Get the Facts: Print is Green

Print and paper are an environmentally friendly form of communication. In the United States the trees used to generate paper come from well-managed tree farms.  Furthermore, the amount of trees in the U.S. has actually grown since the first Earth Day, in 1970,  by 20 percent.  The owners of the tree farms have a lot to do with this increase; on an average day tree farmers across the nation plant four million trees – or in other words between three and four trees are planted for every one tree harvested for the production of paper, power and other products.

Additionally, recycling has been on the rise over the past decade and studies show that about 19 million tons of paper are recycled every year.  Recycling one ton of paper saves 17 mature trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 2 barrels of oil, and 4,100 kilowatt-hours of electricity. That’s enough energy to power the average home for five months.

Furthermore, of the trees harvested for production, only 11 percent of the trees are used for paper.  The other 89 percent is used for energy, lumber and other materials.  While the industry is only using 11 percent of harvested trees, the print and paper industry are responsible for over 600 million trees being planted annually.  Additionally, 60 percent of the energy used to product print and paper comes from recycled material.

Finally, with digital print, the printing process has evolved and is continuously finding new ways to be environmentally conscious.  Digital printing presses use about ninety seven percent recyclable components and none of the components generate or use any hazardous materials to the environment.

Print is not only a powerful and effective way to communicate with your audience, it’s also an environmentally conscious form of communication produced from an industry continuously striving for environmental excellence.

Timothy Freeman
Print & Graphic Communications Association


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