What Do You Do With Your Newspaper Sleeves?

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newspaper150.jpgEarly next year, the NY Times plans to ditch its old plastic newspaper sleeves in favor of this one, a “biodegradable polybag.” Here’s the scoop:

With this new technology an additive is mixed with the plastic that causes the finished product to degrade over time, as it is exposed to oxygen in the open environment or in a landfill. In addition to being “oxo-biodegradable” the bag can be recycled along with any other plastic bags. The Times will be the first national newspaper to commit to using this environmentally friendly bag. While this new bag is more expensive, we believe it is an important change to make.

If the paper on your doorstep isn’t the Gray Lady, though, your plastic sleeves are most likely still bound for landfill purgatory. Blogger Kate Galbraith recommends reusing them for storing food in the fridge—if you’re ambitious, knock yourself out with bag crafts like these.

But after the jump, here’s another idea, inspired by a post from Danny Seo. (He’s kind of the green Martha Stewart):

Seo applauds a hotel’s idea of delivering newspapers to rooms in reusable hemp bags. Obviously this wouldn’t work for those of us whose news has to brave the elements, but what if papers handed out raincoats? You’d leave a reusable plastic bag on your doorknob, and the delivery person would zip your paper up. Sure, it takes a little more time than the classic toss, but wouldn’t the savings on disposable bags make up for it?

Of course, the whole time you’re figuring out the bag problem, there’s that black-and-while elephant in the living room, the paper itself. Much as those of us in journalism hate to acknowledge a reason to cancel your daily paper, let’s be real: If trees could recoil in terror, that is exactly what they would do when someone mentioned newspaper subscriptions. (Mother Jones compares the carbon footprints of print and online news in our November/December issue).

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

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That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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