It is in the bill you threw away, the plate you did not wash, the love letter crumpled in the corner. It grew just like you from a seed to a gangly sprout, at last to stand tall. It was a tree and then paper and finally trash.
The United States wastes approximately 749 pounds of paper a year… per person.
That would be one tree per person… if all trees were 18 inches around and 100 feet tall.
Each ton of recycled paper saves 17 trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 682.5 gallons of oil and 3.3 cubic feet of land fill space. One tree provides enough oxygen to support three people. The United States throws away 40 million tons of paper that could have been recycled every year.  That is 680 million trees, 28 billion gallons of water, around 27 billion gallons of oil and 132 million cubic feet of landfill space lost. Those trees could have made enough oxygen to support 204 million people. The earth’s populace is roughly 6.7 billion as of April, 2009 and continues to rise.  This means to support our current populace we need at least 2.5 billion trees. We cut down three to six billion trees a year, which at this point and time has led to the deforestation of 80% of the planet. 
35% of trees cut down go straight to paper, and 36% of U. S. trash is paper or cardboard.
Now that you know a little bit of the math, don’t you want to know a few ways to stop using 749 pounds of paper a year?
Skip paper plates:
The average person eats at least three meals a day, which is 1095 paper, plates a year if you only use one plate per meal. A box of 1000 paper plates costs 21.99 in Alaska (2009) and could last around one year for a single person. The average set of dinner dishes costs around 30.00 in Alaska and will last until you break them while using no paper. Which is more economical?
Do it online:
To print the New York Times alone every Sunday 75,000 trees are cut down. 115 billion sheets of paper are used on average annually for personal computer printing. 68 million trees a year are used in the United States to make magazines, bills, and account statements.  How many of you just toss those in the trash after reading them? Signing up for online bill pay also saves you money, some companies offer an online bill pay discount not to mention the price of stamps these days.
Look for recycled or low use packaging:
More than 1/3 of that paper trash is the result of packaging.  Does your hot pocket really need to be in a packet in a sleeve in a box and then placed in a bag to come home? Look for packaging made from recycled paper and try to find products that use less packaging. On top of saving paper, you’ll notice less packaging normally equates to a lower price.
I find most the time when I find a way to save money it ends up being a greener way to live. Start thinking up more ways to cut your budget and in turn cut your carbon footprint today. Six billion trees will thank you.
- Paper Use Facts
- Earth’s population
- Deforestation facts
- What’s in the world’s trash?