Save the Planet or Save Your Cash?

Everyone wants to “save Mother Earth” but no one wants to cough up the extra cash necessary to do just that. If you go to any store, you’ll find the recycled stuff is always more expensive than the ‘regular’ brands.

I was mulling over buying some recycled paper towels the other day, but when I noticed the recycled version was $1.10 more expensive than the normal paper towels, I took the normals and ran! I’m not necessarily proud of what I did, but I know I’m not the only one who was forced to make that decision.

Believe me, I understand this boils down to a simple economics lesson. The only reason the recycled stuff is more expensive is because less people buy it (reducing the ‘volume’ that discounters love) and because of the extra work that goes into producing recycled goods.

For example, it’s easier to create an entirely new cardboard box than to ensure it has at least 30% post-consumer content… and be able to back up the claim!

My suggestion for those who produce recycled products is to “take a hit” for a few months until the product catches on. Then more people will be buying your stuff and you won’t have to worry about marking it up so severely.

Of course, this is not a capitalistic ideal, so it will never happen. And more and more recycled products will sit on the shelves year after year because they are too expensive — in these tough economic times — to warrant choosing scruples over hard-earned pennies.

by Isis Yaestorlia | Environment Editor | Residential Life Magazine 

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