Friday, January 30, 2009

Please Don’t Sneeze on the Boreal Forest

Forests play an important role in our fight against global warming, in part because they absorb carbon through their respiration process, which is the opposite of animal respiration, namely they breathe carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen. The huge boreal trees in Canada and the northern part of the United States hold an estimated 67 billion tons of carbon–almost eight times the amount of carbon produced worldwide in the year 2000. This carbon absorption and storage helps to slow the rate of global warming and protect those of us even thousands of miles away. The importance of this unique forest in protecting our atmosphere has lead to its being called “the lungs of the world.” Unfortunately manufacturers such as Kimberly Clark having been using boreal trees to make products such as Scott and Kleenex tissues and toilet paper. Many organizations are boycotting Kleenex and Scott products because they use pulp from old growth forests

It doesn't make sense to use paper from these old growth trees. Compared to using virgin forests for pulp, producing recycled paper saves water and energy. Recycling a ton of paper saves 7,000 gallons of water, 4,000 kilowatt hours of energy and 600 pounds of air pollution. Considering that the average North American uses 50 lbs. of tissue paper products each year, the result is a lot of water and air pollution. Consumers have the power to help save these resources and prevent more pollution by choosing recycled paper products: tissues, toilet paper and towels made of recycled paper or cloth.

NRDC has a great guide to help you selected recycled paper products. The Park Slope Food Coop carries Marcal, Green Forest, and Seventh Generation--all are 100% recycled.

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