The Little Book Of Commonsense
Paper - The Real Sustainable Choice

Use Paper, Grow Trees

We all want to do our bit for the environment – reducing our carbon footprint, conserving resources, re-using and recycling more. Smart use of paper actually helps in this regard.

Paper is surprisingly sustainable. Indeed, using paper helps combat CO2 emissions.

Here's how:

1 Every year, more trees are planted than harvested. That’s one of the reasons why there is over 30% more forest in the EU than there was 50 years ago*.
2 Younger trees are much better at absorbing carbon - they lock it into their roots and branches until they are saturated, at which point they become carbon stores, not carbon absorbers.
3 All paper-based forest products trap carbon and store it until it is recycled.

So next time you see “think twice before printing this email”, don’t think twice, think three times! First, think: ‘I can be proud to print because when paper is used a whole lot more trees are planted’. Second, think: ‘The paper I’m using comes from sustainably managed forests that are helping fight climate change’. And third, think: ‘How will I recycle it once I’m done to make sure it stays a virtuous circle’.

*Source: European Environment Agency, State and Outlook 2005