Paper and Deforestation

The paper industry is the third largest industrial polluter of air, water and land in both Canada and the United States. Did you know: An average office worker prints roughly 1.5 pounds of paper per day, or 375 pounds per year. How many people work at your office?
  • What is Deforestation?
  • The use of paper in itself is not so great. To make paper, logging companies cut down trees. Most of these logging companies are under strict guidelines on how many trees they can cut and grow in a certain time frame. In other parts of the world, many logging companies don’t follow the same rules. They simply cut down all the trees in one forest area and neglect to ever grow any more. This is the act of deforestation.
  • Deforestation has many negative effects on the environment:
  • Loss of Habitat for Species
  • The most dramatic impact is a loss of habitat for millions of species. Seventy percent of Earth’s land animals and plants live in forests, and many cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their homes.
  • Deforestation also drives climate change.
  • Forest soils are moist, but without protection from sun-blocking tree cover they quickly dry out. Trees also help perpetuate the water cycle by returning water vapor back into the atmosphere. Without trees to fill these roles, many former forest lands can quickly become barren deserts. Removing trees deprives the forest also removes shelter from direct sunlight during the day. This causes extreme temperature swings that can be harmful to plants and animals.
  • Greenhouses Gases Cause Global Warning
  • One of the main functions of trees on our planet is to absorb greenhouse gases. Greenhouse Gases is one of the leading causes of Global Warming. Deforestation contributes to more greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere resulting in Global Warming.
  • Flooding
  • Forests have a natural ability to absorb water when it rains, and to release that water slowly into rivers. In high rainfall areas, deforestation causes the rain water to move more quickly from the land to the rivers, causing erosion and stripping the topsoil. Because the rivers fill more quickly they are much more prone to flashfloods.
  • The Solution
  • The solution is simple. Stop cutting trees down. And to do this, each and every one of us must try to use less paper in our daily lives. If you must use paper, please select a paper product that you know cuts trees responsibly.
  • Here are some useful links:

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