Category Archives: Paper

Lift The Lid!

You’re finishing up a great cup of coffee from the rez, and, being a responsible student, go to recycle it. But wait – what? This coffee cup doesn’t fit easily into the hole in the paper recycling bin! And what to do with the lid?! Breathe. Don’t give up. Lift the lid. (Well, both lids.)

Let’s see this in action.

First, take the lid off the coffee cup and put it in the plastic recycling bin. Ok? Next step.

lift the lid

Now you’re left with the paper coffee cup. You know it goes in the paper recycling bin…but how? The hole on the top is definitely not shaped to fit a cup like this. But here’s a simple solution: Lift the Lid!

Yes, the bin lids can sometimes be confusing, but for the most part, they help people around campus understand the majority of things that are supposed to go in them. Glass bottles, cans, plastic soda bottles, and other cylindrical things go in the glass, metal plastics bin (green), paper shaped things in the paper bin (blue)…Unless it’s a coffee cup…But just lift the lid! Don’t give up and throw it in the trash.

Ok – I know the trash bins right next to the rez pose another conundrum. Rectangular hole? Cylindrical cup? No lid to lift? Wha??? I’ve seen waaaay too many people shut down when they see this and throw the cup into the trash hole. But no no no! Here’s an easy photographic tutorial of how to responsibly say goodbye to your coffee cup.

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Got it? One last thing – If you had a regular coffee without any foam or steamed milk, you’re good. However, if you’re more of a latte or mocha person, please try to rinse your cup out quickly before recycling it to get the extra goo off the sides.

Now put this info into use and tell all your friends to LIFT THE LID!

Big thank you to the lovely models and responsible citizens Nic Serhan and Paul Collins
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Kimberly-Clark and Greenpeace partner on sustainable forest initiative

The parent company of such ubiquitous brands as Kleenex, Scott, and Cottonelle has recently pledged to promote forest conservation by getting all of the wood fiber for its products from environmentally responsible sources. As the new industry leader in sustainability, Kimberly-Clark is setting a powerful example on how successful businesses can also be environmentally friendly, even in tough economic times. Click here to read a Reuters article about this exciting news!
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From Earth 911- The Pizza Box Mystery

Published on March 2nd, 2009
The Pizza Box Mystery
by Lori Brown
Many people assume that pizza boxes are recyclable. In fact, most boxes have recycling symbols on them and are traditionally made from corrugated cardboard. They are, in and of themselves, recyclable.

Have we got you hooked? Click here to read more.

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Paper Recycling IS A BIG Deal

If you were one of the people standing around the big tree on the President’s Lawn trying to save it from the phantom saw, you’re probably feeling pretty irritated since finding out the whole event was a hoax. If you didn’t go, you’re laughing at the people who were there. Regardless, it’s the thought that counts, isn’t it? (And no, we don’t mean the “organizer’s” thought of, “Hahaha, wouldn’t it be funny if we made a bunch of well-meaning students look gullible?”) There are real ways to save trees without this potential embarrassment.
While discussing this topic with a friend, I asked him what he thought of as the easiest way to save trees. Without a moment’s hesitation, he suggested mass murder of lumberjacks. (At this point, I made an excuse about having a lot of homework, and quickly exited.) While this method would certainly get conservation into the news, actually the easiest way to save trees is to recycle! Bet you didn’t see that one coming. You don’t even need to leave your dorm or commit manslaughter. Why should you make sure you recycle all of your paper? Think about this: one ton of non-recycled office paper uses twenty-four trees. This means that one package of five hundred sheets, which probably lasts the average Tufts student one month, uses 6% of a tree. This might not sound like much, but multiply that by five thousand students, and the undergraduate body is cutting down thirty trees per month just for printing in their dorms! Think about this next time you print out another picture of Sarah Palin to tape to the ceiling over your roommate’s bed. At least print it out on the back of a class handout you never read. Double-sided printing saves you money, saves trees, and points out to your professors that you’re environmentally responsible. Next time you’re buying paper, make sure to buy at least 30% recycled printer paper, and consider buying sketchbooks made from alternative materials, such as hemp. While we’re on the subject, remember to recycle the box board inserts in packaging, all cereal boxes, juice cartons, and envelopes (even those with plastic address windows.)

