Many myths and misconceptions exist about how paper impacts the environment. Here are facts to consider when you think about paper and make your decisions.
Paper destroys forests.
The use of paper actually helps to keep U.S. forests growing and managed for better sustainability.
- In the U.S., private landowners plant about 4 million trees every day. That's 3-4 times more than they harvest.
- The great thing about using wood fiber to make paper is that it is infinitely renewable. We can keep planting trees forever, even in places where no trees were planted before, making new forests to serve as good ecosystems while providing the resources we need for products we use every day, such as paper.
Paper uses too much energy.
The U.S. pulp and paper industry generates more than 60% of its energy from carbon-neutral biofuels.
- Although the pulp and paper industry is very energy intensive, it meets a large share of its energy demand by recovery and consumption of waste pulping fibers and wood waste, which are called biofuels.
- In the U.S., the pulp and paper industry is the largest producer and consumer of renewable energy.
Electronic communications are always better for the environment than using paper.
As new research emerges, it is clear that "either/or" is not the answer.
- One must consider all the inputs and outputs before making a decision about which communications are better delivered electronically or on paper.
- By linking the power of paper with the efficiency of electronics, we can streamline our communications and help maintain the best environmental balance possible.