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Paperless Day - 21 November 2012
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Paperless Day - 21 November 2012

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Every year organisations, schools and individuals commit to reduce wasteful paper use on one day, Paperless Day. This action has highlighted just how easy it is to make better paper related decisions and deliver positive change within organisations, schools and the environment.

Many participants have already seen the benefits of reducing wasteful paper use; it saves money, it saves time, it encourages a more resource savvy approach to life and doing business and it reduces waste.

It also reduces our impact on the environment and our contribution to climate change by saving trees (forest habitats and species), reducing water use, water & air pollution and carbon emissions, plus it decreases the amount of waste that goes to landfill.

Reducing wasteful paper use makes sense for individuals, for business, for our environment, for our future.

This year Paperless Day will be commemorated on Wednesday November 21 but we encourage all participants to see this day as a day of recognition and celebration for year round action to reduce wasteful paper use.

Here are some links on managing paper in a sustainabe way:

http://checkyourpaper.panda.org/about/rating_system
http://checkyourpaper.panda.org/paperbuyingtips/
http://wwf.panda.org/what_we_do/footprint/forestry/certification/
http://environmentalpaper.org/our-resources/tools-for-paper-purchasers/
http://www.greenbiz.com/research/report/2002/06/11/office-paper-recycling
http://www.thedailygreen.com/going-green/tips/reuse-paper-bags

http://conservatree.org/learn/EnviroIssues/TreeStats.shtml
http://www.greenpressinitiative.org/documents/socialimpactsfactsheet.pdf
http://www.greenpressinitiative.org/impacts/climateimpacts.htm
http://www.oneplanetliving.net/
http://www.oneplanetliving.org/index.html
http://www.thedailygreen.com/environmental-news/latest/7447

http://alephnull.net/eco/paper.shtml
http://shrinkpaper.org/
http://www.minusoneproject.com/
http://business.edf.org/paper-waste
http://business.edf.org/casestudies/citigroup-improving-paper-management
http://www.apple.com/environment/

Since paper is so easily available it's easy to forget about its enormous environmental impact.

It is recognised that the paper and pulp industry is one of the biggest contributors to climate change and every step in the life cycle of a sheet of paper contributes to climate change - from cutting down trees, to producing the pulp and paper, to its eventual disposal.

The paper production process significantly contributes to the destruction of forests; in fact around 40% of the world's commercially cut timber is processed for paper. Half the world's forests have already been cleared or burned, and 80% of what's left has been seriously degraded. Since 1990, 9 million hectares of tropical forest have disappeared every year. That's one football field every 2 seconds.

The loss of forests is more damaging than just the physical loss of trees, forests store roughly 50% of all terrestrial carbon, making them one of our most important safeguards against climate change. The destruction of forests also seriously threatens the habitats of many rare and critically endangered plant and animal species including Asian big cats such as Tigers, Asian Elephants, Asian Rhinos, and Orangutans

The paper production process also consumes vast amounts of water and discharges water pollutants as well as omitting huge quantities of greenhouse gasses - a main source of global climate change. In fact, the pulp and paper industry is the fourth largest emitter of industrial greenhouse gases. When it rots, paper emits methane (a greenhouse gas), and it releases the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2) when it is composted or burned. When you consider that 80% of office waste is paper, and the large majority of this goes to landfill - it's easy to see there's lot of wasted resources, money and time, buried in these landfills.

Reducing wasteful paper use will play an important role in addressing the imbalance of current resource use and enabling a sustainable quality of life. Paperless Day is an easy and practical way to start on the journey toward being more resource efficient.











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