Greenwashing: getting the best from recycled office products

For those of us who go out of our way to buy greener products, there are a few things we need to do to not get ripped off.

Problem 1.

The amount of “green washing” out there is epidemic. Words like ‘natural’ or even ‘recyclable’ and ‘recycled’ are mis-used or have no agreed on meaning and so end up meaning nothing.

For ‘recycled’ and ‘recyclable’ to be meaningful, there should be a time line involved. I know for a fact that a Naked Binder will decompose in about 4 months in my inefficient compost pile. How? I composted one.  It is part of the garden now.  Some supposedly recyclable products are looking at hundreds or thousands of years.  It may be technically accurate, but it is not helpful to you or the environment.

Natural actually legally means nothing.  Natural chicken, natural plastic, natural vinyl… you can say it but it means nothing.  It sounds good though.

Problem 2.

Will it last?  A product that does not last is not necessarily more sustainable even if it is made from eco-friendly materials.

An example close to our heart.A cardboard binder will not last as long as a vinyl binder will not last as long as a binders board binder made well.

Cardboard is just cardboard – it bends easily much like… a piece of cardboard.

VInyl binders have a chipboard insert inside the vinyl.  Not being a fluted material, it is solid and has a bit more strength than the cardboard. They are very toxic though and the covers fall off as they are help on by a tiny bit of vinyl.

A binder like a Naked Binder is made from a single 100% recycled piece of 110pt board (strong).  The hinges are pressed directly into the board, so the hinges will not break.  If you want the cover off, you are going to have to cut it off.

So the cardboard is more environmentally friendly to make, use and dispose of than the vinyl, but you are going to use more. Go with the strongest binder that is also non-toxic.  Win, win, win.

So you see the point.  Be careful what you are buying and do the research.  There are a lot of great green products out there, but you can’t always take people’s word for it.

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