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Should you use more paper instead of less?


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The majority of people will probably consider reducing paper consumption and/or using recycled paper as an environmentally-friendly option. But is it? According to Edward L. Glaeser, a professor of economics at Harvard University:

"Our paper recycling programs cost time and money and do little to protect first-growth woodlands and rain forests. The trees used by paper mills are a renewable resource. When people use more paper, suppliers plant more trees. If we want bigger commercial forests, then we should use more paper not less. Our policies should directly protect important wildlife habitats, not try to reduce our demand for paper."

Hmmm. This argument is somewhat too simplistic as it does not take into account energy used to make the paper, the environmental impact of printing materials (ink and cartridges), etc., etc. - but he does nonetheless make a valid point. In an ideal world, commercialization would certainly not be the best method of protecting our woodlands. But we do not live in an ideal world and we are losing woodland at an alarming rate. So, is this the most viable method of protecting woodland spaces at this point in time? Should people be encouraged to drop the "Please think about the environment before printing this email"? Should we look to increase our consumption of paper from renewable sources in the hope that this will result in our woodland areas expanding rather than shrinking.

Thoughts?

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No way this is gonna happen! Suppliers will never plant more trees.Planting trees costs!!! When our forests are out of trees maybe then they will think of starting planting trees! Have you ever heard of something like this happening? I personally don't! Even when the forests where safer than ever and we were using paper more than ever , suppliers didn't plant a sinlge tree!!! What will stop them doing the samething in our time? They don't give a shit about enviroment!

And as for the recycling thing, costs time and money?are you kidding? I prefer giving my money to this, rather giving it to weapons and other stuff.... That's my opinion! And I think most people have the same opinion! :mellow:

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Im with Daim on this one. I don't trust the companies or the corporate governments enough with something like this. And its not like every tree is just one tree that you can easily replant and there wont be any negative effects from it.

He writes:

"If we want bigger commercial forests, then we should use more paper not less."

And then:

"Our policies should directly protect important wildlife habitats, not try to reduce our demand for paper."

So he basically says the only important "wildlife habitats" that are worth having are the ones our corporations and companies can use and commercialize.

No. I say this is total capitalistic bullshit. :angry:

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Suppliers will never plant more trees.Planting trees costs!!! When our forests are out of trees maybe then they will think of starting planting trees! Have you ever heard of something like this happening?

Yup, all the time. I live in a small village in the back of beyond where pretty much everybody (except me!) is employed in the logging industry. When an area is logged, it's immediately replanted.

Is logging good for the environment? Probably not. Is it really, really bad for the environment? Probably not. In fact, logging in this area has probably proved to be less harmful to the environment than misguided conservation attempts in other areas (Yellowstone NP, for example). There's certainly no shortage of wildlife in these here parts. Swim in a lake, and you'll find yourself eye-to-eye with a curious beaver. Pull over at the side of the road, and a bear will amble over to say hello (attached). Take a walk in the forest, and you'll meet with a herd of elk. BBQ in the yard, and the neighbours will climb up a tree so that they look over the fence to see what you're eating (attached). The forest is also home to cougars, wolves, deer, coons, bald eages and a menagerie of other critters ... all of which live here in abundance despite the logging.

The sad truth is that we live in a world that's motivated by money and woodland that has an economic value is more likely to be preserved than woodland that has no economic value. Natural resources will continue to be used. People have cut down trees for thousands of years and will continue to do so. That's an absolute given. People can either focus on ensuring that resources are used in the manner that has the least impact on the environment (logging from sustainable/replenishable forests, for example) or they can focus on attempting to get other people to stop consuming using resources - and that's a losing battle.

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Yup, all the time. I live in a small village in the back of beyond where pretty much everybody (except me!) is employed in the logging industry. When an area is logged, it's immediately replanted.

Is logging good for the environment? Probably not. Is it really, really bad for the environment? Probably not. In fact, logging in this area has probably proved to be less harmful to the environment than misguided conservation attempts in other areas (Yellowstone NP, for example). There's certainly no shortage of wildlife in these here parts. Swim in a lake, and you'll find yourself eye-to-eye with a curious beaver. Pull over at the side of the road, and a bear will amble over to say hello (attached). Take a walk in the forest, and you'll meet with a herd of elk. BBQ in the yard, and the neighbours will climb up a tree so that they look over the fence to see what you're eating (attached). The forest is also home to cougars, wolves, deer, coons, bald eages and a menagerie of other critters ... all of which live here in abundance despite the logging.

The sad truth is that we live in a world that's motivated by money and woodland that has an economic value is more likely to be preserved than woodland that has no economic value. Natural resources will continue to be used. People have cut down trees for thousands of years and will continue to do so. That's an absolute given. People can either focus on ensuring that resources are used in the manner that has the least impact on the environment (logging from sustainable/replenishable forests, for example) or they can focus on attempting to get other people to stop consuming using resources - and that's a losing battle.

