Misconceptions abound. Here are some Facts.
Myth: Paper manufacturing destroys forests.
Fact: Paper companies typically plant three trees for every one they harvest.
Myth: Paper made from post-consumer waste (PCW) is always environmentally preferable to virgin paper.
Fact: Not necessarily. You are keeping material from a landfill when you buy paper with PCW, but the carbon footprint could actually be greater than using virgin paper because of the processing involved to make recycled paper look like “new.” PCW content is most eco-friendly when it’s used in products that don’t need a lot of bleaching—such as dark papers, cardboard, or manila.
Myth: Print direct mail campaigns are a waste of time and paper. Consumers consider it junk mail and throw it away without reading it.
Fact: On the contrary. Direct mail advertising provides a much higher response rate than email—about 30 times higher.
Myth: Paper manufacturing is a wasteful process.
Fact: Many waste materials can be, and are, recovered and reused in the manufacturing process. Recovered products include water, heat, and chemicals.
Myth: Most paper ends up in the trash.
Fact: Not so. In 2011, 66.8 percent of paper used in the United States was recovered. That was almost double the recovery rate in 1990.
Myth: Harvesting trees for paper always destroys natural habitats.
Fact: Forests managed in accordance with one of the respected certification organizations can actually preserve the habitats of endangered birds and animals.
Myth: Paper documents will eventually be replaced by electronic ones.
Fact: Not based on consumer popularity. Many people prefer paper to e-documents. Studies show that people retain more and learn better when they read and write on paper.
Myth: E-books are more eco-friendly than paper books, hands down.
Fact: Nope. E-books have a bigger carbon footprint than it might appear at first. The servers they’re stored on use a lot of energy to run and be kept cool. And, of course, the devices we read them on use energy, too.