going green tips http://www.carolinafibre.com Wed, 23 Sep 2020 16:31:07 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.5.3 Why Recycling and Using Recycled Paper at the Office is so Important http://www.carolinafibre.com/why-recycling-and-using-recycled-paper-at-the-office-is-so-important/ Thu, 01 Oct 2020 08:00:02 +0000 http://www.carolinafibre.com/?p=1300 There has been a lot of discussion about reducing our American workplaces’ footprint, but unfortunately, statistics show that U.S. companies continue to be huge contributors to environmental destruction. Pollution, climate change, waste in waterways, and deforestation are just some of the environmental degradation that comes from our corporations. Many of those contributions are in the form of discarded paper.

But why does saving trees matter, and why should American companies care? Let’s explore the many benefits of using recycled paper and how we can help our earth by initiating a paper recycling program at your office.

The benefits of recycling paper and using recycled paper.

When your office recycles and uses recycled paper, you help promote a more sustainable corporate climate and a healthier earth for decades to come. Among other benefits, recycling your paper and using recycled paper may:

  • Save forests and reduce environmental degradation.
  • Reduce landfill waste.
  • Reduce pollution.
  • Save energy.

Keep reading to find out how these can help your business and our environment!

Save forests and reduce environmental degradation. 

Recycling paper allows your used paper to be repurposed. This article from Small Biz Trends shows that paper products can typically be recycled into additional paper products seven times before the materials start to degrade. This highlights how recycling dramatically reduces the need for raw materials needed to make new paper products.

Many people think saving trees isn’t a huge concern since it’s always possible to plant more trees. However, not only is this a misconception, but healthy forest eco-systems are essential for preventing soil erosion, sustaining healthy waterways, and maintaining wildlife habits. Over-managing our forests disrupts these processes that are vital to our eco-system. Even when trees are replanted, it can take forests decades to recover.

Research shows that almost half of the trees cut down in the U.S. are headed for paper production. By utilizing recycled paper and recycling your office’s paper products, you can help reduce these numbers and maintain healthier forests.

Reduce landfill waste.

Our American landfills are growing every day. Because they are so full, they are taking up large parcels of land and destroying essential natural resources. Waste dumps are also significant emitters of methane gas, one of the primary gases proven to be responsible for climate change.

By using recycled paper and recycling our paper, we can help slow the rate at which our landfills are filling up and the number of greenhouse gases generated by them.

Reduce pollution

The paper production procedure is a crucial contributor to environmental pollution. While using recycled paper doesn’t completely reverse these effects, it does greatly diminish them. Recycling paper also limits the amount of pollution that ends up in our waterways.

Saves energy.

According to an article in the Printing News, the energy needed to produce paper from raw materials is almost double what it takes to make paper from recycled paper.

Supporting paper recycling results in fewer greenhouse gas emissions and reduces the drain on energy resources.

[Need some tips on encouraging sustainability in the classroom? Click here!]

Recycling paper can save your business money!

On top of all the environmental benefits, recycling your paper and utilizing recycled paper can save your company a lot of money in the long run.

  • Investing in paper recycling may make your office eligible for tax credits.
  • Utilizing recycled paper can help your company gain approval among clients, who are demanding that brands take steps to limit their footprints.
  • Purchasing recycled paper drives up demand for these materials, which reduces the cost of recycling as the industry invests in the necessary infrastructure to meet demand.
  • Choosing sustainable options such as recycled paper will push down the cost of these goods. As resources grow scarcer, the price of paper goods will skyrocket. Investing in recycling now can help keep the cost of paper more reasonable over the long term.

How to set up a paper recycling program at your office. 

Now that you know all the recycling paper benefits, it’s time to put that new knowledge to good use by initiating an office paper recycling program. Here are a few tips to get started:

  • Designate an office “green team.”
  • Use a waste audit kit to determine the volume of your waste.
  • Research collection options.
  • Identify what to collect.
  • Select appropriate recycling bins.
  • Use images to so your team can quickly identify each bin.
  • Contact a professional recycling company like Carolina Fibre! At Carolina Fibre, we offer extensive recycling services, including paper, plastic, and aluminum recycling, and confidential shredding. Our confidential shredding service ensures your company is protected against identity theft and the divulgence of private information by complete destruction of company records. Once the information is shredded, we send a certificate of destruction for all materials destroyed.

Not only does investing in recycled paper provide your office with some immediate benefits, but it’s also simply the right thing to do when it comes to preserving the natural resources relied on by everyone.

