By, Uwe Paschen.
The Holidays and all its paper. May it be the European Christmas or the Japanese New Years, paper will be sold in masses. May this be in form of Greeting Cards, Gift Wrapping Paper or simply paper bags and other papers used over the Year and especially this time of the year where we seem to used a great deal of it for all the New Years and Greeting Cards as well as for the Gift Wrapping and notes, chopping list and shopping paper bags. The list is in deed long and paper is just about any where and every where.
Amazingly though, the discrepancy of Paper use is incredible through out the World. The USA being the top Paper Consumer on the Planet uses a mind blowing 333 Kg of paper per person and that include even those that can not yet walk nor read or write, yet per person, this compared to the Global average of 48 Kg per Person is incredible.
It gets better though.
The Average paper used per person in Africa is only 0.5 Kg and in China it is 3.8 Kg per person, India uses 37 Kg per Person, however the paper consumption world wide is growing rather then decreasing even though the use of Computers and internet would have let one believe it would be the other way around. However, this does not seem to be the case, not even in Canada the country with the highest amount of Internet user per Capita.
Now if we keep in mind that it takes 324 Litres of water, 4 Kwh and 114 Kg of Wood to produce a single Kg of Paper. It really makes you wonder how come this paper is so cheep, However it is not really, since we do not take into account the cost of waste management nor the cost of recycling or the environmental impact cost that this paper does generate.
The production of each sheet of paper from Wood to paper need about 17 Wh in energy to be manufactured where as each sheet of recycled paper does require only 12 Wh in energy to be manufactured. This would and should already make some once choice easy.Sadly though it does not. http://www.id2.ca/downloads/eco-design-paper-facts.pdf
Our paper consumption keeps going up each Year. In addition, requires today over 1040 Tons of wood Annually and Globally. North America alone does use 25% of all this with only 5% of the World’s population is quiet an achievement and certainly not one to be praised for. Now mind you the US is closely followed by Belgium and Japan when it comes to paper use and waste per person.
This Holidays Season would be a great opportunity to change those habits of ours and make them more Eco Friendly. Easy enough to do by simply reducing, Reusing and Recycling Paper. At least that would be a starting point since only as little as 3% are being effectively Recycled today.
And should you really feel up to it and save the environment, well then stop Wrapping Gifts with fancy gift wrap and go for the good old "news paper" instead. Similar for those greeting Cards, less colour or better yet, only Black and white print no colours at all would make a positive impact. Other then that use thinner paper rather then thicker paper, all those are things that would and will make a huge difference and a greater positive impact on the Eco System.
May you all have an Eco Friendly Holliday Season.
Graff to fund at the above link.