Congress Has Green Growing Pains

I noticed this little bit of information in Roll Call, the Capital Hill newspaper.

Apparently Speaker of the House Nancy Palosi's attempt to make Congress a greener place is not as not going very smoothly. New recycled paper is causing issues with printers and other machines. Of course, this doesn't mean the effort should be shelved, there are plenty of great recycled paper options out there.

Isn't it ironic that Congress would pick exactly the wrong kind of recycled paper to bring about a more environmentally friendly operation?

Here is the full story...

House staffers are finding out firsthand what Kermit the Frog has long warned: It isn’t easy going green. As part of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) Green the Capitol Initiative, House offices have switched to new, recycled printer paper — but although the greener pages are friendlier to the Earth, they’re not as nice to its inhabitants, ticking off staffers by jamming copiers in some offices. One staffer gripes that the thinner recycled paper is causing all kinds of backups in the office printer, frustrating busy aides. “We can’t get news clips to the boss,” the staffer tells HOH, adding that the copier repairman who came to fix the problem has fielded similar complaints from other House offices.

The House Office Supply Service, located in the Longworth Building, is where most offices get their supplies, and the shop recently swapped regular paper for a recycled brand called New Leaf.

Jeff Ventura, the spokesman for the Chief Administrative Officer, who’s in charge of the greening initiative, says the CAO’s office hasn’t gotten any formal complaints, but he’s aware that there are some greening growing pains associated with the switch. “Nobody said avoiding global environmental catastrophe would be hassle-free,” Ventura tells HOH.

Besides, he argues, any office-equipment snafus are a small price to pay for a healthier environment.

“While we doubt the new eco-friendly paper is the cause of any copier chaos, as paper jams have been around since copiers were invented, we believe suffering through the trauma of a paper jam is a small sacrifice in the effort to save the planet,” he added.

Ventura also notes that the House goes through 70 million pages of blank paper every year (gulp) and that the changeover to recycled paper is saving 29,400 grown trees annually.

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