In 2008, each office worker living in an industrialized, Western country will burn through more than 10,000 sheets of paper, according to the World Wildlife Fund. That's about 1.2 trees per person every year. Here's how to shrink your paper footprint.
Go ahead, save a tree
- Print only when absolutely necessary.
- Ask your employer to purchase 100 percent recycled paper from an office-supply company such as Eco-Products (ecoproducts.com).
- Narrow your word processor margins to save hundreds of pieces of paper each year. Then sign a petition (changethemargins.com) to encourage Microsoft to decrease the standard margins in Word from 1.25 inches to 0.75 inches.
- End the flow of junk mail by registering on greendimes.com or catalogchoice.org.
- Sign Forest Ethics' (forestethics.org) petition to Congress to enact a Do Not Mail registry.
- Learn which paper-product companies use sustainable practices at nrdc.org/land/forests/gtissue.asp.
DID YOU KNOW?
Half the Earth's forests have been logged, and only one-fifth of old-growth forests remain intact.
Replacing one roll of conventional toilet paper with a 100 percent recycled roll in each U.S. household would save 423,900 trees.
Replacing 1 ton of virgin paper with 1 ton of 30 percent postconsumer paper saves the equivalent of 7.2 trees; replacing with 1 ton of 100 percent postconsumer paper saves the equivalent of 24 trees.
Know your labels
Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified
Manufacturers harvest wood from responsibly managed forests and respect the legal rights of indigenous people and local workers (fscus.org).
These products can contain a mix of preconsumer and postconsumer fibers. The greater the percentage of postconsumer fiber — which comes from wastepaper, undeliverable mail, and used shipping packaging — the more eco-friendly.
- panda.org; type paper toolbox into the search box
TALK TO US! What do you do with used wrapping paper, cereal boxes, and magazines? Send your favorite paper-saving tricks to email@example.com.