What do the experts say?

TREES ARE THE ANSWER: Dr. Patrick Moore, chairman of Vancouver environmental communications Greenspirit Strategies

The following excerpts are from “Trees are the Answer” New and revised 10th anniversary edition www.treesaretheanswer.com

“Anyone wanting to help the environment should promote forestry by using as much wood as possible. … An anti-forestry campaign is an anti-environmental campaign.”

“As a lifelong environmentalist, I say trees are the answer to many of the world’s sustainability challenges. Forestry is the most sustainable of all the primary industries that provide us with energy and materials. Rather than cutting fewer trees and using less wood, true environmentalists ought to promote the growth of more trees and the use of more wood.

Forestry results in reforestation, and deforestation is caused by the conversion of forests to cities, farms and industrial sites. The only way to stop forests from growing back is by purposefully interfering with the process of renewal:

  • By plowing the land every year and planting crops
  • By setting so many livestock on it they eat every tree seedling that tries to grow
  • By covering the land with concrete and buildings.”

Forestry firms regenerate more trees than they fell

“From 1990 to 2005, Canada’s forests absorbed nearly 900 million tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere, according to the Canadian Forest Service – the equivalent of taking nearly a quarter of the world’s cars off the road. So if reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the objective, growing trees is a big part of the solution. The way to make that happen in Canada is by cutting them down, Dr. Moore says, since forestry firms, with an incentive to increase their supply and following regulations, regenerate more trees than they fell.”

DID YOU KNOW? Only about “30 percent of the wood harvested globally is manufactured into pulp and paper products for printing, packaging, and sanitary uses. Half of this fibre is waste wood obtained from the sawmills which produce the solid wood products for building. Most of the balance comes from pulp plantations or tree farms. A small percentage comes directly from natural forests such as the aspen forests of northern Canada. Nowhere is permanent deforestation occurring specifically to make paper products.

“It comes as a surprise to many people that over half the wood used every year is not for building things but for burning as energy. About 55 percent of global wood consumption is used as fuel for cooking and heating primarily in the tropical developing countries. About 2.5 billion people depend on wood as their primary source of energy. There is no substitute for most of this wood, as the people who need it for basic survival cannot afford to purchase alternative fuels. The main alternatives to wood for energy are coal, oil and natural gas, all non-renewable fossil fuels.

“About 15 percent of global wood consumption is utilized for solid wood products such as lumber, plywood, and particle board. Most of this is used for construction and furniture. The difficulty with reducing lumber consumption is not due to a lack of potential substitutes. Cement, steel, plastic and brick are readily available alternatives for many applications. The problem is the alternatives are all non-renewable, involve severe environmental impacts of their own, and require much more energy to produce than wood. More energy invariably results in more fossil fuel consumption and increased emissions.”

Newspapers are greener than web news, says environmental expert

“Unlike paper, computer components do not lend themselves well to recycling and reuse because ‘you have this really complex waste combined with not enough value in the materials to pay for responsible recycling …If everybody stops reading newspapers then perhaps we stop growing trees’.”

– Sarah Westervelt, e-stewardship director at the Basel Action Network and panelist on MEDIASHIFT, 5 Across: Environmental Impact of Newspapers, Books, e-Waste, January 22, 2010 http://deadtreeedition.blogspot.com/2010/02/newspapers-are-greener-than-web-news.html

Trees build homes: Newspapers use recycled paper and fibre

“Most surprisingly, I learned that newspaper publishers use mostly recycled paper, as well as ‘virgin paper’ that comes from the refuse generated by saw mills when creating lumber for houses. Could it be that over time newspapers are actually the greener option versus using electronic devices?”

– Mark Glaser – Hose, MEDIASHIFT, 5Across: Environmental Impact of Newspapers, Books, e-Waste, January 22, 2010 http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2010/01/5across-environmental-impact-of-newspapers-books-e-waste022.html 

Paper has a fundamental, vita contribution to a sustainable future

“Paper will always win – It’s convenient, you can recycle it, it’s strong, it’s light and it’s a sustainable thing. We need these products, we will be using these products and they have a tremendous amount to offer our future world.”

