In recent years, recycling has grown more and more common. Nowadays, more than one-third of new paper is made with recycled fiber. This means fewer trees being cut for the sake of creating paper product, and more recycled paper material in the products you’re buying. Finding recycled paper in paper towels, printer paper, and other typical paper products is fairly common and expected. But some products might be hiding this green surprise without you realizing it. Here are just a few of the ways recycled paper fibers are being used in surprising products today.
- Greeting Cards: While it might not be too surprising that this paper product is made of, well, paper, more and more greeting card companies are adopting the practice of using partial or all recycled materials in their cards. Some are going one step further and turning their recycled paper greeting cards into seed paper, which can be planted and will eventually sprout wildflowers or other varieties of plants. If you want to know if your greeting cards use recycled paper, check the back; most companies will print a symbol on the back to indicate its recycled content.
- Electronics: Yes, you read that correctly. Some types of electronics are now being constructed out of recycled cardboard materials. Usually, these are electronics designed for shorter lifespans, so don’t expect to see a cardboard smartphone any time soon. However, some types of simple computers and AM/FM radios are being constructed out of recycled cardboard, with the intention being that these devices will also be recycled at the end of their life.
- Firewood: Since both firewood and paper originate from the same tree, why not use one as the other? Several companies are turning recycled newspaper into firewood logs by compressing and binding many layers of recycled newspaper together. These logs are able to burn just as well as wood, and reuse what would otherwise be waste product. Some are even chopping these newspaper logs into planks and using them in construction projects.
There are plenty of surprising uses for recycled paper that exist. Next time you’re out shopping, check to see what common items you use are made from recycled paper; the answer may surprise you.