Well, I'm glad you are sitting down. I have some very shocking facts to drop on you today, that will surprise you, and hopefully change the way you think about paper. We live in a world where large companies are using the "Green" word to squeeze more profit out of us. Is there room for both pixels and paper in the future? Absolutely! My quiet little voice is just trying to clarify some of the twisted marketing ploys of many companies, and help you and others to think about how paper can be "Green".
First on the list...Did you know that twenty percent less CO2 is used per year by a person reading a daily printed newspaper versus a person reading an online web-based newspaper for only thirty minutes a day?
Another thing to think about...nearly sixty percent of paper is recycled (see earlier blogs on this) versus just over seventeen percent of electronic devices. Way back in 2006 for example 1.84 Million tons of computers and other electronic devices were disposed of in U.S. landfills.
Paper making is rough on the environment, but remember that what it is made from is renewable, and very recyclable. Computers are made from plastics and contain many toxic chemicals and metals which are largely not recycled. Computers also use large amounts of elecrticity over their lifetime.
On average it takes 500 Kilowatt hours of electricity to produce the 440 pounds of paper used by the average American person each year. That much electricity would power one computer running for 5 months continously. Most business computers (ours included) are left running all night wasting $2.8 billion dollars of energy, and also producing 20 million tons of carbon dioxide, or looking at it another way, the same amount of CO2 produced by 4-million cars!
So here is the thing I want to end with. Should you stop reading this Blog and turn off your computer? Please don't. In fact you should subscribe in the box below! What I want you to do though, is to see that printing and paper may not be so bad as we are being told. Paper and pixels are here to stay, and I think they complement each other. Even in business, as many are begining to find out, a printed paper piece is more effective than email or texting in reaching customers. One of my next blogs will cover this in more detail.
Bye for now,
With a special thanks to the links below for data.
International Paper look under Sustainability tab
Environmental Protection Agency