Gerry's World

A glimpse into my life

Saving paper?

January 3, 2018

The inception

My professor, Dr. Ed Shaughnessy, brought up an interesting point about paper usage and I decided to share it here because I think it’s interesting.

The idea

  1. Trees take CO2 out of the air and fix it into carbon/wood.
  2. Paper stores carbon/wood in a human-useable form.
  3. New trees can grow where the old ones were cut down for paper.
  4. Paper that’s thrown away gets buried in the earth.

Therefore: wasting paper is actually good for the environment

Issues with the theory

My stance

I think, if anything, the theory illustrates that the tree-killing we’ve been led to believe about paper usage is not as shallow as it seems since tree-killing is not actually inherently bad. Nonetheless, I think the energy associated with making paper is the biggest contributor to environmental damage since the paper life cycle would otherwise be carbon neutral in a sense. The added damage of disrupting ecosystems for lumber harvesting is also pretty bad…

In conclusion, I will still try to be somewhat efficient with my paper usage within reason, but I will no longer be so adamant about paper recycling since that seems questionable in terms of saving the environment.