Biodegradable, compostable and recyclable— what’s the difference? If you’ve ever had confusion about the three, you aren’t alone. To start, each recovery-process helps sustain the environment by lessening our dependence on local landfills, but in three different ways (each) with unique end products or benefits.
Paper grows trees...quite fast!Submitted by: Phil Riebel 03/10/2017
In North America, it takes less than 2 seconds to grow the fiber needed for a standard #10 envelope (on 100 acres of managed forests).
For many years, International Paper's "Go Paper. Grow Trees." campaign and "Print Grows Trees" operated by the Printing & Graphics Association MidAtlantic have been promoting the vital link between paper / print and the long-term retention of privately-owned (including family-owned) forest lands. In short, a strong market for pulp, paper, lumber and other forest products, does grow trees.
In North America we grow many more trees than we harvest. Forest area in the U.S. increased by 5,800 NFL football fields per day between 2007 and 2012, or a total of 14 million acres.[ii] In Canada, the forest cover has remained stable over the last two decades and, in recent years, Canada’s actual harvest has been 44% of annual growth.[iii]
To illustrate the powerful renewable features of well managed North American forests, we calculated how much time it takes to grow some well-known paper products: a standard #10 envelope and a ream of office copy paper (500 sheets). The results may surprise you!
Our calculation methods
It is possible to estimate the time needed to grow wood fiber for certain paper products on a given forest area. The results depend on which tree species are used to make these paper products and the age and growing conditions of the trees. Soil fertility and moisture, drainage conditions and the number of trees per acre all affect tree growth rate. Tree species also vary widely in their wood density: a higher density wood will produce more fiber for the same weight than a low density wood.
The necessary data and fiber growth rate calculations were obtained from the literature for nine tree species used in pulp and paper production and occurring under different growing conditions in the U.S. and Canada. The objective of this exercise was to develop estimates of the time it takes to grow the wood fiber necessary for the given paper products.
Click here to see our detailed data table.
The time required to grow the fiber needed for a #10 envelope is 0.3 to 1.9 seconds per 100 acres of managed North American forest.
The time required to grow the fiber needed for a ream of 500-sheet office paper is 0.3 to 2.2 hours per 100 acres of managed North American forest.
The fastest growth rates were for Loblolly Pine and Hybrid Aspen, and the slowest for Black Spruce, with climate and temperature playing a large role in growth rates.
Given the above, a forest land owner or tree farmer who has 100 acres of commercial pulpwood could produce enough wood fiber for the following products, with just the new tree growth achieved in 1 year:
Given the progress of sustainable forestry in North America, environmental claims related to forest products such as paper must consider the renewability and growth of well managed forests. In other words, claims such as “go paperless – go green” or “save trees” mislead consumers into believing that paper is a cause of deforestation (permanent forest loss) when it clearly is not. Well managed forests provide a multitude of environmental, social and economic benefits to thousands of North American communities. They are also key to helping mitigate climate change due to carbon sequestration, and promoting biodiversity compared to other land uses.
Forest products such as paper can support a vibrant and renewable forest cycle that can be sustainably managed for the long-term.[i]
For more on these features of paper, see our Two Sides Fact sheets or our Myths and Facts series.
Delivers easy, jam-free stapling of up to 20 sheets using standard staples. Built-in staple storage and flip-out staple remover. Opens for bulletin board tacking. Made with over 30% recycled materials. Three-year limited warranty. Comes in black/gray
ONE FINGER STAPLING POWER
That's what it says on the box and the folks at PaperPro must be serious as they actually trademarked the phrase. Time to take their EcoStapler for a test drive.
Upon removing the stapler from the box, we were surprised at how light it was. It has a nice sleek look and it's gray and black color scheme is easy on the eyes. The manufacturer states that stapling is "80% easier as a result of their One-Finger technology" and that this little eco-friendly fellow (manufactured with over 30% post-consumer recycled plastic), will handle up to 20 sheets no problem. Putting it to the test, we have to say that stapling is remarkably easy. One easy touch with your fingertip and you have a stack of standard stapled papers, (with apologies to Peter Piper). You can also open the stapler to take on tacking tasks, making this an ideal stapler for teacher and other folks who hang around bulletin boards.
It offers a full-strip (210) staple capacity and loads easily with standard staples, which is always a positive. Top that off with Jam-Free technology that prevents staple jams, quiet operation and a three (3)-Year Limited Warranty and we think this stapler is a keeper!!
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