Living a zero-waste lifestyle is the way to go, but how can you get started? One way to minimize our impact on the Earth starts with our purchasing decisions. Choosing to use products made with recyclable materials like paper and cardboard, that come from renewable resources like trees, is one of many simple solutions. From technology, ironically made from paper, to sturdy cardboard furniture, paper substitutes are increasingly prevalent. Choosing paper alternatives to replace non-recyclable materials not only helps brands meet their sustainability goals, but helps consumers, like you, reduce your waste. Beyond everyday purchases like choosing food that comes in paper containers or ordering items that ship in cardboard boxes, we’ll cover how to incorporate recyclable paper and cardboard into the more permanent aspects of your life. These paper purchases can help you take steps towards creating a more sustainable lifestyle that helps the planet while being fashionably sustainable.
- Paper cameras: We are not talking about one-time use disposable cameras but paper cameras that are reusable and recyclable. There are a few on the market, including the Jollylook: The cardboard camera and Paper Shoot. Not only are these cameras uniquely designed, but they also take artistically vintage photos.
- Paper water bottles: Water and paper were never a good match, until now. The Paper Water Bottle created a 100% recyclable and reusable bottle that lasts at least one year when stored in a dry location. The bottle is designed for cold fill applications and can chilled with ice packs or refrigeration.
- Memory box: Another way to incorporate sustainable products is to save milestone memories of your friends, family and loved ones in cardboard archival boxes. Paper and cardboard are great when it comes to keeping the important papers in your life, like diplomas, cards and memorabilia from other momentous occasions, dry and protected. And when your mementos outgrow from one box to another, they are easily recyclable.
- Paper decor: There are a myriad of paper and recycled clocks made by artisans at Etsy that will add a green touch to your home, as well as paper lamps. With the creativity and craftsmanship of these small business owners, chances are you will find decor that fits your tastes.
- Furniture. We have all heard about the cardboard beds for the athlete’s village in Tokyo. The single bed frames will also be recycled into paper products after the games. But cardboard furniture is nothing new. From tables and desks, paper furniture can be easily found, adding a unique, recyclable twist to house essentials.
- Brand initiatives: With a little effort, the cardboard box your TV came in can be converted to a nightstand, cat house, desk organizer or coffee table. Samsung has surprised and delighted consumers by providing instructions on how to reuse their boxes for permanent home staples (and we think they look great!). IKEA also provides tips on their ideas page for how to reuse your cardboard boxes to make gift boxes, games and more.