One of the most essential inventions in human history also happens to be one of the most wasted products in the world: paper. Paper was first invented in early China by combining tree pulp with water and allowing the paste to dry into sheets. Over the next 2,000 years, paper would slowly spread across the globe replacing earlier writing mediums like brittle cuneiform tablets and delicate papyrus scrolls. Today, one tree produces an average of 8,333.3 sheets of paper; although that sounds like a lot, when considering how long it takes a tree to grow it can be a considerable loss. Thanks to modern paper recycling however we can cut down the number of trees needed to keep up with our country’s paper costs — here are the three areas that could benefit paper recycling the most.
As technology continues to advance, many schools are integrating technology into the classroom. Still, there is no replacement for paper as everything from spiral bound graph paper notebooks to small 3 ring binders continue to line store shelves during August for back-to-school shopping. Shopping trends suggest that the average cost of K-12 classroom supplies is close to $700: this includes everything from pricy calculators to thrifty numbered dividers which are used throughout the entire year however.
Offices tend to have a lot of paper clutter — nearly eight out of ten people believe that such clutter is detrimental to productivity. Some estimates suggest that the average office worker uses 10,000 sheets of copy paper every year; while the exact figure on wasted copy paper is unknown, back in 1991 there were over 7 million copiers operating in America. Offices that recycle their paper make a clear impact on the environment, which is why many companies are adopting greener philosophies.
Paper Use at Home
There are steps that anyone can take to decrease their paper at home as well. Those with outdated printers end up throwing more paper away than keeping it due to printing errors — upgrading to a laser printer can improve print quality and decrease waste. Crafters and self-employed individuals generally find laser printer labels easier to work with since they do not smear like inkjet printer labels tend to. Laser printer labels can also show heighten detail and crisper colors than non-laser labels, making them ideal for creative designers.