Buy Recycled Products:
Closing the Loop

OK, so we're doing our part recycling and we're feeling really great about helping the environment. But wait. What happens to all that stuff after we've dropped it off at our local center or it has been picked up from our curbside bin? Well, it's processed and made into new items. Sounds great, huh? I'll buy the recycled items and I'll recycle them again, and the cycle continues.


When you buy your kids notebook paper for school, or a ream of paper for your printer, surely to goodness it was made from recycled content.

Are you SURE?

A great deal of items that CAN be made from recycled items, are still being produced from virgin materials. The quality of products made from recycled content is just as high as products made from virgin materials. So you are not making any compromises by buying recycled items. 

It is important for us as consumers to choose our purchases wisely. The more we buy recycled products, the more demand we create, and consequently, more products will begin to be made from recycled content. Recycling Symbol

Look for the recycled symbol when shopping for products. Choose the products that show the highest percentage of post-consumer content. The following items are often available using recycled content:

Paper Towels Calendars Concrete Blocks
Toilet Tissue Wrapping paper Carpet
Facial Tissue Garbage Cans Garden Hoses
Envelopes Landscaping Mulch Floor Tiles
Notebook, Printer,
Copier, and Writing Paper
Aluminum gutters,
down spouts, and siding
Printer Ink
Cartridges and Toner
File Folders Insulation Shoes
Pencils Building Materials Cardboard
Cereal Boxes Paint Binders
Aluminum Cans Clothing Bulletin Boards
Motor Oil Furniture Rulers
Plastic Lumber Crayons Mouse Pads
Plastic bottles Wallets Wallpaper

I bet you didn't know about some of those, did you?

Recycled TissueiconSo what do you do if you can't find items made from recycled content in your local store?

ASK, ASK, ASK, and then ASK again! Retailers typically want to stock what they know you are going to buy. Makes sense, huh? Make sure they are aware that you want to buy recycled products. And if you still don't get anywhere? Take your business elsewhere.

The Internet is a wonderful resource to find and buy recycled products. A few of my favorite online merchants that offer products made from recycled content are:

More Information on Recycling Beyond the Basics

What to Recycle Next
Now that you are more comfortable with the recycling basics, we can start doing even more to help the environment. Learn what to recycle next.

Buying Recycled Products
Buying recycled products helps close the recycling loop and create a bigger demand for products made from recycled content.

Reducing the Amount of Your Trash
You can reduce your trash by purchasing products with less packaging and making better choices in your daily life.

Recycling Food Scraps
Make compost from your kitchen scraps and yard waste. Reduce your waste while providing nutrients for your plants and garden.

Recycling Hazardous Waste
Keep our soil and water from becoming tainted, recycle hazardous waste. Ensure it doesn't end up in a landfill.

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