Paper is a resource that most people use on a daily basis in some way, shape or form. We believe that paper has a profound impact on daily lives and can continue to impact for the better if we are conscious and informed about the choices we make when using it.
Did you know printing is the ONLY medium with a one-time carbon footprint? All other media require energy every time they are viewed. It has been said that electronic communication is better for the environment than print; however, electronic devices typically require the mining and refining of dozens of minerals and metals, as well as the use of plastics, hydrocarbon solvents, and other non-renewable resources.
Although the primary raw material for paper is trees, they are a renewable resource. The trees in North America used for paper production come from actively managed forests or farms. By providing a market for responsibly grown wood fiber, the U.S. paper industry encourages forest landowners to continue managing their lands rather than selling them for development or other non-forest uses.
Private landowners plant about 4 million trees everyday; that is 3-4 times more than they harvest. This gives them the income they need to maintain, renew and manage this valuable forest resource sustainably. Without that income, land owners face pressures to convert forest land to other uses, including growing other crops that are more profitable or selling the land for development. In both cases, the forest is removed forever.
It is important to consider all the inputs and outputs before making a decision about which communications are better delivered electronically or on paper. By linking the power of paper with the efficiency of electronics, we can streamline communication methods and help maintain the best environmental balance possible.
To learn more, or test your knowledge about paper facts, check out this quiz: Paper Because: Truth or Fiction quiz