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Five Simple Ways to Save Trees

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Trees do more than serve as beautiful scenery and boost our home values; they also filter the air, produce the oxygen we breathe and contribute to water quality. Trees are an important natural resource that we consume at an alarming rate through our daily use of the many products made from them. Here we examine five simple steps you can take to save trees while at the same time improving your quality of life:

-Stop getting junk mail. Not only does junk mail pile up on the counter, much of it is unread and represents a needless waste of trees. With a small investment of time, you can eliminate or significantly reduce the quantity of unwanted paper advertisements delivered to your mailbox. There are a few ways to go about this, but a good way to start is through the Direct Marketing Association's Mail Preference Service, which allows you to remove your name from the mailing lists of individual organizations. If you receive unwanted credit or insurance offers, you can request that the Consumer Credit Reporting Companies not share your information at or by calling 1--888--567--8688.

Taking these actions should eliminate a majority of the unsolicited advertisements you receive. Junk mail you still receive may call for individual action. To stop receiving unwanted catalogs, have a catalog in hand and call the company to request that your name and address be removed from the company's mailing list and that it not be sold or traded. With a little time and effort, you can save trees while enjoying a less cluttered home.

-Pay bills online. Many banks, utility companies, cellular phone providers and other companies have begun offering the option of paperless billing. This means that rather than receiving a bill in the mail, you can receive a bill via e-mail and make payments online. Paying bills online is convenient and reduces needless paper waste at the same time. If you already pay bills online but still receive paper bills, check with your service providers about paperless billing.

-Nourish the trees on your property. Yes, the trees in your yard are important too. Trees have a cooling effect on the environment and absorb carbon dioxide while emitting the oxygen we require, and can also help control your home's energy consumption. Trees on private property are threatened by human carelessness as well as diseases and insects. To protect the trees on your property, be aware that lawnmowers, nearby sidewalks and buildings can harm trees and cause them to become hazardous or die. Proper tree care is imperative to protecting these valuable natural resources. To maintain healthy trees on your property, have your trees inspected periodically by a certified arborist who can detect early signs of tree failure or disease.

-Make a conscious effort based on your consumption habits. You do not have to massively overhaul your life to reduce the amount of paper waste you produce. The best actions to take to reduce paper waste vary from person to person, depending on individual consumption habits. Simply being aware of how you most often produce unnecessary waste can help you determine where to cut back. For example, if you order a coffee to-go from the local coffee shop every day, try bringing your own mug rather than using the paper cups. Use the air dryer to dry your hands rather than paper towels. Take only the number of napkins you will use when at a restaurant. And of course, recycle everything you can.

-Donate to the cause. If you want to get more involved, there is a plethora of organizations with the goal of saving or replenishing harvested trees. The organization with which you choose to get involved is a personal choice. Be sure to do your homework and donate wisely to an organization whose cause you genuinely want to support.

About the Author: Andrew Johnson is the owner of Central Texas Tree Care, a leading tree service provider in Central Texas (Travis County and surrounding areas) offering services such as pruning and removals, cabling and bracing as well as arborist reports, diagnostics, pest management, fertilization and tree trimming Austin trusts. For more information please visit

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