Green Alternatives: Unbleached and Chlorine-Free Paper
Green consumers should always buy the paper product that contains the highest percentage of post-consumer recycled content they can find. Go one step further by also searching for unbleached or chlorine-free paper products. When you purchase paper that has not been treated with chlorine you can help shift the paper industry towards more environmentally-friendly practices.
Unbleached paper saves the environment from the addition of dioxins and other harmful chemicals. Many commonly used paper products do not need to be bright white. Look for unbleached paper napkins, paper towels, tissues, coffee filters, and toilet paper.
Paper can also be whitened by chlorine-free processes utilizing oxygen-based bleaches. Oxygen compounds are much easier on the environment. For example, when hydrogen peroxide is used to whiten paper its by-products are water and oxygen.
Eco-friendly brands like Seventh Generation, Earth First, and 365 from Whole Foods offer 100% recycled chlorine-free paper products. For more information on how to buy eco-friendly paper products, see this shopper's guide compiled by the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Green office paper, made from recycled material and chlorine-free, is available online from Green Earth Office Supply and GreenLine Paper Company.