29 - 2008

Shred less

Yesterday’s Excellent post was almost like a wrap-up. So now for a regular post, even though it’s a Friday.

shredderWe’re all told to shred everything with personal information on it.


But shredding paper has some problems. In our community, you can still recycle it, but you are asked to put it in a paper bag, stapled shut, before tossing it into your recycling bin. Why?

The short answer is that shredding breaks up the paper fiber, thereby making it lower in quality when it comes to its potential recycling uses. For the long answer, read #2 on this page. (The how- and where-to’s on that page are specific to the recycler, but the information likely applies everywhere.)

Shredding is still OK … and it’s better than throwing out, burning or disposing in some other way (eating?) of paper with private information on it. But do the environment one small favor and consider shredding less — rip off the segment that has your name on it, shred the ripped-off part, and recycle the rest of the page normally.

(And for even greater savings, view your bills online and avoid the entire “paper” part of the privacy cycle — just be sure you have all your computer settings at maximum privacy protection.)

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