Commentary: Honoring Mother Earth With Truth About Environmental Impact
Today we take time out to honor the third rock from the sun with one of the lesser-heralded holidays: Earth Day. A San Francisco hippie, peace activist John McConnell, was the originator of a day to honor the Earth and peace (man) on a global basis. Later, Sen. Gaylord Nelson founded Earth Day as an environmental teach-in for the United States, which debuted April 22, 1970.
Naturally, the printing industry takes a lot of heat for using practices that are not conducive to Mother Earth. The problem is one of PR, and organizations such as Two Sides North America are trying to correct the misconceptions about the printing and paper making processes and their impact on the environment.
Not to take a defensive stance here, but sometimes you have to come out swinging to drive home the truth to people who are not so inclined to research the facts. We all love this planet and we want to keep it healthy, and this entails erasing the image of smoke stacks spewing poison into the air and water.
Some key info, courtesy of Two Sides, along with cited sources:
- Paper is the most recovered of the recycled products (63.5%), easily outdistancing metals (34.5%) and glass (25.5%). Plastics is the big laggard at 7.1%. (American Forest & Paper Association, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
- The global printing and paper industry accounts for 1% of global carbon dioxide emissions. (World Resources Institute)
- On the other hand, the information and communications technology sector checks in at 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions, a figure that is expected to double by 2020. (Gartner)
- "The forest products industry is a leader in the production of renewable energy, with more than 65% of the on-site energy needed to produce paper products derived from carbon-neutral biomass." (American Forest and Paper Association)
Paper has alternative competition, of course. You have to love those individuals who blather on and on about the many uses of hemp, when all they really care about is the legalization of one particular application. And it ain't writing paper, gentle readers. Oh well.
As an aside, today is also Administrative Professionals Day. Make sure you treat him/her to lunch. An outdoor cafe would be nice.