Three (trillion) Cheers for the Forests
Uplifting news emerged this week from a study published in the scientific journal Nature that the world has far more trees than ever before imagined. Previous estimates, which were much lower, were dwarfed by the actual number of trees that was proven by scientists from Yale University: Three trillion. That’s worth repeating: 3,000,000,000,000.
The hard proof and good news confirms what Americans have always sensed — that U.S. forests are carefully managed and can remain vibrant and growing. Leading up to the launch of Paper & Packaging — How Life Unfolds ™ we had conversations with hundreds of Americans to understand how they feel about paper and packaging in their lives. One of the most common sentiments we heard was that paper and packaging is viewed as an environmentally friendly material in part because trees are a renewable resource and our products recyclable. Plant trees and they’ll grow back. Recycle a box and you can use it again. It’s common sense.
This new report also shows the importance of science-based information over rhetoric. The reality of forest abundance is all around us, of course, but it can also be easily verified with the indisputable statistics. According to the U.S. Forest Service, twice as much wood is being grown each year as is harvested in the U.S. That’s why the total volume of trees in U.S. forests has actually increased by 50% in the last 60 years. That means that our forests are growing and are larger today than they were decades ago.
Paper isn’t a finite resource either. It can be kept, reused, treasured, or recycled. It’s closer to our hands and hearts than any other material and it lets every one of us become stewards of the resource. The news about forests is good — and it’s getting better every day. Here’s a champagne toast in a paper cup to that!