How Do They Recycle Paper?

I was wondering, if I put all that packaging cartons in the recycling bin. What will it happen to it?
Of course not every city or even every country has the facilities to do this, but it warms my heart knowing that a part of the paper is being recycled.

According to earth911, in 2011, 66.8% of paper consumed in the United States was recycled.
They say “After you put paper in your recycling bin, it's taken to a recycling center where contaminants such as plastic, glass or trash are removed. Next, the paper is sorted into different grades. For example, newspaper is a lower grade paper because it has already been recycled numerous times, while printer paper is higher grade paper. The grade of paper is determined by fiber length, which shortens after each trip through the recycling process.

What bothers me is the amount of water used for this process.
The process of waste paper recycling involves mixing used paper with water and chemicals to break it down. It is then chopped up and heated, which breaks it down further into strands of cellulose, a type of organic plant material; this resulting mixture is called pulp (or slurry). It is strained through screens, which remove any glue or plastic that may still be in the mixture then cleaned, de-inked, bleached, and mixed with water. Finally, it can be made into new recycled paper for mass consumption.

So, while you and I think recycling is a good thing, it is better to avoid using and consuming.  What do you think?

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Food for thought

A Consignment Christmas is still a very Merry Christmas

You may find the Holidays incredibly overwhelming as I do when thinking about the amount of money spent and the trash going out. As always, Reduce, Reuse and Recycle must come to the rescue!

I wanted to share something about consignment with you. So I talked to Carol-Anne from The singing lady, the consignment emporium in Etobicoke, Ontario.  They have been in the Consignment business for 4 years now and hopefully will be for years to come.

“Consignment has been around for a long time, but is becoming more popular in Canada. As people realize they can get quality items for less than retail prices. Also, they can part with items they no longer need, without contributing to the landfill." Says Carol Anne. 

I was checking out their Christmas collection which is super cool!  They have always sold Christmas items, but it is until today that I noticed them! It is a store run by people who celebrate Christmas and enjoy all the special decor items that come with it. They know their customers enjoy the same and buy consignment items not only to give away as gifts, but to keep at home. 

Photo from The Singing Lady Christmas Collection
“(having a Christmas collection)…also gives our Consignors the opportunity to bestow articles that they've used for years to celebrate Christmas in their homes, but now have no use for.”

Consignors are either moving houses and can't bring the items with them to the new house (i.e. moving province, continents, downsizing or redecorating. Others are in different life circumstances like dealing with an estate because a family member has died or have changes like a new baby, or a child has moved out.

Like any other business, sales go up during the Christmas season, but this kind of business leaves a lighter carbon footprint definitely.
Easter and Thanksgiving are big holidays for this and any store, but nothing compares to Christmas, where people buy gifts for others as well.

Carol-Anne believes that their customers have different motivations, being the style (vintage) the main one and the price the next one.
Even though this type of commerce evidently has less negative impact in the environment, Carol–Anne thinks the environmental concerns are the least of their clients' worries.

And by saying “I think that you can be very wasteful during Christmas, but with thought, can make the impact significantly less. Buying Consignment is a good way to do that!” Carol-Ann ends.

SO, why not trying Consignment stores this year? Go ahead and think outside the (gift) box.


FYI: CONSIGNMENT: An arrangement whereby goods are left in the possession of another party to sell. Typically, the consignor receives a percentage of the sale (sometimes a very large percentage). Consignment deals are made on a variety of products - from artwork, to clothing, to books. In recent years, consignment shops have become rather trendy, especially those offering specialty products, infant wear and high-end fashion items.  Source: Investopedia