Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dead tree home tour: August's Abode Column

This month Betty takes a home walk-through to find any dead tree, replacing it with some tree-friendly alternatives.

Entering the home, we are likely standing on hardwood or surrounded by wood columns (i.e. 4x4s) that were once trees growing outside amongst the elements, but now wear a coat of drywall, insulation, and paint to protect us from the weather. Done deal.

The first thing we find in the entryway: junk mail. Put a stop to this dead tree by going to Betty’s easy links for eliminating junk mail at www.betterworldbetty.org. Share your magazines and recycle newspapers.

What do we find in the kitchen? No paper bags because you use reusable bags. Paper towels are unnecessary, but if you insist on having them on hand, the brown recycled variety will do. Cereal boxes and other food containers made of mixed brown paper (once trees) make great flash cards, art project materials, and can be recycled.

Stepping into the living room, we find a coffee table, dining set, and guitar—all former trees. Make your next furniture purchase FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or reclaimed wood, or second-hand.

Next room: the office. Remember to purchase 100 percent post-consumer FSC-certified bleach-free paper, have a recycle box readily accessible (paper still tops the list as the number one recyclable throwaway), and go paperless when possible.

We finish the tour with a bathroom break, finding Green Forest or Seventh Generation toilet and tissue paper using 90-100 percent recycled content and a chlorine-free manufacturing process.



p.s. photo from one of my favorite books: The Remarkable Trees of Virginia, photo by local Bob Llewellyn

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