For every ton of paper we lose 13 trees, and rivers, lakes and seas are polluted with 20 cubic meters of wastewater
Have you ever think on how much paper is wasted daily in the world? The paper industry is the main predator of the forests of our planet. The massive production of paper from wood pulp that started in the mid-19th century changed completely the history of the world and our relationship with this wonderful material.
This revolution, rooted in the industrial boom, turned paper into a much more economical and accessible good. However, it has also contributed to the destruction of millions of hectares in forests and jungles. Mainly in the countries that supply raw materials to the third world.
It’s incredible, but for every ton of paper we lose 13 trees, and rivers, lakes and seas are polluted with 20 cubic meters of wastewater with high concentrations of organic chemicals and waste products, such as chlorine, used to bleach paper.
Furthermore, the new paper manufacturing process consumes huge amounts of energy; almost all comes from fossil fuels. For this reason, in recent decades the production of recycled papers has been strongly promoted; that is, those made from a proportion of waste paper.
The production of paper with recovered material reduces the impact on the environment in three crucial aspects: energy expenditure, deforestation and reduction of toxic emissions. Nevertheless, the popularization of recycled paper has not yet had enough impact to stop the process of environmental degradation and forest predation.
To put it in perspective, in 2017 our planet lost enough tropical trees to cover the entire land area of Bangladesh or twice Andalucia. We have lost 15.8 million hectares, which is equivalent to cutting down 40 soccer fields per minute for an entire year.
Another sad example is Indonesia. This developing state of Southeast Asia claims third place among the countries that emit the highest amount of greenhouse gases. And this is only exceeded by the two largest economies in the world: China and the U.S.A.
Indonesian forests, together with those of Papua New Guinea and some neighboring archipelagos are called the “forests of paradise” thanks to their magnificent and rich biological diversity. They host more than 1,600 species of birds, 500 species of mammals and 30,000 species of higher plants. In addition, it is the ancestral home of more than 800 ethnic groups that depend on them to survive.
In September 2015, these paradisiacal jungles suffered one of the largest environmental catastrophes so far this century. The satellites detected more than 130,000 outbreaks of fire on the islands of Sumatra and Borneo, which burned the vegetation for several weeks. And this tragedy could have been caused by the palm oil producing industries and paper companies.
Think Before Printing
From Glancing EYE we promote the responsible use of paper, both internally and through our awareness campaigns. Joining the global effort to conserve our forests. We make the following recommendations:
- Use digital formats to save and send.
- Whenever you can, buy and use recycled papers.
- Do not print unnecessary documents, spam, advertising or documents with many blank spaces.
- Before printing, carefully review the documents and use the “preview” to adjust all details: margins, separation between paragraphs, type of font, etc.
- Use each sheet on both sides whenever possible.
- Buy books in digital formats (PDF, EPUB, WORD, etc.)
- Use the discarded sheets of paper to test print.
- Collaborate with recycling. Contact companies that are in charge of recovering paper and place exclusive bins for this purpose.
Every single effort, along with many other people, can change the history of our planet. Do you want your children and grandchildren can live on a green planet? Think before printing.