Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Pass on the Napkins

Clear cut forest, Washington coast

I was watching a show called Eco Trip on the Sundance Channel. The show is about a man(David de Rothschild) who investigates environmental issues and how one small item can be disastrous to our world. On today's episode he focused on one tiny napkin and how using virgin papered goods is doing more harm to our environment then almost any other industry.

I really appreciate this show but in reality I wonder how many people are watching it and how many people care.

Here are a few scary facts about paper and how using virgin trees is impacting our environment.

  • Approx. 324 L. of water is used to produce 1 KG of

  • Average worldwide annual paper consumption is 48
    KG per person with North America accounting for
    over 1/3.

  • Asia has surpassed Western Europe in paper
    consumption and will soon surpass the United

  • Recycling 54 KG of newspaper will save one tree.

  • Paper manufacturing is the 3rd largest user of fossil
    fuels worldwide.

  • Recycling paper uses 60% less energy than
    manufacturing virgin timber paper.

  • Paper manufacturing is the largest industrial user of
    water per pound of finished product.

  • 10,000 trees are cut down annually in China to
    make holiday cards.

  • Every year in the United States, over 2 billion books
    are published, 359 million magazines are published
    24 billion newspaper are published

  • Recycling half the world's paper would free 20
    million acres of forestland.

Ok, so you get the point. Please read the link above to read ALL the points.
How can you help make a difference? One of the most important and easiest things you can do is make sure you do not buy toilet paper and paper towels created from virgin trees. There are so many other options out there these days. Even wal-mart sells an eco friendly paper option. Super Store has their President's Choice brand and Vita Health sells Seventh Generation.

The key to finding a good brand is to read the label. Make sure the company has a high number of post consumer material Seventh Generation used 90%!

Another serious issue is pulp being bleached with because we have this obsession with everything having to be white. Having pulp bleached with Dioxins has seriously toxic consequences. If you must have white toilet paper you should use eco friendly paper goods that have been whitened without chemicals.

So why isn't recycled paper cheaper you ask? The Government highly subsidises the logging industry to make virgin paper affordable. The best thing we can do is to STOP BUYING virgin papered goods. The more you buy the more the industry will stay alive. The Government needs to wake up and support those companies who are trying to make a difference so everyone can afford to buy recycled papered goods.

So, before you walk down the lane at wal-mart to buy your "kleenex" or toilet paper think twice about what brand you buy and the virgin trees that are being destroyed. And pass on the napkins at the resturant. Carry a few reusable cloths to wipe down the kids if needed.

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