Every frugal and environment-conscious consumer knows that recycling and reusing old products can save a great deal of money, while at the same time helping us to use our limited natural resources more wisely. All other things being equal, it is better to use recycled materials when they are available, and it is even better to create your own recycled materials using items already in your home.

Some of the most common recyclable materials, of course, are paper based items, such as poster board, cardboard and of course all kinds of paper. There are several different grades of recycled paper, including low, high, mixed, paper board and cardboard. High grade recycled paper generally comes with office supplies such as envelopes, computer printouts, index cards and the like. Low grade paper, on the other hand, includes such things as newspapers, catalogs and phone books. Mixed grade may include such recycled paper products as glossy print magazines, fluorescent colored papers, and tablet covers.

Some paper products, such as fast food wrappers, milk containers and laminated papers, are not recyclable materials. Paper board and cardboard products can be recycled provided they are not greasy, while waxed or wet cardboard products cannot be recycled. In general recycled paper products should not be used to contain hot wet items, so it is important not to use them to manufacture things like drinking cups. This is because paper absorbs moisture quite easily, and recycled paper fibers are more likely to break when exposed to moisture.

When accumulating paper products to be recycled, it is better to sort them as the trash is being generated, since most recycling centers will require that the paper products you send be separated from other recyclable items like cans and bottles.

Did you know that used printer paper, old newspapers and magazines, in addition to cardboard boxes, are excellent candidates for recycling into new paper? It’s a quick and easy way to help our environment and there are only a few simple guidelines to follow.

When sorting paper and cardboard for recycling, be sure to keep them dry and clean. Remove any wet or food-stained paper or cardboard items, as they are not suitable for recycling. Pizza boxes are fine, as long as there aren’t any pizza remnants stuck to the inside of the box. Cardboard boxes should be flattened so that they can be easily stacked on top of each other.

Did you know that your old telephone books are recyclable? Most recycling communities ask that items such as newspapers, magazines and telephone books be separated from other paper products. You can stack them and wrap them with twine or place them neatly in a brown paper grocery bag.

Other everyday items like used printer and notebook paper, old greeting cards, paperback novels, coloring and puzzle books are also products that can be conveniently placed in your recycling container instead of the usual household trash bin.

Some items you may have thought were recyclable are not. Those items include used tissues, used paper towels, carbon paper and especially Styrofoam products such as cups and packing peanuts. In case you didn’t know, Styrofoam is not biodegradable and its use should be avoided whenever possible.

So before you simply toss that paper into the trash can, be sure to check to see if it can be recycled. Making a special bin for recyclable paper products is a great way to save money and the environment at the same time. When you shop, try to buy as high a percentage of recycled paper products as you can. Doing so will help to keep the chain of recycling going and save you money as well. So let’s all do our part with recyclable materials and remember that it’s up to us to make a difference in helping to improve our environment!

Author's Bio: 

This article was compiled by the editors at SelfGrowth.com, the number one self improvement resource on the Web. For more quality self improvement content, please visit http://www.selfgrowth.com.