Use of Paper Products Can Actually Boost Forest Growth

For many years, limiting use of paper products has been an important feature of environmentalism. The logic goes that using less paper means more trees will be allowed to flourish, which in turn creates a healthier environment for all creatures big and small. While this sort of thinking is certainly well- intentioned, it isn’t entirely accurate.

The fact is that using paper products in a conscientious manner can actually result in more trees planted overall. This is because those responsible for producing paper-based products must continuously re- plant trees to replenish their stock, and without consumers willing to purchase these products, the rate of tree re-planting would surely diminish.

Paper Production Can Reduce Climate Change

To those in the paper industry, trees are regarded as any other crop. An excess of 1.7 million trees are planted on a daily basis by paper producers, which has increased this nation’s forests by 12 million acres since 1987. To this end, what may appear to be a run-of-the-mill forest might actually be an important agricultural resource used during paper production.

This continuous re-planting of trees can have a very real impact on climate change thanks to improved carbon sequestration. Older forests are typically less efficient at capturing carbon dioxide from the air, but newly planted forests are great at sequestering carbon while also being a good source of oxygen (an acre of new growth can produce up to 4,280 pounds of oxygen per year). This underscores the importance of reforestation, as opposed to just preserving those forests that already exist.

An Innovative Approach Is Key

While the above information establishes that using paper products should be a part of an environmentally concerned lifestyle, one should also be aware of just how those paper products are actually created. For instance, some paper producers opt for a more innovative method when creating their goods.

Because trees grown for lumber are valued higher than those meant for consumer products, tree farmers prefer growing crops intended to meet rising lumber needs. This has led to some paper producers combining the leftover wood chips from lumber mills with recycled paper to create a product that is both environmentally sound as well as functional.

Environmentalism Requires an Open Mind

When used in conjunction with other environmental preservation methods, usage of paper products can actually prevent deforestation by ensuring new trees are planted. That’s why it’s important for all environmentally aware people to keep an open mind when it comes to doing their part, whether that entails supporting the paper industry or launching a recycling program in their own homes.

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