Eco ways: Handmade paper- Cut your Preferences, not Trees

Posted on April 7, 2010 in unEarthed

Santosh Kumar:

My article elucidates one of many ways to safeguard our ecosystem. This is on the pretext that, a lot of discussion, thought and debate is being put into finding ways to reduce damage of any sort done to our natural habitats.

“We are in danger! And, we are digging traps for ourselves through our ignorant deeds!!”

We might not plant some trees to feed the environment crying for its survival, but we are no-one to cut, harm and endanger the natural aestheticism.

But, now it’s high time that we react. React sensibly and act accordingly.

We may go for shopping without a friend, but not without a plastic carry bag, which is not supposed to do anything good other than being economic. (In 1980, many supermarkets switched from paper bags to plastic (polyethylene) bags as they are less expensive.) Trend reversal to paper bags doesn’t seem to be a remedy. Some shoppers choose paper assuming it as an environmentally better alternative.

But is this the case?

  • In a comparison of the two types of grocery bags, Franklin Associates* concluded that the manufacture of plastic bags produced considerably less air pollution, water borne wastes, and industrial solid-wastes. Because plastic bags are lighter, they also produce less post-consumer solid waste, taking up less space in landfills.
  • Energy-wise, it is a tie. Plastic bags required slightly less energy to manufacture at a use rate of 1.5 to 1 compared with paper and more energy at a use rate of 2 to 1. Paper bags are better because they are made from wood, a renewable resource, while plastic bags are made from petroleum. Also paper grocery bags are recycled at a higher rate and are reused more frequently, since many home kitchen trash containers are designed with paper grocery bags in mind.

The main reason most people choose paper bags over plastic is due to recycling. Here are some others:

  • Are made from a renewable natural resource
  • Can be reused again and again
  • Can be shipped to paper mills to be made into new paper
  • Require less energy than plastic to be recycled
  • Are biodegradable
  • Are safe for small children to play with
  • Pose less of a threat to wildlife

In the end, it is a toss-up whether paper or plastic grocery bags are better for the environment. The important thing is to reuse paper and plastic bags over and over. Best still is to bring your own cloth bags or ask store clerks to hand you easily transportable items without bags.

So, neither is a better option.

We don’t have to do something with extra effort, what we are supposed to do is to go to another shop, which has handmade products.

With the aim to minimize the amount of paper waste produce by office, Eco India had created the Handmade Paper. With this project , offices particularly in India will now be able to minimize the need of paper, the possibility of cutting more trees and help save the forest.

With the fact that making a single tonne of paper from virgin pulp does require 17 large trees, that large number simply means that deforestation is not impossible that will eventually destroy natural habitats.

With the presence of the Handmade Paper, these unwanted acts towards our forests will be minimized dramatically. Other global benefits that the handmade paper provides include the reduced use of energy by at least fifty percent, up to ninety percent of wastewater, and air pollution reduction by seventy percent. These benefits may not be noticed immediately but in the end people will know how these green deeds affect the environment and the world.

You might wonder why this handmade paper is eco-friendly. Firstly, since it is handmade, it does use less energy in manufacturing. Next is that, these papers use non-wood raw materials, which obviously does not require the manufacturers to cut some trees, and thus, saves many trees we have in our beautiful forests. Another feature why this handmade paper is eco-friendly is the manufacturer’s extensive use of solar energy, which is obviously a pollution-free method.

Aside from the green features these handmade paper has, it also boasts off its quality. Compared to a mill made paper, these papers are more tensile and is not easy to tear because of its double-fold strength.

Finally, apart from those interesting green features that the Handmade Paper has, it also has a fine and elegant quality that will surely satisfy everyone’s need when it comes to paper. It is whether the users are corporate groups or students, the handmade paper will surely provide the right quality that the users may want and need. Even manufacturers can use this wonderful paper, which is also ideal in creating numerous paper products.

The writer is a correspondent of Youth Ki Awaaz.

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