America is no doubt the richest country in the world for usage of paper. As a religious trend, students throughout America are given books at the start of the year and these books are taken back to be passed on to the next set of students.
All this only to save millions of trees from being cut and save paper!
All of us would never have objected or given a second thought before wasting paper, after all it. But actually from cradle to grave, the making of every bit of paper involves lots of trees, processes, letting out of toxic substances and terribly irreversible impact on our environment. Let us go deeper into these aspects.
Making of paper:
To begin with, trees are cut and broken down to smaller chunks. They are then converted into fibers. These fibers then go through lots of water and procedures for bonding individual fibers into sheets. The water sprayed is then drained out. This excess water contains high toxins which if let out can cause permanent damage to natural resources. The processing of paper fibers also includes chemicals which may have adverse effects on both human beings and the environment alike. The fiber which is converted to sheets is further processed and this comes out as thin sheets of paper.
Again, survey says that a major portion of the world’s logging goes into making it. This percentage is expected to increase a 50% sooner or later. Also, paper industry stands solely responsible for a massive emission of greenhouse gases across the world.
Finding an alternative:
The first alternative coming up in our mind could be paper plantations that are planting trees for being consumed by the paper manufacturing industry. Definitely planting trees is better than clearing off forests. But as such plantations have not come up naturally. They are placed in rows and columns intending to bring in more sunlight and ventilation, these plantations include usage of pesticides and other harmful chemicals to protect them from diseases. Due to all these factors, such plantations do not accommodate any kind of wild life again having a grave impact on the biological lifestyle.
Things we ought to know:
Every ton of paper we save, will save:
- 17 trees
- Approximately 7000 gallons of water
- Up to 380 gallons of oil
- Commercial electricity of about 4100 KW
- 3.3 cubic yards of land
The final call is to save it. Starting from our house to our workplace, it is high time we consciously begin to use it. The most important aspect of saving it or rather decreasing the usage of paper is going digital.
- Get used to sending emails than taking a print and faxing it.
- Use digital diaries in your laptop or desktop than using sticky notes.
- Opt for white boards to note down pointers and reminders.
- Go for a two side print than printing only a single side unless required.
- Be aware and spread awareness wherever you can to lessen the use of it.
- Recycle as much as you can. You begin the trend and see others following you.
Conservation of natural resources and safeguarding the environment begins from every individual. The need of the hour is to use and prevent further degradation of our resources the best possible way.