Fox – 100% post-consumer recycled greeting card by Kindling
If you’re not using recycled paper (especially toilet paper!), what are you waiting for? You’ll get: instant eco-cred, hugs from trees, and warm fuzzy vibes. But why should you be using recycled paper?
There’s a few different types of paper. Most of it’s made from wood, there’s also cotton rag/paper predominantly used by fine artists, plus there’s paper made from all kinds of materials (have you heard of elephant dung paper? Weird but real.)
The difference between 100% post-consumer recycled paper and just plain old ‘recycled’
‘Recycled’ is a pretty broad and vague term in the paper world, and can refer to the recycling of any of the following: ‘recycled’ woodchips newly created from logging, ‘recycled’ offcuts from paper made from any random forest in a paper mill, recycled office paper, etc.
Post consumer recycled paper is awesome. It’s recycled from paper which has already been used by people. Generally used office paper is recycled and made into new office paper and white cardstock, whereas brown kraft card is recycled from a much broader range of papers. Neat trick. Lots of papers and card stock use a percentage of post-consumer recycled and a percentage of new.
Chevron Rose & Red Greeting Card, and Loveheart Card – Harlequin Rainbow made of 100% post-consumer recycled card by Pocket Carnival
What’s FSC paper?
FSC certified paper means the growth of the trees & production of the paper has been certified as fitting the guidelines of the Forest Stewardship Council. It means that logging for paper is done more sustainably, according to their guidelines. This means FSC paper is not made from old-growth forest (awesome!) but is instead made from trees grown under specific conditions. FSC also ensures workers have specific rights and the wood is legally harvested.
It’s pretty rad that there’s a certification body who checks up on old-growth forest logging, because we need to protect our lovely old forests!
Little Mo & Friends Stickers, made of 100% recycled paper by Little Mo & Friends
Choosing an awesome paper
If you’re purchasing any kind of paper product, from books to toilet paper, greeting cards to cardboard boxes, you can usually find a recycled or FSC option. Most businesses will sing loud & clear that their product is a bit more eco-friendly, but you should definitely ask if you’re not sure! Even if the product you want to buy doesn’t specify the origins of the paper, it’s great to let the seller know you’d prefer it if it was more eco-friendly.
If you’re purchasing paper or cardstock wholesale, you can request a product profile with an environmental impact statement. This will let you know what percentage of the paper is post-consumer recycled, if it’s carbon neutral and so on. Companies like Raleigh Paper or K.W. Doggett also have great paper selector tools so you can find a perfect paper!
There are so many amazing paper products made now that are 100% PC recycled, carbon neutral and elemental chlorine free that it feels a bit silly to be buying something that could be made of old-growth forest, doesn’t it?