By knowing the facts, engaging your team in a recycling program, and investing in recycled paper products, your company can help make our future healthier and more prosperous for us all.

With the services and facilities offered by Carolina Fibre, it’s easier than ever for businesses to jump on board with green efforts here in North Carolina. Contact us today if you’re ready to get started on your company’s commercial recycling plan!

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The Many Benefits of Fiberon Decking http://www.carolinafibre.com/the-many-benefits-of-fiberon-decking/ Tue, 01 Sep 2020 17:58:34 +0000 http://www.carolinafibre.com/?p=1294 Many companies worldwide recognize the many issues with the way we approach waste and recycling, so they are stepping up with innovative solutions. This new approach these companies are taking is pushing for positive change in their industries and inspiring hope for sustainability.

One company leading the charge of innovation is Fiberon Decking. Fiberon is a supplier of composite decking solutions. They design outdoor spaces that are not only created to sustain, but also to leave the smallest possible footprint. For almost two decades, Fiberon has been working to help those looking to create outdoor spaces, with quality and sustainable products made in the USA.

Beautiful outdoor spaces.

Fiberon takes great pride in creating outdoor living products that offer lasting beauty, maximum value, and easy maintenance.

Outdoor living is nothing without the outdoors and its natural beauty, so Fiberon incorporates eco-friendly materials and sustainable processes into everything they create.

Protecting the environment.

Fiberon’s amazing products are made from recycled materials, they source local recycled content, and utilize a closed-loop water cooling system for zero water discharge.

Their decking materials are made with locally-sourced recycled plastic, leftover sawdust, lumber mill scraps, and other materials. Each year Fiberon prevents more than 60,000 tons of plastic and other waste from ending up in landfills. Plus, Fiberon composites prevent further deforestation, do not contain the toxic chemicals often found in pressure-treated lumber, and are manufactured in a zero-waste process. Some other important facts about Fiberon and their processes include:

  • They are saving more than one million trees every year.
  • 100 million pounds of recycled plastic put to good use every year.
  • Manufacturing composite decking requires a constant source of water and they reuse almost all of it.
  • They reuse 98.5% of the waste from their manufacturing process.

Composite decking is cost-effective. 

While pressure-treated lumber may cost less initially, maintenance costs are significantly higher. Composite decking is a lot like prefinished flooring. It arrives as a finished product and never needs sanding, staining, or painting, just an occasional soap, and water cleaning. Wood needs to be finished after installation and then refinished every 1-2 years, meaning you’ll spend a significant amount of time and elbow grease maintaining that deck.

What’s more, wood decks are susceptible to mold, decay, weather elements, insects, and in general, have a shorter lifespan. Composites continually retain their good looks year after year.

According to Fiberon.com, maintenance costs with composite decking will be about $5-$15 per year, whereas wood decking will cost about $450-850 per year.

[Check out some more outdoor sustainability ideas here!]

Composite decking is safer. 

Wood-plastic composite decks will not splinter, split, crack, or rot, making your outdoor space safer for children, pets, and bare feet.

Fiberon decking looks just like wood.

Today’s composites genuinely reflect the organic beauty of hardwoods, complete with subtle streaking and wood grain patterns. And when it comes to color choices, you’ll find many more options to suit your tastes than with traditional wood.

As summer comes to a close, and the crisper temperatures creep into the Carolinas, start thinking about your outdoor space. Does it offer you the peace and joy that it should? If not, contact the experts at Fiberon today!

And for more tips on living green, whether outdoors or in, stay tuned to Carolina Fibre’s blog.

 

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Ten Eco-Friendly Father’s Day Gift Ideas http://www.carolinafibre.com/ten-eco-friendly-fathers-day-gift-ideas/ Tue, 02 Jun 2020 08:00:27 +0000 http://www.carolinafibre.com/?p=1275 Father’s Day is just around the corner, and while we may have big things going on in the world around us, we must focus on a bit of normalcy.

Whether you’re ready or not, it is time to start thinking about dear old dad and what you want to give him to show how loved and valued he is. And while you’re thinking, remember that choosing an eco-friendly gift is not only thoughtful for Dad, but it is considerate of the planet as well.

Choosing a gift that is kind to the planet ensures it will continue to give long after the holiday is over. If you aren’t sure where to begin, here are ten eco-friendly Father’s Day gift ideas to get you started.

Organic shirts and socks.

Dad will feel cozy and comfortable during these hot summer months with lightweight and breathable materials so close to his skin.

Find soft organic cotton that is gentle on him while being gentle on the environment.

Wooden fashion accessories.

