Ever wonder how many trees are taken down to produce paper and wood products each year? Americans still use a lot of paper, even with the digitization of printed mediums like files, books and mail.
The U.S. puts out 24 billion newspapers, 2 billion books, 350 million magazines, and around 2.6 billion holiday cards all in one year. On top of that, the average office worker goes through 10,000 sheets of paper annually. Clearly, many people rely on paper to stay in business, meaning that reducing paper production will be an uphill battle.
Reducing the amount of paper we use starts with the consumer because we dictate demand. The average American consumes the equivalent of a 100-foot Douglas fir tree in paper and wood products annually, and a large proportion of that paper is wasted. Paper and cardboard make up 27 percent of all municipal waste, meaning that over a fourth of all of our household garbage was made from a tree.
With paper making up so much of our waste, it's clear we don't need as much as we produce. Make sure you only buy as much paper as you need to help the environment. One essential function of trees is to absorb carbon dioxide and convert it into oxygen. Unfortunately, there is an overabundance of carbon dioxide and other chemicals in our atmosphere today. To learn about the health and environmental damage pollutants are doing, click here.