Paper Usage and Recycling

Paper recycling is one of the most commonly touted areas of eco friendly living. Here are some details on how paper is used around the world!

The Facts of Resource Usage

* In prehistoric times, 60% of the earth's surface was covered by forests - today that amount has been reduced by 30% and is still shrinking.

* It takes 17 pulpwood market-sized trees to make a ton of paper, or one tree makes about 11,500 pages of 8.5 x 11 20-pound paper.

* Each one million pages of paper not printed saves 85 pulp trees.

* To produce one trillion pages of paper takes 8.5 million acres of trees, representing an area larger than the country of Belgium or the state of Maryland.

* It takes 390 gallons of oil to produce a ton of paper.

* That ton of paper, when disposed of, takes up nearly 8 cubic feet of public landfill space.

* That public landfill is approximately 36% waste paper products.

The Facts of Office Waste

* Each person in an office on average uses 2.5 pounds of paper each week.

* The average office worker generates between 120 - 150 pounds of recoverable white office paper a year.

* Americans discard 4 million tons of office paper every year -- enough to build a 12 foot high wall of paper from New York to California.

Most companies I have worked for have actively promoted internet/computer storage and distribution of informtion. Think about your own home and work environment - how can you stop using paper to keep records, or distribute information? Every little step helps!

About Lisa Shea