably think about printer paper and newspaper – but paper napkins and towels are some of the biggest paper offenders in the home.

  1. Many of us use disposable towels and napkins almost exclusively.

    Americans throw an average of 55 pounds of tissue paper, including paper towels and napkins, in the trash every year. Paper towels and napkins can’t be recycled.

    Switch to cloth. Washing them when they get dirty will cost you less and use less energy than it takes to make tissue paper products.

  2. Stop junk mail.

    Whenever possible, request that advertisers or businesses stop sending you promotional materials. They usually waste your time and they definitely waste paper.

  3. Get your bills and statements online.

    Most companies allow you to opt to receive online bills and statements instead of paper ones. Making the switch can save you money if the company has a promotional program, which many do.

    It will also save you from shredding important documents you don’t want to keep. Many recyclers can’t process shredded paper.

  4. Opt for the digital version.

    If you subscribe to magazines or newspapers, consider getting the digital edition instead of the printed copy and reading it on a tablet, smartphone or computer. Such subscriptions are usually cheaper and prevent you from recycling stacks of magazines and newspapers.

  5. Choose email receipts.

    When buying products from certain stores, you can often choose to have a receipt emailed to you rather than taking a printed copy. They’re easier to organize, save and search that way and cut back on wasted paper.

  6. Do the dishes.

    On pizza night in particular it can be hard to get excited about breaking out the fine china. Avoiding paper plates and cups can make a big difference in your family’s paper consumption.

    Even if you have a gathering, running the dishwasher will probably still require less energy and expense than the paper products you would otherwise use.

Working with the ERC…

The Energy Resource Center is dedicated to helping southern Colorado families realize long-term and sustainable savings on their energy bills. In addition to offering advice about general cost- and energy-saving practices, we perform complete home energy audits and weatherization home improvements.

Our services are available for a fee or for free to income-qualified residents of El Paso, Teller, Fremont, Elbert, South Douglas, Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Saguache and Rio Grande counties. Contact us today if you want help cutting your Colorado utility bills.