The Secret Life of Paper

September 1st, 2008 | 2 Comments »

Off Ramp Films and 18th Street Media teamed up for project INFORM to create this short, inspiring video about paper – how much we use and at what cost.

An American family of five sits on steps while cardboard and junk mail piles up to show how much is used every two weeks, until the people are totally obscured. They take away a third of the pile to show paper waste in England. Most of the pile goes away to show average paper waste in Mexico, where people use a fifth what Americans do.


Dr. Thomas Henningsen of Greenpeace Germany said every second, forest in an area the size of a soccer field is cut down, and globally we’ve lost 80% of all forests. He adds, “There is no need to make toilet paper out of wonderful, hundreds year old trees.”

Germany passed a packaging law in 1991 that makes producers responsible for their packages. The first thing to go was excess packaging, like the boxes toothpaste comes in. Jars are standard sizes so they can be sterilized and reused as is, saving all the energy wasted in America to sort, crush and re-make bottles.

What we can do:

– Use less.
– Recycle everything.
– Buy recycled. If you can’t find it, ask for it.
– Use recycled paper and add a line at the bottom to remind others to recycle and use recycled.
– Pay bills online.
– Copy double-sided.
– Don’t print electronic files like email.
– Choose digital printing, which wastes less than commercial offset, and only print what you need.
– What else?

Best quote: “Every time a consumer picks up a recycled product, they’re casting a vote for the environment.” ~ Bette Fishbein, Senior Fellow of INFORM.

Gaia Graphics & Associates… creative by nature ~ www.gaiagraphics.com

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