Video courtesy of Miles Rose

On his quest to learn more about how we all can take care of the Earth TOCK has discovered the following facts about paper:

We use more than 2 pieces of paper for everyone on Earth every single hour.

It takes 10 litres of water to produce a single A4-sheet of paper (So that’s 20 litres of water used for every person, every hour).

Over one third of household waste is paper and one quarter of landfill is made up of non-recycled paper. Deforestation is one of the main environmental problems we’re facing in these times. 42% of all global wood harvest is used to make paper.

Recycling 1 tonne of paper saves 17 trees; 1,440 litres of oil; 2.3 cubic metres of landfill space; 26,500 litres of water and 4,000 kilowatts of energy (Enough for an average 3 bedroom house’s lighting, TV and cooking for a whole year.)

Ways to save paper at home

  • Stop using paper towels – use fabric cloths (which can be washed) to wipe up spills instead.
  • Avoid the use of single use paper items in the kitchen – paper napkins, paper cups – use cloth napkins and reusable cups.
  • Use an erasable whiteboard or blackboard to write reminders, to do lists etc. at home.
  • Make a no junk mail sticker to put on your letterbox – it is estimated more than 100 million trees are destroyed each year to make junk mail.
  • Give your old magazines to your dentist or doctor to use in their waiting rooms…
  • Re-use old newspapers as animal bedding – if you don’t have a pet perhaps donate to a local pet shelter.
  • Save scraps of decorative paper, old cards, magazines in a box to use for family craft projects.
  • Print or write on both sides of paper whenever possible.
  • Save barely used wrapping paper to use again or even wrap gifts in cloth off cuts (from local charity shop) – Furoshiki style.
  • When buying paper materials try to buy recycled paper or goods made with paper from sustainable managed forests.

Recycling paper is a good way to reduce the number of trees cut down for making paper however the same paper cannot be recycled endlessly. Paper is made up of long fibres, so every time it is recycled, those fibres will be shortened and make it harder to be recycled the next time.

The average number of times paper can be recycled is about four to six times. REDUCING the amount of paper we use in the first place is an even better solution.

Check out some creative recycling ideas using paper on our TOCK Crafts page