Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is Paper-Negation?

What are the 3+R’s of Responsible Paper Use?

  • The traditional 3 R’s of responsible paper use are Recycling, Reducing and Re-using.  A fourth and also very important paper R is being Responsible.  (For more, click here).


What do terms like “post-consumer content”, “FSC” and others mean?

How does going Paper-Negative help non-profit organizations?

What’s the Difference between Paper-Free and Paper-Neutral?

  • Paper-Free means you use absolutely no paper (which is highly commendable, but extremely difficult to do).  If you are Paper-Neutral you can use paper, but you must offset the impact of the paper you use.  The net environmental impact of both can be the same or similar.  Paper-Newt, the organization, does not claim to be Paper-Free.  We have zero paper impact, but we do use paper.

What’s the difference between Paper-Neutral and Paper-Negative?

What does it cost to participate in the Paper-Newt program?

  • There is no cost to participate in the Paper-Newt program for non-profits wanting to receive free donations of recycled paper (other than the time to apply, fulfill requirements and adopt effective paper conservation practices).  There is however a cost for businesses and non-profits wanting to become certified Paper-Neutral themselves.  This involves an annual participation fee (which helps cover the cost of the program) plus the expense of offsetting the organization’s paper impact (through the donation of recycled paper to community non-profits to help them reduce their paper footprints too).  (Click here for more on what it costs to join the Paper-Newt program).

How much does it cost to become a Paper-Newt certified business?

  • Becoming Paper-Newt certified is very affordable.  It involves committing to sustainable paper-use practices (which can actually save you money), a small program participation fee, and then the donation of enough 100% recycled paper to a qualified non-profit recipient to completely offset your own paper footprint.  For more details on the cost of Paper-Newt paper-neutrality, click here.

How can my non-profit get donated Paper-Newt paper?

Can I get a tax receipt for donating recycled paper to a charity?

  • Businesses don’t need tax receipts for donating paper to non-profits through the Paper-Newt program.  They can claim the expense as a business expense (but don’t take our word for it – we aren’t accountants or tax professionals – so confirm this with your accountant).  Can private individuals get tax receipts from charities for donating paper?  Yes, maybe, but check with the charity.  In the meantime, we are looking into partnering with a charity or foundation to help make this easier (and happen). Wish us luck as we investigate the tax and legal implications of this sort of thing!

How can my business go Paper-Negative?

How can I personally go Paper-Negative?

  • Reduce your use of paper as much as possible, use only 100% post consumer content recycled paper, and then offset the remaining impact of your paper use by helping non-profits do the same.  You as an individual can do this directly with a non-profit (and they might even be able to give you a tax receipt for your donation – check with them) or send us a cheque and we’ll make the donation for you (but sorry, we can’t provide or arrange the tax receipt).  Or, if you want to be officially Paper-Newted (as businesses should be to prove their authenticity), as an individual you can sign up the same as a very small non-profit (for a small participation fee to cover the costs) and we can certify you Paper-Neutral just like we can a business.  (Note: Paper-Newt is seeing if the program can work with a foundation or partner charity to see if individuals can make a donation through us and get a tax receipt, but until we can do that then the simplest way might just be to donate directly to the non-profit (and skip the official certification unless you really want it – it’s up to you).  Kudos to you for wanting to be Paper-Neutral!

What’s involved in getting Paper-Newt certified?

How can I donate Paper-Newt Paper to a non-profit organization?

  • As an individual you can donate paper (or anything of value) directly to a non-profit.  Just check first that they want your donation – that’s important!  If you are a business, however, and you want to make a donation as part of the Paper-Newt program (and so get credit and certification for your contributions), you need to be a formal participant in the Paper-Newt program, identify a qualified non-profit recipient organization (and we can help you with that), and then make the donation (and have the recipient organization verify the donation).  You can also have your donations made automatically through one of our official Paper-Newt partner suppliers (coming soon), which makes things simple and is something we can tell you about later.

How can I trust businesses that claim to be paper-neutral?

  • Trust is important, and credibility and accountability are why Paper-Newt is so important in the paper-neutralizing movement.  If a business claims it’s Paper-Neutral, but it isn’t Paper-Newt certified, then you’ll just have to take their word for it (and maybe ask yourself why they don’t bother with certification).  However, if a business is willing to participate in the Paper-Newt program and has been certified Paper-Neutral by us, then you can be assured that they are doing what they say they are.  Paper-Newt certified businesses must agree to strict rules about paper conservation and legitimate offsetting, and we’ll make sure they do.  We rely on the honesty of participants, but we also do audits to make sure participants are doing what they say they are.  If you know of a participating organization that isn’t meeting our standards, then let us know.  We want to hear about it (and so do our other partner participants).  Paper-Newt participation isn’t restricted to only the absolute greenest businesses on the planet (we want to encourage everyone), but if you are going to claim to be Paper-Newt certified, then you better darn well meet or exceed our standards and expectations!

How can I trust Paper-Newt certification?

  • Like we explained in the previous question and answer, Paper-Newt conducts audits of business participants.  Every participating business is required to certify that they abide by all the rules of participation, and non-profit recipients of Paper-Newt paper are likewise required to attest (in writing) that they are meeting all program requirements.  In addition to annual confirmations of continued compliance from program participants, Paper-Newt conducts random in-person audits of organizations to ensure the honesty and accountability of our members and the integrity of the program.  Business and non-profit participants typically have between at least a 10 and 20% chance of an onsite audit per year.

Why don’t I just donate recycled paper directly to a charity, instead of Through Paper-Newt?

  • You can donate paper directly to a non-profit if you want to, especially if you are an individual and it isn’t important that the public have confidence that what you say you are doing is true.  (And hey, don’t just donate paper – charities really appreciate cash too!)  If you are a business, however, and you want to support Paper-Newt’s mission, and you value the Paper-Newt brand and the confidence it gives the public that what you say you do is true, then give us a call and let us help you make yourself legitimately and impactfully paper-neutral (and help non-profits in your community in the process).

What organization is behind the Paper-Newt program?

  • The Paper-Newt program was initiated by PR Loyalty Solutions, a socially-responsible consulting firm that specializes in customer loyalty, reward programs, and community-asset building.  Based in North Vancouver, BC, PR Loyalty Solutions helps small local businesses compete with big businesses and it helps strengthen non-profits through social enterprise business planning services.

What are the environmental benefits of using recycled paper?

  • There are many benefits to using 100% post consumer content recycled paper over virgin, non-recycled paper.  These include less greenhouse gas emissions, less toxic waste, no trees cut down, less waste ending up in the landfill, and more (of less)!.  (For more on the benefits of recycled paper, click here).

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