We don’t realize how easy it can be to go green in our homes, especially with the things we use everyday. Here are a few tips for going green with the paper items we use everyday.

• Eat dinner like your grandparents did, with cloth napkins! If everyone in the United States replaced just one package of paper napkins with cloth, we’d save one million trees. On average, each American uses a staggering 2,200 paper napkins a year, none of which are recycled. Why not reduce waste (and deforestation) by choosing cloth instead? You can even choose napkins that are made out of sustainable fabrics. Some of the more popular “green” fabrics are modal, hemp and bamboo.

• Cut down or eliminate paper towels usage and substitute washable viscose cloths. They are far more absorbent than paper and can soak up 10 times their weight in liquid. Or use washable cloths for washing dishes instead of sponges.

Finally, here is quick tip on ways to cut down on the other type of paper that comes into our houses on a regular basis – junk mail and catalogs!

• To remove your name from junk-mail lists, use the Direct Mail Association’s online service (https://www.dmachoice.org). It costs only $1. Or, subscribe to Precycle (formerly Green Dimes). For $36 a year, they’ll de-clutter your mailbox and plant five trees on your behalf.

• Dealing with the deluge of catalogs is free and through Catalog Choice (https://www.catalogchoice.org/). On their site, you search for participating companies (they’re almost all there!) and check them off. Once you sign up you’ll start noticing a marked difference in the amount of junk mail and catalogs you get everyday.

[ Image by nikcname ]