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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IT'S NOT THAT WE'RE SCREWED WITHOUT TRUMP:

"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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