As even recycled paper is ultimately still originally made from wood, it’s good to see that one company has found something else to make paper from – wheat. Leftover wheat straw to be exact.
Natures Paper, an apostrophe-shy Australian firm, has made A4 and A3 sized paper that looks and feels like ‘normal’ paper but is made from wheat instead. I’ll leave it to them to explain how it’s done:
“The production method is quite simple; we harvest the wheat using the grain for traditional reasons such as flour, cereal etc. The mill uses the waste hull from wheat and rice to produce an organic fuel (BIO-FUEL). This is then burnt to generate heat which in turn is used to boil our self collected and recycled water. This water is used to not only clean our paper, but also produce steam to turn the turbines and generate 80% of the plant’s required Green Power.
“The straw, a by product from wheat production, is ground and then mixed to produce a quality paper pulp. The pulp is whitened using a sodium salt and oxygenisation process. This process is the only known commercial whitening process that is 100% environmental because we reuse the water many times. Unlike bleach or chlorine based systems whose two chemicals can only be used twice in the production process, before they have to be disposed of causing a risk to environmental areas from runoff, dumping and contamination of ground water resources.
“Once whitened the pulp is formed into paper. The waste from the production process is recycled and made into cardboard boxes to hold the paper.”
Echo Paper sells 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper, in a variety of formats.
The paper is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). Their paper is also 100% process chlorine free and acid-free archival paper that will not yellow over time.
So why use recycled paper? Using 100% post-consumer waste recycled paper results in:
- 45% less energy use
- 38% less greenhouse gasses produced
- 45% less wastewater generated
- 50% less solid waste created
- 100% less wood use
In fact, using 20 cases of Envirographic 100 paper that is made with 100% post-consumer waste rather than non-recycled paper saves the following resources:
- 2 tons of wood used (approximately 13 trees)
- 4,700 gallons of water (273 eight-minute showers)
- 9 million btu of energy (enough energy to power an average American household for 37 days)
- 548 pounds of solid waste (18.5 thirty-two gallon garbage cans)
- 1,039 pounds of greenhouse gases (equivalent of carbon sequestered by about 13 tree seedlings grown for ten years)
Also Echo Paper plants a tree for every case sold, in partnership with Trees for the Future.
Now if I could just find out why paper in the US is three hole punched and in the UK two or four holes and a slightly different size….
A company called CoGen Media got in touch to tell us about a new product that will help save waste by helping printer cartridges last longer.
Probably invented to save money originally (it’s a great motivator), the ecoPrint2 software is becoming popular in America as way for schools, companies and individuals to be environmentally friendly. The software acts as an internal printer allowing you to automatically use less ink with your printer and even do things like print two pages per sheet without having to set it up each time.
So it saves ink and paper basically. Now I know the argument is that no printing saves even more ink and paper, and while I don’t print at all at home, at work it’s unavoidable. Businesses need to take their responsibilities more seriously and I would suggest, without actually being in a position to test it, that this sort of software, and idea in general, is a step in the right direction.
It does cost around $40 for the basic version though, so I’ll just be hunting for the ‘draft’ option on my printer I think. Go to Ecoprintsaver.com to find out more.
I recently took the opportunity to test out some new recycled paper products from LetsGoGreen, the online only eco-friendly supplier.
We have previously taken a look at some of their green products here , but this time I wanted to check out the recycled paper sampler, and some other items.
I’ve tested the toilet paper before and pretty good it is too, indistinguishable from most other types, and certainly a lot better for the environment, being recycled without chlorine or bleaching.
The paper towels were of a handy size (we had some old ones from Costco that came off the roll about the size of a bath towel….) and cheaper when buying a single roll or 6-pack than that of Bounty from my local grocery store. With more sheets too, though I’m not sure of the size of the sheets.
The recycled facial tissues are good, though if you’re of the sensitive type, they are not as soft as other non-recycled brands. They’re perfectly good for me though, and again the price is good.
The recycled napkins – I can’t tell the difference between the other non-recycled ones we have. I’m sure not many people could and they, er, work perfectly well too.
While I was there I also bought a toilet tank bank for my new house (I didn’t take the old one with me….) and some more degradable trash bags, which at the moment of writing, are on sale.
ECO-SAFE is an idea that intends to help people read your site away from your site without printing it out, therefore saving paper.
As you can see from the widget to the right, you get a couple of options of how you want to read it, via email or via a PDF to your email.
Currently the first option works great, though I’ve had a few issues with the second option. There are numerous widgets that you can integrate on your website or blog, form large ones like this to minimalist ones. You can also download the WordPress plugin to quickly integrate this with your blog.
Do you think this is a good idea? We removed the default option on this site to print the page, but of course people can just select Print from their browser menu if they prefer reading that way. Will it be useful? Take a look at ECO-SAFE and let us know what you think.
A quick Green Store News update for you following on from November’s article here. One of Life Goggles’ friends, Big Green Smile sent us a couple of updates just in time for Christmas.
Most online stores offer a gift wrapping service but Big Green Smile now use Lokta paper to wrap its products. Lokta paper is made from the bark of the Lokta (or Daphne papyracea) plant, which grows in the Himalayas and is abundant in supply. You can also get a gift card made from 75% elephant dung and 25% recycled paper.
Again, while not revolutionary but new and most welcome to Big Green Smile, is the option to carbon offset your delivery. While offsetting is often used as greenwash, in this case I think it’s great. You can’t avoid delivery with online shopping so having the option to help others abroad and offset your carbon emissions is a good idea. Click here to find out more about this scheme and the sort of people that are helped by this sort of offsetting.
Green Print have a little piece of software that they claim can save you around $90 per year. It does this by reducing the amount of paper and ink that you use when printing. It’s a free software download that:
- Removes wasteful pages
- Includes a PDF writer
- Can track how many pages (and money) you have saved
- Currently only works on Windows
If you get annoyed at wasting paper and ink, take a look at Green Print’s free download.