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Topic: Making green choices for mailing envelopes

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Subject: Making green choices for mailing envelopes
Date Posted: 8/21/2009 1:10 PM ET
Member Since: 6/3/2009
Posts: 10
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I just came across this while idling surfing the web.


http://www.ecocycle.org/askeco-cycle/20040220.cfm#kraft

 

"Kraft" paper, those yellow/orange envelopes you describe, is in a class by itself not because of the darkness, but because of the color itself: goldenrod. Dark colored, fluorescent, or goldenrod-colored papers are colored by saturating the paper fibers with heavy-metal dyes that cannot be removed in the recycling process. Goldenrod is one of the worst offenders, so unless your envelopes are white or cream colored, please throw them away, or better yet, reuse them."

I know I just bought some of these envelopes myself for mailing books and I'm so glad that I bought them in a small number - I didn't know that they couldn't be recycled.  Never mind that using heavy-metal dyes is not good to begin with.  I try to reuse the envelopes mailed to me, but there does come a time when you have to trash it.  Now I know what to buy for a greener choice.

 

 

 

 

Date Posted: 8/21/2009 2:44 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I did not know that. I'm glad the box I bought was white.  Hopefully I'll remember that. I put all kinds of colored paper in the recycling bin-including kids construction paper scraps.

Date Posted: 8/21/2009 4:07 PM ET
Member Since: 3/11/2008
Posts: 924
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I had no idea! I think I'll be a bit more choosy when buying envelopes from now on...

Geri (geejay) -
Date Posted: 8/21/2009 6:30 PM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2008
Posts: 9,088
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I've been using those envelopes!  Good thing I've bought a new batch of white so I just have a few more "goldenrod/brown" to go.

Date Posted: 8/21/2009 10:52 PM ET
Member Since: 8/17/2008
Posts: 8,323
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Oh great ... I just bought a box of 100 "goldenrod" envelopes tonight!  And I was proud of the great deal I got at Office Max.  Bummer that they can't be recycled - but I'll still use them.  Thanks for the information.

Date Posted: 8/23/2009 11:48 PM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,321
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thanks so much for that info!  i had no idea

Date Posted: 8/24/2009 1:03 AM ET
Member Since: 2/5/2007
Posts: 30,797
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I'm a bit confused.  Our recycling takes all kinds of colored papers including these and wrapping paper etc.   Is it possible that these have changed since that link was back in 2004?  Just curious

Date Posted: 8/24/2009 9:04 AM ET
Member Since: 5/10/2005
Posts: 2,350
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I suspect the method of production hasn't changed--even if the goldenrod are recycable if they are made in a more toxic manner it'd be more green to us the other colors.