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December 1, 2018

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Let us Celebrate National Tree Week

Written by Tiffany Plummer

 

National Tree Week is a way for us to raise awareness and appreciate the many benefits of trees that so many of us take for granted.

Everywhere we turn there are trees around us, so much that many of us often forget they are there. However, the number of trees in our urban areas and forests have drastically declined due to several reasons, which include urbanization, deforestation and so forth. Now it is time we should know exactly how beneficial they are and how they add value to us as beings and our environment.

National Tree Week is a great way for us all to get involved, spread awareness and plant some trees, so that we can ensure a greener future for all of us. As a printing company that uses various types of paper as the primary material to create our products, we find it important to do our bit.

National Tree Week

Does paper making destroy forests?

As paper is one of the largest industries in the world, it seems like anywhere we turn our world is immersed in paper. We go to schools and students have around 10 notepads as well as their workbooks, shops fill stands with glossy entertainment magazines and newspapers, offices fill the work environment with paper, while libraries have millions of books that are made from…you guessed it, paper!

It is stated that ‘some pulp and paper operations have had devastating impacts on some of the worlds ecologically important places’[1]. This is predominant in countries such as Indonesia, where the paper industry is said to account for a large percentage of deforestation. A paper published in the Nature Climate Change calculated that ‘Indonesia lost 840,000 hectares of its primary forest’[2] due to paper and pulp, which is said to be the most lost by any country.

However, with that said, there are many pulp and paper operations that are demonstrating a strong sense of leadership when it comes to the management of responsible forestry and plantation. Proving that the production of paper can be sustainable if managed correctly. For example, many companies now follow a rule that for every tree they use they will replant at least 2 or 3 in its place.

What types of trees are used to produce paper?

In the UK, ‘pine and birch are the main trees used to create paper and pulp. Nevertheless, ‘different kinds of trees produce a different texture of paper.’ Soft woods like spruce, pine, fir, larch and hemlock have longer fibres and give paper more strength, while hardwood fibres such as eucalyptus, popular, aspen and birch are shorter but tend to work better in printing and writing papers.’[3].

Although most paper is made from trees, there are many other alternatives such as bamboo, cotton, hemp, jute, and a range of other plant materials that are becoming increasingly more popular.

 

National Tree Week

The many benefits of trees

Tree’s not only provide paper for millions of the world to use on a day to day basis, but they also contribute to a magnitude of other things.

As the biggest plants on the planet, trees give us oxygen, store soil and provide shelter for thousands of species of wildlife, whilst also supplying building materials and shelter. I know right, WOW! Here’s just some of the other many benefits trees do:

  • Trees combat climate change – The excessive amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) building up in our atmosphere, has been a contributing factor to our climate change. Our population continues to grow, and many people are still not aware of the steps that need to be taken to help reverse the negative effects we have had on our environment. Data suggests that ‘trees absorb CO2, by removing and storing the carbon while releasing oxygen back into the air’[4]. It is also said that ‘in one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the same amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 26, 000 miles’[5].
  • Trees clean the air by absorbing odours and pollutant gases by trapping them in their leaves and bark.
  • They help keep some of our scorching cities cool by providing shade to streets and buildings.
  • Trees help conserve energy by up to 50 per cent by reducing the demand to cool houses/building.
  • Trees help prevent soil erosion & flooding
  • They help mark the seasons. Winter, spring, summer or autumn? Look at the trees and they will tell you.

What we are doing?

At Back 2 Back, we pride ourselves on being an environmentally friendly printing studio, that doesn’t cost the earth. So National Tree Week is an important event for us.

During tree planting season we will be volunteering to help maintain local woodland and their ecosystems. We will also be taking part in a few projects helping to plant new trees around Greater London.

Not only that, but we already donate 5% of our profits to various charities that help plant trees and look after our woodland and wildlife. See more here

We are also looking for new partnerships to see how else we can help protect our environment, educate others and decrease our carbon footprint. So please get in touch if you can help!

The next time you look outside and see a tree I am sure you will now admire and stare in awe. I mean…you now know just how amazing they really are. It is time we work together to appreciate, educate and plant more to mark this year’s National Tree Week.

 

[1] Responsible Forestry. Available at:  https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/pulp-and-paper. [Accessed on 29th November 2018]

[2] Rate of deforestation in Indonesia overtakes Brazil. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/jun/29/rate-of-deforestation-in-indonesia-overtakes-brazil-says-study. [Accessed on 1st December 2018]

[3] Responsible Forestry. Available at:  https://www.worldwildlife.org/industries/pulp-and-paper. [Accessed on 29th November 2018]

[4] Top 22 Benefits of Trees. Available at: https://www.treepeople.org/tree-benefits. [Accessed on 29th November 2018]

[5] Top 22 Benefits of Trees. Available at: https://www.treepeople.org/tree-benefits. [Accessed on 29th November 2018]

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