Think before you print…we’ve all seen it on email signatures and maybe we even use it on our own email signature. Everyone wants to be a good steward of our environment, right? I’m as big a tree hugger as the next person but let’s take a closer look.
Forests are extremely important to the health of our planet. Trees filter the water we drink and the air we breathe. They provide habitat for more than half the world’s species and are a global source of income. Deforestation is the second leading cause of carbon pollution causing 20% of total greenhouse gas emissions. Forest loss is a problem.
Forestry here in Wisconsin is big business. According to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, Forestry provides more than 59,000 jobs in Wisconsin making forestry the number one employer in seven of Wisconsin’s counties. Both private and public lands in Wisconsin generate products valued at nearly $22.9 billion and nearly 1300 companies are in primary or secondary forest product business in our state. Forest products touch every corner of Wisconsin in a significant way. Every job in forestry supports 3.8 additional jobs in the state and every million dollars of output from forestry creates $1.3 million output in other sectors.
While forestry is huge, that doesn’t necessarily equate to being bad for the environment. In North America paper manufacturers have long replaced the trees they harvest. According to the USDA Forest Service about 4 million trees are planted daily in in the United States. 1.7 million of that total are planted by the wood and paper industries.
Timber is a sustainable and renewable resource. When harvested using solid timber management practices it revitalizes forests and creates conditions for new growth as well as building habitat. It also provides woodland owners with income they can use for projects that improve the ecology of their woods. Using forest products marked FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) or SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) ensure that products come from responsibly managed forests that provide environmental, social and economic benefits. Watching for and consuming products with the FSC or SFI logos is one way to ensure the products you consume have been harvested from land managed in a sustainable way.
From furniture to facial tissues to sanitary products and our organizations printed collateral such as direct mail promotional pieces – these products are woven into our lifestyle as well as our economy.
Whether or not we print our emails, all of us use forest products every day from furniture to facial tissues to sanitary products or our organization’s printed collateral or direct mail promotional pieces. These products are woven into our lifestyle as well as our economy. They aren’t going anywhere soon. If landowners can’t make money from their forests they may decide to make money by cutting all the trees and cultivating or developing their property which can have serious and long term consequences.
Don’t print an email you don’t need to save. Be cognizant when utilizing any of our resources. Recycle when you no longer need the email you printed. Continue to use forest products in a responsible way and if you would like to share, feel free to print this post!
*Article Written by: Sharon Lubkeman- Account Executive with AM Solutions