The end of Christmas trees?

5 07 2011

Can you imagine a day when there would be no more Christmas trees? Today, Christmas tree farms are still a viable industry, but if everyone changed to fake trees or just quit buying them, there would be no reason to grow Christmas trees anymore. The tree farms would go neglected. Left unmanaged, they would probably eventually vanish.

Whether we like it or not, economics still influence many environmental decisions. One of these economic decisions being played out today is the use of paper versus the many electronic devices available (like the iPhone, iPad, laptops, and smartphones).

Most of us love our digital devices, and there is no doubt they hold a valuable place in our lives. E-devices are here to stay and are a part of our daily life. But due to misinformation and false perceptions gone unchecked over many years, there is a popular belief that paper consumption is bad for the environment because it leads to deforestation. The flood of digital devices has helped feed this cycle of incorrect assumptions. For self-serving reasons, digital device manufacturers never reveal how much power it takes to keep all of these devices operating; from server farms that require massive amount of energy to operate to the environmentally harmful lithium batteries inside of these electronic devices, there’s a big tradeoff in the rapid switch to digital. Electronic does not mean free and definitely does not equate to clean energy.

What is conveniently left out of the discussion is that paper is 100% recyclable. The paper and forest industries work together to grow and harvest trees specifically for the making of paper. The trees are grown in well-managed forests that have the side benefit of protecting land from other uses like real estate and commercial development. When you print on paper, you create a demand for these types of trees, which helps perpetuate the cycle of continual growth of these managed forest areas.

We not only work in a print company, but we also live in a community we’re proud to call home. We understand the need for environmentally friendly procedures and probably recycle more than most businesses.

Here is a quote from an excellent, unbiased article about this issue. The full text is available here: Informed Choices Save Trees:

“Centuries ago, the widespread adoption of paper and printing resulted in a spread of literacy that ended the dark ages, spawned a renaissance, and changed our world for the better. Despite these advances, our environment now faces challenges on many fronts that call for a new literacy about the state of the environment and the “hidden” lifecycle impacts of the media choices we make. The widespread adoption of sustainable print and digital media supply chains can change our world again and help us restore our environment. On the other hand, if we allow ourselves to be misled by false dilemmas or deceived into making unsustainable choices, distal concerns about destruction of the environment and the decline of our forests will soon become a harsh and uncomfortable reality.”

To learn more about this topic, please visit http://www.PrintGrowsTrees.com.

Now, in regard to that little blurb at the bottom of some emails that encourages you not to print the email or all the solicitations you get about switching from paper billing to electronic billing to save trees, hopefully you see that the only thing being saved is extra money going into the pockets of the company using this tactic. They may not be doing this knowingly. So do us a favor. Print this blog and mail it to anyone who sends you these kinds of solicitations, so they can learn, too! And you have our permission to print all the emails you want, as long as you promise to recycle them, so the paper comes back to us over and over again. We love Christmas trees and our sustainable forests.

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