Sticker Power: Milford alderman introduces program to conserve paper, save trees

While vacationing in Maine recently, Milford Alderman Jeremy Grant came across a sticker that really caught his attention.
The green and white sticker, carrying the words “Remember, These Come From Trees,” was on a paper towel dispenser. Grant took a picture of it with his phone to text it to his wife, Becky. But she beat him to the punch. She too had spotted the sticker in another part of the restaurant they were in and sent him a picture. Becky knew her environmentally conscious husband would love this environmentally minded sticker.
The Remember These Come From Trees sticker and campaign aims to save trees by reducing the use of paper, mainly paper hand towels. Grant thought the program was such a simple and potentially effective idea he has brought it to Milford.
The small green-and-white sticker is intended to be placed on a business’s paper towel dispenser, copier, printer or any other area where paper is commonly used.
“The sticker is meant to remind a person to make more sustainable choices and use less,” Grant said.
Grant knows the program is effective. When he saw the sticker on a paper towel dispenser in Maine, he used one sheet of paper towels instead of two.
The stickers are now available for residents and businesses to pick up for free at the Milford Public Library reference desk and at Milford City Hall — on the ledge just off the foyer, or from the mayor’s office.
Alderman Karen Fortunati, who is also chairman of the city’s Recycling Task Force, praised Grant for bringing the program to Milford and said it goes along perfectly with the Recycling Task Force’s goals.
“He presented it to Mayor [Ben] Blake, who fully supported it,” Fortunati said. “Like the Recycling Task Force's Green Halloween initiative that focused on raising public awareness of the dangers of single-use plastic bags, the ‘These Come From Trees’ program aims to make us aware of our use of paper goods and hopefully think twice about grabbing more than we actually need. It's something that I hope will catch on and really impact our behavior.”
Grant said the program can be found throughout the country, in businesses, and at colleges and universities.
“It’s been around for quite some time,” Grant said, holding up one of the stickers. “If one sticker can make a difference, imagine if we had them throughout Milford?”
He said that not only will the program benefit the environment, it could mean a cost savings to local businesses if people heed the message and start using less paper.
“We want people to be more environmentally minded,” Grant said, noting that saving the planet for future generations has long been one of his special causes.
The city bought 2,000 of the stickers at a minimal cost. Grant said he’s planning to bring some along when he goes to businesses or restaurants, and ask if he can place them on paper towel dispensers or near other paper products. He encourages others to do the same.
“The stickers are very cheap,” Grant said, “especially in bulk.”