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   FREE MEMBERSHIP    Our Newsletter - October 2003
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You Make the Recycled Products Cooperative Possible!
This is our first newsletter, and as the lead order of business, we’d like to thank you. Whether you’ve been purchasing through the Co-op from our early days, or are new to the program, we wouldn’t be here without you. Understanding the virtues of recycled paper and making the choice to use it has a positive effect in the world and for our program. We started from an idea of increasing recycled paper use in San Diego and have since grown to be an award-winning national program that has converted over 400 businesses and public agencies to buying recycled paper. A small portion from each case of recycled paper that you purchase returns to support our national effort to conserve natural resources through increasing the use of recycled paper and products. Thanks for making it possible!

Member Profile
Grinnell College was founded in 1846. It is located in Iowa and has a full time enrollment of 1,400 students. Grinnell has been purchasing 30% PC recycled paper through the Co-op for over a year. They began purchasing through the Co-op because they were able to realize a cost savings on recycled paper and according to Karen McRitchie because, "she liked to be a part of a group that is promoting environmentally conscious products." When asked what she liked best about the Co-op, Karen commented, "The dynamic personalities of program staff and the great customer service."
Well enthusiasm for recycled paper runs high at Grinnell just like it does here at the Co-op. The students wanted to buy the best environmental paper available. So, in a combined effort involving students, faculty, staff and an environmental group on campus called Free the Planet! ( College is now purchasing 100% postconsumer recycled copy paper! The paper has received positive feedback from everyone using it on campus!! Thanks Grinnell for being a part of the Co-op and for your incredible commitment to our environment!!

Welcome New Members
Member participation is what enables us to continue our work to increase the use of recycled paper nationwide. We’d like to extend a warm welcome to all of the following new members…..
  • Stadtler, Rosenblum, and Saris
  • City of Solana Beach
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Teach for America
  • Casitas Municipal Water
  • Metro Waste Authority
  • NODC Labs

Natural Resource Savings Since the program began in 1999, members have purchased over 200,000 cases of recycled (30% pcw) paper. This has saved the equivalent of 36,000 trees, 10.5 million gallons of water, 6.2 million kilowatt hours of electricity, and 90,000 pounds of air pollution.

Expanding Our Products and Service:
We Need Your Input!

The Co-op’s primary focus is to increase the use of recycled paper on a nationwide basis and we’re planning to offer thousands of recycled office products all through one convenient source. Our negotiations with various suppliers have taken time and resources over the past 12 months and we’re getting closer. But we want to hear your thoughts. Please take a moment to respond to the eight questions below: (you can respond directly to the email and paste the questions and your answers into the message).

1. How can we better service your needs?
2. Would you like to be able to place orders for paper through an online
3. Are you interested in purchasing additional recycled office products
    through the Co-op?
4. Presently, 100% postconsumer recycled paper costs 20% to 30% 
    more than 30% recycled paper. Would you be willing to pay this
    premium for a paper with superior environmental qualities?
5. What is most important to you when buying recycled/non-recycled
    office products?
6. Do you currently purchase any of your office products online?
7. Would you be able to pay for office products ordered online with a 
    credit card?
8. How often would you like to receive an informative electronic
    newsletter and what topics interest you most?

Industry Progress
In May 2002, a group of North American non-profit groups met in San Francisco to discuss how to transform the paper industry. The Recycled Products Cooperative was at that initial meeting and now sits on the steering committee for the Environmental Paper Network—the organizing body that is pushing this movement forward. Additional steering committee members include: Conservatree, Center for a New American Dream, Environmental Defense, ForestEthics, and others. So far, the Environmental Paper Network (EPN) has drafted a Common Vision document that is designed to unify the efforts of environmental groups. Additionally the EPN convened an international paper summit and is now developing short and mid-range goals. Find out more about the Network and the movement in coming months. Visit www.environmentalpaper.orgin early January when their website is up and running.

The Big Picture
Despite the electronic age we live in, we are now using more paper than ever and trends predict a 77% increase from 1995 to 2020. In the year 2002, approximately 4 million tons of copy paper were produced in the U.S. and nearly 100 million trees were harvested to supply the fiber for this paper. Unfortunately, recycled paper represented less than 5% of this total volume. What’s the net effect? Ever increasing pressure on the world’s remaining endangered forests and the conversion of biodiverse forests into tree plantations. This is where you fit in. Using recycled paper saves trees and natural resources and tells manufacturers that there is a market for products that are produced with greater environmental responsibility.

A Deeper Look
Endangered Forests in Southeastern U.S.
The paper industry is the largest consumer of forests in the Southern US, currently logging an estimated 5 million acres of forests (an area the size of New Jersey) each year. After the trees are harvested, chipped, and pulped to make paper, they are indeed replanted. In fact, many industry representatives claim that there are more trees now than there were 100 years ago. However, the replanted trees are not the same as the forests that stood before them. In fact, Southern forests are rapidly being converted into tree farms throughout the region. These tree farms are typically planted with one non-native species—the loblolly pine which are planted in neat rows and maintained with chemical fertilizers and herbicides. Pine plantations are not forests. Pine plantations support 90% fewer plant and animal species than the forests that preceded them and contribute to ground and surface water contamination. National campaigns organized by non-profit groups are helping bring awareness to the issue and will hopefully help the marketplace to increase the use of recycled paper and reduce the pressure being put on southern forests. See www.dogwoodalliance.organd www.forestethics.orgfor more information.

Conservation Tips Reducing Paper Use

The average American office worker is estimated to use a sheet of paper every 12 minutes—a ream per person every two and a half working weeks—and to dispose of 100-200 pounds of paper every year. Listed below are some suggestions for saving resources and money:

1. When copying documents, using the duplexing feature to copy on both sides.
2. Save paper that has been printed on one-side and print in-house documents on the unused side or use for scratch paper.
3. File documents electronically and back up on a zip disk or cd.
4. Post staff notices on bulletin board instead of printing
5. Distribute reports and manuals electronically.
6. Use an electronic purchase order process
7. Conduct an internal audit to identify additional opportunities for reducing paper consumption.

To view a comprehensive paper reduction report, visit Forest Ethics.

Listed below are links to websites with valuable information for business and public agencies:

EPA Office of Solid Waste
Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines

Recycled Products Database

Recycled Paper Coalition



Center For a New American Dream

We’re Here To Help
We’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to contact us with any questions at all.   1-800-694-8355.
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