Why are we still using so much paper?
It has been estimated that worldwide we cut down 15 billion trees per year.
What’s wrong with other sources such as hemp, cotton, or bamboo?
The education industry in which I toiled for the better part of two decades is the biggest user of paper, but I think that number will continue to decrease as us old buzzards die off, leaving students to technology instead of Blue Books.
When I was an Academic Counselor I was always dealing with (older) students who did not want to use the computer for their reading. They had to have a book that they could hold, write in the margins, and use colored magic markers to underline passages.
I don’t get it.
They were already being charged an electronic book fee for every online class, so they would have to pay out of pocket for a hard copy book. If the old buzzards didn’t know, you can do all those things electronically, but they didn’t want to hear it. Phone apps?
Forget it. They wouldn’t even entertain that option.
I’ll tell you another enemy of trees: insurance companies. When I get something from an insurance company, it is sure to include one page with a three-line address, two more pages dedicated to delivering the message in 20 languages I don’t know how to speak (I can speak five), and an extra blank page or two.
If you read about how paper is made, you lose the warm fuzzies about the natural beauty of wood. They treat wood pulp with so many chemicals in different processes in the paper-making industry, no wonder paper doesn’t resemble any of the beautiful trees we see on our planet.
You can use bamboo as China and Japan do, but again that involves major chemicals to strip the fiber from the shoots. Hemp was used thousands of years ago, but obviously never caught on as a major source of paper.
Do your small part.
The next time you fill the paper tray in your printer, use recycled paper.
It’s not much, but if everyone did it, we might have a chance of lessening the logging industry’s lust for clearcutting our forests.
Too many people drive by forests and think it will always be tall green trees growing ad infinitum.
I had a girlfriend in the seventies who was way ahead of the curve. She wore a paper dress on one of our dates. It looked uncomfortable and it wrinkled easily. She needed an eraser after our date to remove my eager handprints.
From three places.
Some things can’t be substituted for paper.
Bullets, bombs, and guns are examples, but that’s an easy fix.
Stop using them.
Fix the things that take away the need for such destructive things.
Newspapers got the memo.
They are a dying media producing fewer newspapers, but they only did it in response to less interest in the whole newspaper process. No one is buying or subscribing to them anymore.
It’s a step.