– Dr. Patrick Dixon – Futurist: Paper Packaging, Energy, Waste, Recycling, Sustainability Conference, SPCI (Swedish Association of Pulp & Paper Engineers) 2008 conference, Stockholm HTTP://WWW.YOUTUBE.COM/WATCH?V=DJSWPET40RO

Print grows trees

In an effort to dispel the misconception that by using use less print on paper, trees are saved, the “Print Grows Trees” campaign shows that supporting print on paper actually gives landowners the financial incentive they need to keep America’s woodlands safe from development and managed in a sustainable manner to contribute important ecosystem benefits such as water, wildlife and carbon sequestration.


Paper is good – Pass it on

Domtar has launched the PAPER BECAUSE campaign – to highlight the key role paper plays in our lives and the reasons why it’s an environmentally sound choice.

Through this campaign, we are excited to address the common misperceptions about paper and showcase the reasons why paper is a truly fantastic product. Learn more on our campaign web site, http://www.paperbecause.com/

It’s easier to read on paper than online

Two out of three Americans prefer print media (Harris Interactive)

Paper, print and e-media will co-exist for many years to come

“They all have either negative or positive environmental, social and economic impacts that can be continuously improved. Given the fact that forest products have such a unique environmental features (renewable, recyclable, carbon capture and storage, supporting sustainable forest management), perhaps there are unique partnerships opportunities with the ICT sector, especially in the area of sustainable product design. Server farms could easily be powered by renewable biomass from sustainable managed forests.”

Reading an online newspaper for 30 minutes is more harmful to the environment than printed newspapers in Europe.

“Regarding the global warming potential of printed newspapers, Web-based newspapers and tablet e-paper newspapers, reading an online newspaper for 30 minutes is more harmful to the environment than printed newspapers in Europe, according to a KTH Centre report. In Sweden, where the report was created and where digital usage is high compared to the worldwide average, printed newspapers’ global warming potential was higher than reading online.”

– Going Green – World Association of Newspapers, April 2010

Is digital media worse for the environment than print?

“If your goal is to save trees or do something good for the environment, the choice to go paperless may not be as green or simple as some would like you to think.

Digital media doesn’t grow on trees, but increased use of digital media is having a profoundly negative impact on our forests and the health of our rivers.”

– Don Carli, MEDIASHIFT, March 31, 2010 http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2010/03/is-digital-media-worse-for-the-environment-than-print090.html

More than 140,000 tonnes of electronics accumulate in Canadian landfills each year

More than 140,000 tonnes of computer equipment, phones, televisions, stereos, and small home appliances accumulate in Canadian landfills each year. That’s equivalent to the weight of about 28,000 adult African elephants or enough uncrushed electronic waste to fill up the Toronto Skydome (Rogers Centre) every 15 years.

An estimated 4,750 tonnes of lead is contained in personal computers and televisions disposed each year in Canada.

— EnviroZine, Environment Canada, 2003

Electronic waste poses a risk to human health and the environment

All of this electronic waste does more than just take up land and space – it poses a risk to human health and the environment. Lead, cadmium, mercury and other heavy metals found in electronic equipment need to be properly managed to avoid polluting land and waterways.

Solutions to E-waste
Several major manufacturers have begun practising the concept of extended producer responsibility (EPR) to divert electronic waste from the landfills and make sure it’s recycled. EPR places the responsibility on the producers to properly manage their products after consumers are through with them. Extended producer responsibility has the effect of stimulating producers to design products that last longer, and are less hazardous and more recyclable.

– Green Learning Canada

Electronic and electrical waste grows three times faster than the general waste stream

Electronic and electrical waste grows three times faster than the general waste stream. As publishers plan eco-friendly strategies, they have more issues to take into account than ever before, as digital technologies, paper and ink are all important and intertwined resources for the publishing business. For example, electronic and electrical waste grows at a rate of 3 percent and 5 percent each year, three times faster than the general waste stream, according to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal, a global treaty initiated by the Swiss government that took effect in 1992. E-waste includes mobile phones, computers, televisions, e-readers, servers and more.

– Going Green – World Association of Newspapers

“The amount of electronic waste is becoming a growing problem for municipalities.”

– Green Planet Communications

Our mood will improve by up to 29% if exposed to a positive tactile feeling.

– Royal Mail

Harnessing the power of the five senses to create brand connections, Brand Sense-Royal Mail presentation.

Over 90% of media buyers agree the general public lacks understanding of the environmental impact of paper

– NAPM Survey of Media Buyers, July 2008


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