Sunglasses are more than necessary this time of year, and what could be fancier than a premium pair of wood shades? Find a luxurious pair made natural materials for the perfect blend of style and sustainability.

Check out these from the Shwood Shop. Some other wood yet super chic accessories include:

Grilling sets.

Invest in some high-quality barbecue products this year so they can be reused rather than pitched once the season is over.

There are many eco-friendly grill kits available, including this set made from environmentally friendly pakkawood. Set dad up for a season of grilling and fun in the sun while taking care of our planet.

Homebrew kit.

There is no better way to be kind to the earth than to have dad brew all that beer he drinks. Not only will he stay busy, but he will be saving all those bottles and cans with a homebrew kit.

Water bottles made of sustainable materials.

This present is ideal for the active dad that needs a functional object to keep him hydrated. A collapsible water bottle is the perfect eco-friendly Father’s Day gift, as well as an ideal travel companion since it breaks down small enough to fit in a pocket. It is also perfect for eco-minded dads who want to save the planet from the plague of plastic!

Stainless steel mug.

If Dad is a coffee lover, a durable stainless-steel coffee mug is a must. It’s better than drinking it out of a disposable cup and can be used repeatedly, eliminating any extra waste.

Plant a tree.

Planting a tree in his honor is the perfect gift for dad this year. Trees are essential to our environment as they offer shade, produce fruit, and keep the air clean.

So, plant one for dad this Father’s Day and generations will enjoy it for years to come.

[Check out these other gardening tips here!]

Beach day essentials.

Gift dad these with these swimming trunks from Joseph and Alexander that are stylish and good for the planet. They are made from 100% recycled plastic so that dad will be styling and ecstatic that his shorts are helping to recover plastic from the oceans and put it to good use.

Some other excellent eco-friendly beach goodies that dad will love (and need) this summer in North Carolina include:

Recycled journal.

If dad has a creative streak and enjoys drawing or journaling, a recycled journal is perfect. Pair it with a pen, and he will love jotting down his thoughts — or his to-do list!

Snacks for days.

You can’t go wrong with snacks, so make dad’s day with a basket of his favorite organic snacks. There are many to choose from, but popcorn, nuts, dried fruit, crackers, and spreads are some options that are sure to satisfy his taste buds.

There are many eco-friendly gifts available to suit just about everyone. Give it some thought so you can give dad a gift he is sure to love, and the planet will appreciate it too!

Hopefully, you are inspired by our list and can find the perfect gift this Father’s Day. However, if you still have concerns about eco-friendly living, Carolina Fibre is here to help. Check out our blog for more tips or contact us today!

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Living Green: Buzz Words and Choosing Healthier Products http://www.carolinafibre.com/living-green-buzz-words-and-choosing-healthier-products/ Mon, 18 Mar 2019 12:37:02 +0000 http://www.carolinafibre.com/?p=1183 Grocery shopping gets complicated. You can’t walk up and down the aisles without finding at least five varieties of one product, each claiming to be the healthiest, highest quality, supercharged item out there. So which one is the best option for you and your family?

Maybe we should instead say that picking the right products for your budget can get more difficult than your weekly shopping trip actually warrants. Because even though it is easy to get lost in the endless debate between organic products versus all-natural ones (and just what are clean foods, anyway?), knowing what these hit terms and buzz words actually mean can help make the trip faster, easier, and much more beneficial to you and everyone else raiding your kitchen’s pantry.

Organic

At its core, the word “organic” refers to a product that hasn’t come into direct contact with pesticides, herbicides, or growth regulators. These are the kinds of items you might also find at your local farmers markets, where preservatives aren’t necessarily needed to keep food fresh before they sell. Organic farming does do a great job of reducing pollution as well as reduces the risk of having a reaction to added chemicals. The downside? These same products can also put a massive dent in a carefully outlined budget, so be sure to consider that as you shop.

Biodynamic

So you’re less likely to see this term on any label in your regular grocery store, but if you decide to really get into some food science and questions of sustainable practices, it’s a good one to know. First coined by an Austrian philosopher, Rudolph Steiner, biodynamic practices combine a study of nature’s cycles and the ecosystem to produce a holistic version of organic farming. For your dinner table? All this means is that anything you purchase that has a label certifying it as having come from a certified biodynamic farm is going to have received premier time and attention throughout whatever process preps it for common consumption. The most common purchase you would probably make on this front would be a nice, aged wine. Again, these will usually be in a higher price range, so just plan to splurge if you’re sticking to that budget.

