Green Tip #167: Shred It

I recently did a major cleanup of all my old bank statements, VISA bills, pay stubs and shredded an entire garbage bag’s worth of paper (which was recycled). Before having a shredder I would likely have either burned the documents or thrown them away piece by piece in the garbage. Neither of these options is very green of course. With shredding, the paper goes out with the recycling and gets used to make more paper products.  It is also a completely secure way of disposing of private information because there is no way anyone could piece anything legible back together again. A shredder does cost money but we got ours on sale and you could consider buying one with your extended family or friends.

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8 thoughts on “Green Tip #167: Shred It

  1. There is actually a company called Shred-It that offers free community shredding days around Canada; we saved a ton of money this year by boxing up all our old papers to be shredded (it would have taken many hours to put it all through my little office shredder) and taking them to the community shredding event. They took five boxes from me and even took old computer disks and CDs to shred.

    There’s more info at their website at http://www.shredit.com/community-shredding.aspx or you can watch your local papers.

  2. In the US, some banks and credit unions advertise free shred days where you can drop off your papers and get them shredded for free. Less cost (assuming the bank is on your normal route), less waste of having a personal shredder, and possibly even more efficient recycling since it does not have to be separated and aggregated, though I am just speculating on the last one.

      1. I’ve never really considered that in the past, but it doesn’t seem to interfere with my compost pile. The tap water where I live is chlorinated, and I water my garden straight from the hose, with no adverse effects. (I do filter it for drinking, though.) My understanding is that bleach doesn’t stick around for too long.

        While I would prefer unbleached paper in my compost, I see it as a slightly more beneficial alternative than a) just throwing it away, or b) putting it in a clear plastic bag (as required by my recycling company, I’m not a fan of putting garbage/recycling in plastic bags) and then hauled away by a big, inefficiently driven diesel/gas engine, to then be further processed using even more resources.

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