Why Buy Recycled?

As you’re doing your back to school shopping, look for the whether the products you are buying are made from recycled materials.  Depending on who made the product and where you’re shopping, this might be a little tag on the back, big letters on the front or a symbol next to the item on a webpage.

There’s two “kinds” of made from recycled materials.  There’s made from recycled materials and made from post-consumer recycled materials.  What’s the difference?  “post-consumer” recycled materials means that it was made from stuff that peopled used and recycled – just like you do when you put your recycling out for the waste haulers.  The “other kind” is materials that were left over during manufacturing and never made it into the hands of the public.  Both kinds of made from recycled materials is good,  buying post-consumer recycled materials is better. 

Why should you buy made from recycled materials items?  (That is the title of the post, I should get to it eventually…)

1. If you buy something made from recycled materials they didn’t have to go cut down more trees or refine more oil to make the product.  The trees were already used or the oil was already refined and manipulated.

2. To [create/encourage/build/contribute to] a market for recycled materials.  If everyone recycled all their plastic and paper, but then insisted on buying everything from virgin materials, what we would do with all the recycled stuff?  It’s important that we help “close the loop” on recycling by buying recycled things.

How does this affect your back to school shopping?  Virtually everything your buying to send your children to school with has a version that was made from recycled materials.  Last year we even bought some pencils that were made from recycled jeans!  Some of these things look just like everything else you could buy, and some will make a statement.  Which will you choose? 

Happy Greening,

When you buy something made from recycled materials, do you want the item to blend in, or do you want it to make a statement so everyone can tell it was made from recycled materials?  Leave a comment and tell us!

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