All-natural

Another popular word in today’s markets across the board: all-natural. According to the USDA, foods with the word “natural” on the label simply don’t contain any artificial ingredients or preservatives, and are minimally processed. This doesn’t cover all of the other things that a certifiably organic product does, but these items are still much better for both you and the environment. The thing to remember about this particular term is that it tends to be a catch-all in the industry. There is no strict set of guidelines from any agency that dictates what does and does not specify a natural food product, so be sure to review the entire label before purchasing. There might be something that doesn’t fall under this umbrella that you don’t want your family to consume!

Additives

More often than not, additives in food exist to add color or flavor, or even to help preserve a product’s shelf life. And not all of these are bad; people have been using pickling and salting methods, both of which are technically additive processes, for years. Additives can end up in food at any time between production and when it lands on the shelf, but the long-term effects they can have on us aren’t always known. If you want to reduce the negative impact these substances can have on you and your family members, we recommend minimizing your consumption of overly processed foods.

You won’t always choose the healthiest selections over all of the junk food out there, but it doesn’t hurt to know what the labels say! And here at Carolina Fibre, we’re all about keeping you informed about your environment so you can work with us to make it greener. Stay tuned to our blog for more info on recycling, sustainable living, and more!

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Go Green for St. Patrick’s Day http://www.carolinafibre.com/go-green-st-patricks-day/ Tue, 10 Mar 2015 13:50:50 +0000 http://www.carolinafibre.com/?p=865 March is the greenest month of the year thanks to St. Patrick’s Day, but Carolina Fibre knows how to turn the holiday into our own “green” celebration. Make St. Patrick’s Day one of the most eco-friendly holidays and check out some of our fun, go-green ideas.

Home Decor 

Recycled paper is key when it comes to decorating. Grab some stencils and cut out shamrocks, leprechauns and pots of gold to hang from the ceiling or tape to your windows. Instead of buying a themed wreath, make your own using old materials like green t-shirts, denim, curtains or tablecloths. The wireframe can be recycled after the holiday is over. The only tool you need to create your wreath is a pair of fabric shears. Simply cut up the fabric of your choice in strips, tie them to the wireframe and cover every last inch. The best part is that once the fabric is cut up, the project becomes kid-friendly as there is no hassle or mess from glue and paints. You can also brighten up a room by inserting lights into green beverage bottles or vases. Don’t have anything green? Use an eco-friendly spray paint to add a green tint your bottles or vases. Great Green Goods has some great ideas for fun and creative ways to make eco-friendly and recyclable wreaths for any occasion.

Festive Apparel 

Who says you have to buy what’s popular at the party supply and craft stores? Get in the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day by creating your own holiday wardrobe. Shop at local thrift stores and other retailers in which used items are sold. Create your own handmade bow ties or spray paint an old pair of shoes. Scan your closet for green t-shirts, dresses, socks and accessories. You can even take it a step further and wear eco-friendly clothing like 100% cotton shirts. Complete your festive look by making leprechaun-themed hats using recycled paper or fabrics. When it comes to dressing up, your eco-friendly options are unlimited!

Themed Foods and Beverages 

Bake your favorite St. Patrick’s Day dishes by cooking with locally-grown produce. Aside from the benefit of fresher ingredients, you’ll be supporting your local economy instead of corporate chain stores. Make baking fun for the entire family and use green food dye made from natural ingredients. Green Living Ideas provides step-by-step instructions on how to make any color dye for all holidays and events. If you plan on drinking beer, stick to locally-brewed beer or even organic beer. And always choose draft over a bottle if given the option. Not all bars and restaurants recycle glass!

Do you have any green tips for St. Patrick’s Day? Share your ideas below in the comment section or on the Carolina Fibre Facebook page.

 

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Five Tips for Giving Love Back to Mother Nature http://www.carolinafibre.com/five-tips-giving-love-back-mother-nature/ Thu, 12 Feb 2015 13:23:11 +0000 http://www.carolinafibre.com/?p=843 February may be classified as the month of love, but it doesn’t have to be limited to your significant other. As a supporter of sustainability and an enhanced ecosystem, Carolina Fibre looks for ways in everyday life to protect the environment. We’ve made Mother Nature our valentine this year, and have laid out these five easy tips for “greening” the Earth.

1. Replace Home Appliances with Energy Efficient Models 

A significant portion of homes’ energy is dedicated to running appliances. Replacing them with energy efficient models can reduce emissions by up to 3,000 pounds per year. Today’s major appliances don’t use the same level of power as older models because they’re required to meet federal energy efficiency standards. Look for the Energy Star® label when choosing which appliances save the most money on your power bill. These models are the most energy efficient in any product category.