Here’s another statistic to consider: more than one hundred million trees are logged in America to produce junk mail. While we hope you will recycle the odd copy of Toscano (your number one source for bizarre lawn ornaments) that shows up in your Tufts mailbox, why not save yourself the trouble by taking a minute to get yourself off of their mailing list? Most magazines and other mailings have a number on the back that you can call to ask to be removed from the mailing list. Don’t stop with your Tufts mail; it’s nearly the holidays, and your family at home is probably being flooded with catalogs as you read this. While you’re home for Thanksgiving, take a break from the awkward conversations with your distant relatives to tackle that stack of magazines.

You might believe that paper recycling isn’t a big deal because of tree farming, which supposedly reduces pressure on natural forests. This idea itself is now being questioned because the trees produced by most tree farms are used for different purposes than those logged from forests. Further, forests have to fall or agricultural land must be taken over before a tree farm can be established. This is not only damaging to ecosystems around the world, but often disrupts rural communities. Paper mills usually aren’t built until several years after a tree farm is planted, so while companies can claim that they are creating jobs, often people are forced to abandon their communities before the new jobs arrive. By recycling, you’re not only saving trees, but you’re discouraging the destruction of rural communities around the world. Please support trees that can’t get a man in a banana suit to sit in their branches and advocate for them with a megaphone!

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Last month, Greenpeace released photos of a large stockpile of logs. It is an ugly picture, but hardly shocking for someone from Sweden, used to seeing logging trucks and trains whizz past. The logs’ origin and destiny is what makes the photos truly horrendous. Their origin is the Ogoki Forest, a region of the ancient Boreal Forest in Canada. Their destiny? The trash.According to Greenpeace, the stockpiles of ancient trees will be turned into pulp, and then turned into the paper products sold by the Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Kimberly-Clark owns many of the world’s most popular brands of disposable paper products intended for personal use, including Kleenex and Scott products.

In their July 2008 sustainability report, Kimberly-Clark claimed that most of their fiber comes from byproducts of the logging process, including chips and sawdust. These photos paint a different picture. Greenpeace gives further evidence of Kimberly-Clark’s forestry mismanagement with Canadian government data, which shows that Kimberly-Clark’s insatiable demand is causing logging to push even further into the virgin Ogoki region. This is especially devastating because the forest is the delicate habitat of the endangered woodland caribou.

However, the worst part of the trees’ story is its tragically abrupt end. From their pulp, Kimberly-Clark will make some paper products that are used less than a minute, and rarely more than a couple of seconds. Their tissues and toilet paper are designed to be thrown away directly after use. That such old, exceptional trees should have to meet such an end is undignified.

The question now becomes, what can you do about it? First of all, if this tragic tale has made you upset, don’t reach for that tissue box! The fact that people are buying these tissues is the key to a much larger problem. Therefore, first ask yourself if you really need to use disposable paper products, or if you can easily substitute reusable ones, like cloth handkerchiefs. If you decide to continue- an understandable choice in the case of toilet paper – insist on using only products made with recycled content and sustainable wood, certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). You may chose to follow this simple advice on your own, or make your voice heard by supporting the campaign at

This leads me to wonder, does Tufts indirectly support Kimberly-Clark mismanagement by buying their products? What products do Tufts students really use? This deserves closer inspection…
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Paper vs. Plastic?

Are you really still wondering?

Read The Washington Post’s report that reuse is best.

Tip – if you forget to bring bags on your next trip to buy groceries, just grab some from the plastic bag recycling bin. Most grocery stores have one near the check out.
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Harry Potter Cares…

About the Environment!
“On March 20, 2007, Scholastic Inc. announced that all 12 million copies of the U.S. edition of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows will be printed on paper that contains a minimum of 30% post-consumer waste (pcw) fiber. 65% of the 16,700 tons of paper used in the U.S. first printing will be certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the global standard-setter for responsible forest management. This historic commitment is the largest purchase of FSC certified paper to be used in the printing of a single book title…” Read more at
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