Did you know that 35% of all global wood harvests are used to make paper? Or that deforestation is one of the main environmental problems we face in these times? Reducing our paper consumption is an integral part of planet preservation.
Paper Here, There and Everywhere!
From books and newspapers, to paper bags and wrapping paper – paper is everywhere. Paper production actually uses two times the energy needed to produce plastic! And paper accounts for 25% of landfill waste and 33% of municipal waste. Within our advancing technological society, more people are using electronics as a means for communication and business, but we must do more as a collective to reduce our consumption of paper.
Facts About Paper Consumption:
- Approximately 27,000 trees are cut down each day to make toilet paper.
- Toilet paper accounts for 15% of deforestation worldwide.
- The U.S. puts out 24 billion newspapers, 2 billion books, 350 million magazines, and around 2.6 billion holiday cards every year.
- To print a Sunday edition of the New York Times requires 75,000 trees!
- It takes an average of 5 liters of water to produce one piece of A4 paper.
- 50% of business waste is composed of paper.
- For every ton of paper produced, 380 gallons of oil is used.
- American offices use 12.1 trillion sheets of paper a year.
- With all the paper we waste each year, we could build a 12-foot-high wall of paper from New York to California!
- Despite electronic advancement, demand for paper is expected to double before 2030.
- Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 682.5 gallons of oil, 26,500 liters of water and 17 trees.
How can I make an impact?
Action 1: Global Goodness
- Sort and recycle all paper waste.
- Use both sides of printing paper prior to recycling it.
- Use only printing paper made from sugarcane waste fiber. It’s 100% carbon neutral, 100% tree-free and totally sustainable.
- Use email instead of paper and change your bills to e-billing.
- Read books, newspapers and magazines electronically.
- Buy products with the least amount of paper and plastic packaging.
Action 2: Planet Protector
- All of Action 1.
- Store notes and files electronically on your computer or device.
- Reduce the amount of paper cups, bowls and bags that you use. Get permanent solutions for food storage while on the go.
- When buying paper, purchase only recycled paper that is chlorine free.
- Purchase toilet paper from sustainable companies like Who Gives A Crap through our sister site The Conscious Buyer.
- Use cloth napkins at home – instead of paper napkins or paper towels.
Action 3: Earth Angel
- All of Actions 1 & 2.
- Do your research. Support companies that use 100% recycled products.
- If you work in an office, host contests and support co-workers in reusing and recycling all paper products.
- Shopping local (instead of online) will save the paper, plastic and cardboard used for packaging.
- Lobby your local schools and governments to reduce their consumption of paper products.
- Donate to the non-profit of your choice that is dedicated to reforestation.
- Choose to be an Ambassador for Change, and always Spread Love and Spread Light.