Go Green : Save the trees

WE, THE inhabitants of earth, have reached that stage where we need to redesign and reconsider our lifestyles for further survival on this planet. If we want the generations to look forward to a healthy and green earth, then we really have to change ourselves at the earliest.No denying the fact that the forest cover of the whole world has drastically depleted over a period of time owing to the human needs and activities. One contributing factor towards this is the paper industry.
I'm putting forward some of the facts regarding paper:
Worldwide more than 300 million metric tons of paper and paperboard is produced every year.
Of the total global wood harvest for industrial use. 42 per cent goes into paper making and it is expected to reach 50 per cent in the next fifty years.
In our country we have about 600 paper mills producing different varieties of paper.
On an average each one of us uses 700 pounds of paper products every year.For the production of paper special kind of tree plantations are made called as the managed timberlands.These managed timberlands comprises of the special kind of trees, which are required for the pulp and paper manufacturing like the softwood tress (pine, fir etc). It means the diverse natural forests have been replaced by these managed plantations (like fast growing conifers), which has a direct impact on the biodiversity of the whole forest.Designing of the managed timberlands for pulp generation means the loss of valuable wildlife habitats, poor soil quality and ecosystem. They have 90 per cent fewer species than the natural forests.
The managed timberlands often use chemical herbicides and pesticides in order to ensure fast production rates, causing acute environmental pollution.Paper can be made from a variety of other materials like cotton, hemp, grass and even elephant dung but unfortunately in most parts of the world it is made by sacrificing the trees only.Paper products are the largest ingredients at a waste disposal sites.Pulp and paper production industry is the third largest producer of air and water pollutants, waste products and the gases responsible for climatic changes (green house gases).Pulp and paper production is the largest industrial consumer of energy, water and forest resources.Huge water consumption involved in paper making process can lead to reduced water levels, required for fish and other aquatic flora and fauna along with alterations in the water temperature.
Air discharges of the pulp industry include certain hormone disrupting and carcinogenic chemicals like the polyclinic aromatic hydrocarbons.
About one fifth of the contents of household dustbins consist of paper and card, of which half is newspapers and magazines.Industrial nations with 20 per cent of the world's population consume 87 per cent of the world's writing and printing papers.In front of all these facts and figures, now the question is what can we do to turn the situation into our favour.There are many things that can be done like recycling of the paper, avoiding wastage of the paper or the development of non-tree based paper production methodologies etc.But one much simpler and easier way to cut down the use of paper is to emphasise on the use of soft copies of the information and data rather than the hard (printed) form.
With almost each and every sector of the world being computerised and connected through the Internet, all forms of organisations should give stress on using the soft data thereby avoiding the use of printed matter.The trend has no doubt already been started but still the speed and spread is very slow.
Some of the steps that can be followed in this direction can be as follows:
1. All of us must opt for the e-bills rather than the printed statements for our telephones, mobile phones, electricity and water bills etc, most of the private companies have already started this and the others should follow the same. The quality of the paper, which is used to make these bills, imposes great environmental pollution.

2. Same thing can be followed for other documents like the bank statements, credit card statements etc.

3. Only the legal documents should be used in the printed form and all other forms of transactions of information should be carried out through Internet.

4. Within an organisation, passing on the information through email (eg outlook mail express) should be followed rather than circulating printed notices every time.

5. Communication of all types should be preferably done through e-mails.

6. Educational institutions and other such set ups, which need to have the process of registration etc should start online registration and admissions rather than the conventional 10 page (sometimes even more) admission form in printed version. Even the prospectus and the guidelines manuals should be made available on the Internet for the use of the candidates.

7. The mode of examination should also be changed as far as possible. The entrance exams and other qualifying tests should be compulsorily be made online.
Many other similar kind of simple things can be adopted in our day to day life.
Going soft will make your home and workplace clutter free (remember the piles of papers in your drawers, cupboards, on your working tables and everywhere) and at the same time it will allow the earth to breath freely.
Though per capita consumption of paper in India is one of the lowest in world, we need to stop ourselves now only before it is too late.It takes only a second to waste a beautiful sheet of paper but decades for a tree to grow.

Source : http://www.merinews.com/catFull.jsp?articleID=137881

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