2. Purchase a Vehicle With At Least 30 Miles Per Gallon 

Specific brands and types of cars may be visually appealing, but lacking in fuel efficiency. Luckily car manufacturers realize the shift in consumers’ green views and are steadily producing and promoting high performing miles-per-gallon automobiles. A vehicle that gets at least 30 miles per gallon reduces carbon dioxide by approximately 2,500 pounds a year over a car that gets 10 miles less. Review the Environmental Protection Agency approval guidelines to find the best eco-friendly, affordable car for you.

3. Walk, Bike, Carpool or Use Mass Transit When Possible 

It’s more common than ever to see single riders driving to and from work. This may improve our self-sufficiency and independence, but the major increase in CO2 emissions from vehicles does not benefit the environment. Every gallon of gasoline saved diverts 22 pounds of CO2 emissions, and driving 10 miles less per week eliminates about 500 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year. If walking is an option, take advantage of the health benefits associated with it. Every mile walked burns about 100 calories—improve the ecosystem and energize your body for long-term gains.

4. Use Environmentally-Friendly Cleaning Supplies 

There was a time when our world didn’t think twice about toxic chemicals found in cleaning products. As long as kitchen counters and floors shined, we were happy. But with evidence that older cleaning supplies negatively affect on our health, people are extremely cautious about what they buy. Seek out more natural cleaning products that contain organic ingredients like beeswax, coconut oil, baking soda, citrus oil, vinegar and cleaning salt. Make sure to dispose of any harmful cleaning supplies properly following the Cleaning Institute® guidelines.

5. Request a Home Energy Audit to Pinpoint Energy Wasters 

An energy audit provides information about how much energy homes consume and suggests what can be corrected to improve energy savings. The average family in the United States pays over $3,000 in utility bills per year and a thorough audit can cut that price in half. Energy assessments include checking insulation, leaks, ductwork and appliances. Request an audit from a professional technician to maximize energy efficiency and start saving money!

Sustainability is all about changing our everyday habits we often don’t think twice about, whether it’s running the air conditioning 24/7 or avoiding taking the bus because we feel more secure in our cars. Carolina Fibre Corporation is a Greensboro, NC recycler, and we operate our facilities with a primary focus on sustainability.

 

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Carolina Fibre Staff Spotlight: Janet Tucker’s Sustainability Resolutions http://www.carolinafibre.com/carolina-fibre-staff-spotlight-janet-tuckers-sustainability-resolutions/ Thu, 05 Feb 2015 20:14:32 +0000 http://www.carolinafibre.com/?p=847 As an eco-conscious company, Carolina Fibre is always looking for new individuals and companies that are ready to go green. The start of a new year brings opportunities to spread positive impact on the earth, lower costs, reduce waste and inspire others to be proactive in the cause. To kick off 2015, we are excited to share the resolutions and views of one of our own team members: Janet Tucker.

When Janet came to Carolina Fibre six years ago as our administrative assistant, we knew she shared our passion and commitment to sustainability. In addition to working as a team to save energy at the office, Janet uses her own tricks at home that everyone should adapt themselves! One way Janet saves energy is using a programmable thermostat for different times of the day (including leaving for vacations) to control heating and cooling output. Too few of us realize just how much energy and money we could save if we paid a little more attention to our thermostat usage. According to the Department of Energy, residential thermostats make up 9% of the United State’s energy use. That’s why leaving it on too high and for long periods of time results in high power bills. Janet is also in the process of replacing her bathrooms’ recessed light bulbs with plug-in LED units. The LEDs project a better illumination—they actually save you money. Her family also collects and stores tins, bottles, plastics, papers and cardboard to take to a local recycling receptacle each weekend.

Looking at her personal resolutions, Janet is very clear about her focus, “When it comes to recycling and saving energy, I believe awareness is the key. We focus on changing how we live in view of improving earth stewardship.” As for what she would like to see Carolina Fibre achieve this year, Janet is determined for the team to strengthen existing client relationships, continue to improve their processes and to prepare for the needs of their customers and clients for optimal company performance.

When it comes to being ecologically aware, Janet follows two quotes that bring so much meaning and purpose to her green lifestyle:

  • “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead
  • “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it! Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.” – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Remember, going green doesn’t have to happen overnight. It’s about the little steps you take and the adjustments you make that will benefit you, those around you and the world we live in.

What energy saving tricks does your office use on a daily basis? We’d love to hear your ideas!

 

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