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These activities will help you learn more about paper products and recycling.

1) Use the questions below or develop your own and forward them to companies who use paper products.

Call or e-mail the public relations department of a telephone company and ask:

  • How many tonnes of paper does it take to make all of their telephone books?
  • How many are recycled?
  • What are the benefits and drawbacks to using recycled paper products? Think of costs, truck pollution, reduced waste, labour etc.
  • Is recycling likely to increase or decrease? Why?

2) Call or e-mail the public relations department of a fast food company, corporate office downtown or a newspaper company and ask the following questions or suggest your own.

  • What kind of paper products do they use in their packaging?
  • How much paper is used in a year? How much of the paper used is recycled and where is it obtained?

3) Then call or e-mail the public relations department of a paper-making company and ask:

  • What steps are taken to ensure that paper is produced in an environmentally responsible manner?
  • How is paper reused so that fewer trees are cut?

4) Call or e-mail the public relations department of a photocopier manufacturer and ask:

  • How many copies can their best machine handle in a lifetime and how much would that paper weigh?
  • How is photocopy paper recycled? How much paper per year is recycled at your company?

5) Call or e-mail the public relations department of a computer manufacturing company and ask:

  • How many e-mail messages are printed on paper by the average person? How many e-mail messages are sent in North America in a year?


6) Talk to the administrative staff in your school and ask:

  • How does your school maximize the use of paper and minimize waste?
  • How much does your school recycle?
  • How much money is saved by recycling? (IDEA: You may want to start a recycling club at your school to ensure students and staff are aware of recycling issues or opportunities. Your school could save money from recyling activities for a field trip.)

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