Excerpt from Do One Green Thing / Recycling paper produces far fewer greenhouse gases than producing virgin paper. One ream (500 sheets) of 100 percent PCW paper saves five pounds of CO2, according to [stopglobalwarming.org]. Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 mature trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, two barrels of oil, and 4,100 kilowatt hours of electricity, which could power an average home for five months, according to the EPA.
At the current rate of 4.6 pounds of solid waste a day, each American generates his/her own weight in garbage a month, according to the Michigan Center for Sustainability Systems. Paper comprises at least 30 percent of landfill waste. While high-percentage PCW paper is a bit pricier than virgin paper, printing and copying on both sides of the paper saves you a lot!
(The good news? People are using 25 percent less paper per person, and paper recycling has grown by 27 percent, according to [greenbiz.com].)