Good Stewardship and the Benefits of Paper
USA Today ran a recent op-ed, “Paper may be bad for trees, but it is good for people,” by Tal Gross, 04/20/16, where the author suffers from needless guilt. Professor Gross rightly values the meaningful use of paper to improve comprehension and retention among his students, but he should not think that using paper is bad for our forests. In fact, it is quite to the contrary.
Organizations from the U.S. Forest Service to the United Nations have long affirmed that creating demand for forest products incentivizes land owners to keep forests vital and productive, rather than clear-cutting and converting forestland into the next strip mall or condo development.
In fact, collectively the paper products industry is the country’s greatest tree planters, planting two trees for every one harvested. That’s one of the reasons why American forestland has grown in volume 50 percent since the 1950s.
So it’s time to get the word out: Americans don’t have to choose between enjoying the benefits of paper and being good stewards of our natural resources.
Mary Anne Hansan
Executive Director, Paper and Packaging Board