40 Facts That Will Make You Use Less Paper
Using too much paper isn’t only bad for our trees, it’s bad for the landfills, the environment, and our health.
Deforestation destroys habitats
One of the most obvious consequences of felling millions of trees every year is disappearing wildlife. Many ecosystems across the world depend on their forests and the biodiversity therein. Some species that are endangered at least partially because of deforestation are the Asian elephant, the Amur leopard, the chimpanzee, the Giant panda, and these other animals that could disappear in your lifetime.
Fewer trees mean poorer air quality
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Trees are responsible for detoxifying our air by soaking up carbon dioxide. One acre of mature trees can absorb the same amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles. Without forests, our air is more polluted, which can cause these 9 scary things happening in your body.
Deforestation contributes to global warming
Carbon dioxide is a leading cause of the greenhouse gas effect, which happens when gasses and heat create a layer that traps the sun’s heat in our atmosphere, reports NASA. Most climate scientists agree that this is the main cause of global warming, which can lead to these surprising changes in your everyday life.
Americans use 68 million trees per year
You may not think twice about jotting off a note on a fresh piece of paper or stuffing that birthday present package with colorful tissue paper, but the world does. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that as of 2014, Americans use 68 million trees per year for their paper needs.
Deforestation can cause soil erosion
Tree roots play a large role in both keeping soil rich and in place. When a lot of trees are uprooted in one area, the soil can loosen and lose its quality, which is why the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF) points to deforestation as one of the causes of soil erosion. It even makes certain areas more prone to mudslides.
Once-thriving forests can become deserts
In the same way that deforestation can cause soil erosion, it can also cause that same land to turn into a desert, (called desertification). When a former forest area becomes barren and lifeless it raises the “threat of malnutrition from reduced food and water supplies,” among other health issues, reports the World Health Organization (WHO).
It takes less time to cut a tree than to grow one
Trees can take decades, even hundreds of years to regrow and be restored to their former glory. At the rate we are cutting them down for timber, they don’t have enough time to replenish. One thing you can do to help: Opt for products made of sustainable bamboo, which grows back quickly, instead of paper ones.
Paper production contributes to water pollution
Large scale paper production affects not only the air but also the world’s lakes and rivers, too. The chemicals used to treat paper during development often make their way into local water supplies, endangering marine life.
Forests give the world more than just paper
The world’s forests don’t just exist for the production of paper. For example, the Amazon forest provides valuable food and medicine and, local populations especially, depend upon it as a means of both physical and financial survival, reports the WWF.