In the US, the logging companies DO plant more trees and in some place have planted entire forests, staggered for long term logging. However, it is true that in 90% of the world the logging companies do not replant.

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In the US, the logging companies DO plant more trees and in some place have planted entire forests, staggered for long term logging. However, it is true that in 90% of the world the logging companies do not replant.

So, should we be using less paper or should we keep on using the same amount but try to ensure that it comes from sustainable sources? Is using less paper the greenest option?

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So, should we be using less paper or should we keep on using the same amount but try to ensure that it comes from sustainable sources? Is using less paper the greenest option?

I vote for sustainable sources - we are already headed toward using less paper. Here in the US, newspaper readership is falling rapidly enough that we are seeing layoffs in the big newspapers and several magazines are going digital to reduce their costs. The newspapers have been so one sided in the way they present news that they have turned off many readers and most can go online and get better, more well rounded news. :info: I think they call it shooting your self in the foot. You hear the term "death of journalism", to many reporters reporting their views instead of reporting the news...

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I have to say I still dont understand his point of view. So he says that if we continue to use more paper more trees will be planted. And if we dont use more paper we will loose more trees? Huh how does that work! :blink:

Also, industrial tree plantations (that this really are) are biological and genetic deserts when you compared them to the rich natural forests. The variety of plants, animals, insects and fungi is minimized in an industrial tree plantations. And the floor is almost barren in comparision to an old-growth forest's lush carpet of vegetation. And the trees are only viewed as a mere commodity and so natural diversity is destroyed in the hunt for more and more profits.

Like I said before. This is just bullshit. :ph34r:

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I have to say I still dont understand his point of view. So he says that if we continue to use more paper more trees will be planted. And if we dont use more paper we will loose more trees? Huh how does that work!

Eat more spuds and more land will be devoted to growing them; eat less spuds and less land will be devoted to growing them. The same principle applies in relation to trees!

Also, industrial tree plantations (that this really are) are biological and genetic deserts when you compared them to the rich natural forests. The variety of plants, animals, insects and fungi is minimized in an industrial tree plantations. And the floor is almost barren in comparision to an old-growth forest's lush carpet of vegetation. And the trees are only viewed as a mere commodity and so natural diversity is destroyed in the hunt for more and more profits.

Not necessarily. I have been to commercial woodlands in Europe which were indeed sterile: row after row of neatly planted and equally spaced trees and floors that comprised nothing but dead pine needles. But it's very different here. In fact, the size of the trees is about the only way you can tell the difference the new growth forests and the old growth forests in the nearby Provincial Park. The forest bounces back pretty quickly after logging - in much the same way that it bounces back after a fire.

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Eat more spuds and more land will be devoted to growing them; eat less spuds and less land will be devoted to growing them. The same principle applies in relation to trees!

Not necessarily. I have been to commercial woodlands in Europe which were indeed sterile: row after row of neatly planted and equally spaced trees and floors that comprised nothing but dead pine needles. But it's very different here. In fact, the size of the trees is about the only way you can tell the difference the new growth forests and the old growth forests in the nearby Provincial Park. The forest bounces back pretty quickly after logging - in much the same way that it bounces back after a fire.

I still dont get it. Just because we dont use any paper ( :lol: ) doesn't mean that we won't care about the forests and plant more trees. Maybe in his eyes trees becomes worthless and deserves no attention if we cant make any money from them.

Sure, industrial tree plantations doesn't have to mean that our forests turns into deserts. But you cant compare them to old-growth forests and their diversity.

And industrial tree logging have huge impacts on forests. Just take Sweden as an example. In the early days our forest contained a wide variety of different trees. Back then the most common tree grown in our forests was the pine tree, among others. These days, after industrial tree logging, our Swedish forests are sterile and the more valueable (for the loggers) spruce tree has now almost completely taken over.

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Just because we dont use any paper ( :lol: ) doesn't mean that we won't care about the forests and plant more trees.

We may not care less about the forests, but others would care less. Should the land cease to have economic value, the sad fact is that it may well end up being put to some form of alternative use.

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We may not care less about the forests, but others would care less. Should the land cease to have economic value, the sad fact is that it may well end up being put to some form of alternative use.

So he is saying that without any financial gain from these trees we would then just destroy the forests for our own personal pleasure?

Lets say that we didn't use any papers. Instead we cut down trees and forest to be able to build houses or chairs or tables etc. Then by his rhetoric this wouldn't be a problem because then more trees would be planted.

The problem is that we consume too much paper. But you cant solve consumption with even more consumption.

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