Mr. Green is busy on his world-wide publicity tour for his new book. In the meantime, here's a Mr. Green classic column from March 2007.
Hey Mr. Green,
What should I do with recycled paper? I was told it can't be recycled again. —Patricia in Dallas
One of the amazing things I've discovered in this gig is the power of urban legends. Among the most persistent are: (1) that recyclers are unscrupulous tricksters who never actually ship cans back to manufacturers; (2) that it takes as much power to fire up a fluorescent light as it does to keep it on for a day; (3) that gas taxes pay for all highway construction and maintenance costs; and, the most enduring fable of all, (4) that automakers invented--and have been hiding for half a century--a device that can boost mileage to 100 miles a gallon. All 100 percent wrong, just like whoever told you this tall tale. Recycled paper is generally indistinguishable from the virgin product and, though the fibers eventually get too short to reuse, it can be recycled again.