We love an obvious link between the things we consume and the ways we can offset our consumption. And could there be anything simpler than planting trees to make up for the paper we use? Newington College in NSW has decided to apply this elegant solution to its 2020 paper usage. This thoughtful school has recently purchased 90 trees from Fifteen Trees, in recognition of the fact that its unavoidable use of paper has an environmental impact.
Calculating the carbon footprint of paper use is not as straightforward as working out how many trees go into a box of paper (approximately one per ten ream/5000 sheet box). It’s important to take into account carbon dioxide emissions from manufacturing, transport through several different distribution points, right down to the use of the photocopier at the back end. Because of all this, we encourage offices to allow five trees per box.
Newington College’s trees have been planted by the Buloke and Northern Grampians Landcare Group in Western Victoria. One of its recent projects is to work with local wildlife rescues to breed and release native species that have disappeared due to deforestation and development. Creating habitat for species like the Squirrel Glider, possibly the cutest animal to ever exist, and the Rufus Bettong, also ridiculously adorable, involves careful land management and expert input into the trees planted to enhance it.
As well as directly planting trees, we also encourage anyone who uses paper in their place of work to take the Ethical Paper Pledge at https://ethicalpaper.com.au By pledging to only use sustainable paper for copying, and by avoiding those brands who source their paper form native forests (including Reflex, Opal and Nippon) we can all help reduce the root cause of habitat destruction – irresponsible over-consumption.
Big thumbs up to Newington College staff and students for identifying a way to make a difference and following through!
To find out how we can help you reduce the carbon footprint of your office contact Melinda <[email protected]>.
Writer – Sarah Hart.
Sarah is an artist whose passions include the stories and experiences of women and narrative driven creative work. Her aim is to delight, to reveal glimpses of everyday beauty, and to celebrate flights of the ordinary. Sarah works across a range of media, with an abiding interest in pen and ink, mixed media and the human form. You can find Sarah here.