March - Conserve Paper and Remember its “Roots”

Approximately 33 percent of the municipal solid waste stream is made up of paper and paperboard products according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. It is the largest and most recoverable portion of the municipal waste stream. Earth 911 says, if measured by weight, more paper is recovered for recycling than all glass, plastic and aluminum combined.

What Can You Do?


Replace your Paper Towels

Paper towels result in 254 million tons of trash every year, and they can't be recycled. Paper towels are made from paper pulp which is extracted from wood or fiber crops. Most are bleached for a “cleaner” white color. To make one ton of paper towels, 17 trees are cut down and 20,000 gallons of water are consumed. Every individual can have a big impact: 1 year = Save a ¼ tree, Reduce landfill waste by 23 lbs., Cut CO2 by 34 lbs., Conserve 250 gals. of water.

Recycled paper towels are a step in the right direction, but not enough.  Going cold turkey on paper towels is the best choice for a sustainable future and the perk is it will save you money in the long run and needless trips to the store. Switch to reusable towels (such as PeopleTowels), dish cloths and napkins.  This switch protects natural resources, reduces energy consumption, and reduces air and water pollution.

Reduce Mail Waste

Celebrate Arbor Day

  • Plant a tree or make a donation to have one planted.
  • North Carolina’s Arbor Day is on the first Friday following March 15th.
    • Contact Nancy Stairs, the Urban Forestry Program Coordinator, from the NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services at with any direct questions.
  • National Arbor Day is April 24, 2015.

Watch this video to see how you can be less wasteful with paper towels: