Friday, April 8, 2016
How often do you think about paper? If you are green-minded you should think about it every time you use a sheet.
Approximately one out of every three trees harvested today ends up as pulp for paper products and unfortunately trees from old growth forests are still often felled to meet the demand.
And in the United States we consume more than thirty percent of the world's paper. The United States comes out in the lead again!
But there are alternatives. How about paper that doesn't come from trees? It might be a little harder to find, and maybe even a little more expensive, but every purchase you make of a treeless paper product nudges the industry a tiny bit away from logging.
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- The pulp that remains after extracting juice from sugar cane.
- Made from waste bark of banana trees which is cut after the bananas have been ripened.
- Can be made from old cotton rags, clothing and general cotton waste. Remember, the almighty dollar is made partially from cotton!
- As straw fibers are very similar to wood fibers, it makes an excellent paper. Oddly enough, the USA was once the largest producer of straw for paper making.
- Ground seaweed is combined with recycled paper and virgin pulp to produce a unique seaweed paper. The paper gets whiter with time and has a longer shelf life. The paper is widely used for wrapping purposes.
- We have talked a lot about hemp recently. It is incredibly versatile, grows quickly in a wide variety of soils and climates and makes very sturdy paper. Benjamin Franklin owned a mill that made hemp paper and that Thomas Jefferson drafted the Declaration of Independence on paper made of hemp!