The irony of recycling paper whilst using more paper (or other products) than is justifiable is akin to donating to an organization that saves lives while being responsible for a murder. The option of recycling, while extremely noble, is sometimes used as a way for people to avoid feeling guilty about the overindulgence that they take part in every day. Recycling paper and other materials, using recycled/recyclable items, and reusing things that one may be inclined to simply throw away is very important. A certain amount of the use of such things is inevitable, however, just as people are unaware of their impact on the environment via such things as carbon emissions or waste disposal, the option of minimizing the amount of resources used (as provided in the “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” slogan) is rarely considered. There are many ways that we may reduce our usage

Most people only worry about recycling after they’ve used a recyclable product, but (such as with drugs or teen pregnancy) prevention is also an effective route when it comes to being conscious about what sorts of items we use and the effects that the use of those items have on people. I have seen fellow students who refuse to proofread papers whilst they are still in electronic form, preferring instead to print them out and give them to their peers to edit. The problem with this method is that, if mistakes are found, they must throw away the copy that they’ve already printed and print a new one, sometimes this event occurs several times over. Instead of conforming to the obsession that our generation has with reprinting everything they write a million times over, I prefer to email or link a copy of my writing to a friend or teacher to read over first. Before I even think of printing something, I read over it time and time again and even check the format to make sure that it is exactly how I want it. I definitely try to recycle my paper after I’m finished with it and I try to buy recycled paper, but I also try to minimize the amount of resources that I use.

 In some instances, such as turning in assignments to teachers, the number of drafts needed in a project is out of our control. As stated above, there will always be a certain amount of usage that we cannot avoid, which is where your two other options come in; “reuse” and “recycle”. Do it.

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