Easy Green Living: Tree Free Your Home

May 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Reduce, Reuse & Recycle

Making you home tree free has nothing to do with the number of trees on your property. It actually has to do with your indoor environment and how much paper waste your home generates.

Although disposable paper products might simplify our lives, they contribute to a vast amount of home waste that our planet doesn’t need. They also use up a valuable commodity in our world: trees! Did you know that in the United States, each person uses more than 580 pounds of paper each year? By reusing non-disposable items instead of paper, and taking some of the following suggestions, we’d all be doing our part have a clean, green, sustainable earth for generations to come.

Napkins and Paper Towels

In the United States alone, 3,000 tons of paper towels are sent to landfills each day. By using cloth products such as tea towels or cloth napkins and washing them and reusing them, just think of all the waste that you can save. It is estimated that this one little eco-friendly habit can also save families more than $100 annually.

Paper Plates

No one likes to do the dishes, but paper plates do nothing to help a home become tree free. Washing and reusing durable dishes can save a lot of paper. Can the inconvenience of running the dishwasher a few more times compare to the inconvenience of a polluted earth with no more available landfill space?


Every Sunday in the United States, about 500,000 trees are wasted in newspapers that are not recycled. It doesn’t take that much effort to recycle newspapers, and is worth the time. Most recycling centers will take them baled and tied, and they can be recycled to make new newsprint. Better yet, consider reading your newspaper online and there is no waste and nothing to recycle.

Junk Mail

Each year, the average household receives the equivalent of one and half trees in junk mail. Though it might be annoying, there are a few things you can do about unsolicited junk mail. You can sort through and recycle what isn’t glossy or plastic lined. Though it takes time and effort, call, write or email companies or agencies you receive junk mail from and request to be removed from the mailing list.

Toilet Paper

Granted, there thankfully aren’t any reusable substitutes for toilet paper. But an environmentally friendly option is to buy post consumer recycled content for all of your necessary paper items. Read labels to try to find the highest recycled content possible, and make sure the items are bleach free.

Writing Paper

Besides buying recycled content writing and printer paper, you can also recycle paper you have in your home. Print on both sides. Use the back of used papers for scrap to write notes or take messages. Consider putting up a dry erase message board in your kitchen that you can reuse to take messages and you will automatically be saving paper waste.

It might take some effort to make your home tree free, but it is well worth it. Any of these ideas can help your family to have a green home and free up landfill space. Keep the trees out of your home so that they continue to sustain and beautify the environment.