2002.04.04 12:20 2002.04.04 12:20 | Civic Participation

No Paper Day

Tree-Planting Campaign in a Forest of Buildings

Without going to mountains to plant trees, we can plant a ‘tree of life’. – Planting a tree in the office. If we spend less paper, it is like we plant a tree for that much paper. The tree we plant is young but the tree that we can save by reducing paper is more than 30-years-old grown by water and sunshine. About half of the wood we use goes into such paper products as boxes, stationary, computer printouts, napkins, and magazines. More than 80 percent of these products are made from newly cut trees.


Did you push the "print" button out of habit?

Do you often print all results of an internet search?
Since office machines like computer, fax and copier has been developed, the use of A4 papers have increased in the office. At the beginning of office automation, they claimed ‘paperless office’ but it became a ‘paper paradise office’. Over the course of a lifetime, the average Korean uses 237 trees. According to Co-op America's Wood Wise Consumer Guide, the average U.S. worker uses 12,000 sheets of paper per year. It means our habit of consuming paper destroys forests around the world which are the lungs of the earth. If we neglect the forests now the boomerang result will be a polluted earth on which we will all suffer. That is the reason Green Korea United suggests to the world, No Paper Day on April 4, 2002.


What is No Paper Day?

If we cannot plant and take care of trees, we have to save paper right now during our daily life. We can give the "life" to the trees if we save paper. During your lifetime you can save several beautiful old trees around the world. You will save not only trees, but also many insects and for example, a family of woodpeckers. The fresh air from the trees can make the world cleaner. By reducing the use of paper, we also save the energy which would have gone into making it and prevent river pollution caused by bleaching agents used during its process. Can you imagine this: the big tree you saved, another tree somebody saved, and another tree and another tree... becoming forests. Our way of life will create a forest and we are the people who will keep the forests beautiful.


No Paper Day! Action

If we save 4 boxes of A4 paper, we can save one 30 year-old tree
According to the forestry research statistics at the end of 2000in Korea, the paper consumption per one person in our country is 153kg that is like 2.6 trees of 30 years old are fallen. How many trees we spend in our lifetime? If we calculate this into a pine tree of 22 cm diameter and 18 m height, this becomes about 227 pine trees. If a person lives about 80 years these days, we have to plant 3 trees every year and take care of those trees for 30 years from draught or fire to be self-sufficient. It is tantalizing to know that the wood supply rate of our country is only 6%. That is, our paper wasting habit destroys the Amazon tropical forest, ‘the lung of earth’. Because we don’t care for the lung of earth that supplies clean air, the result is any of us can’t live healthy in that polluted earth.

By not using papers, we can get an effect as if we plant trees.
   To make 1 ton of papers, 17 trees of 30 years old are needed.
   1000kg : 17 trees = x kg : 1 tree
   Therefore, one tree can make about 59 kg papers.
   One box of A4 paper (2,500 sheets) is 14.5kg(including the loss in paper cutting), then the weight of 4 boxes is 58kg
   Therefore, if we save 4 boxes of A4 paper size, we can save one 30 year-old tree.

In this way, we don’t use paper and save cost at the same time. This saved cost will be used again for our environment.
'No Paper Day!' campaign can be done not only in Korea but also other international countries. It seems that we can get a great result if we start this campaign with other international environment organizations, especially Forest and Tropic Forest Protection Organizations.


Companies' Participation in No Paper Day!

Over-consumption of paper is really the key factor that is driving the depletion of the world's forests. Reduction of product use is probably the easiest ecological step to achieve.  Using less photocopy paper, wood, and paper towels means you save money. We will promote companies' participation in No Paper Day. Companies will learn how to reduce paper during Monday morning meetings and will try to keep it throughout the week of April 1-6. Especially April 4, people have to try to not use any paper at the office. At the end of the week they will talk about how much paper they saved. The amount of money they saved will be donated to the tree-planting campaign fund.


April 4, No Paper Day Campaign!

April 4, 2002 GKU demonstrated in front of the YMCA building in Seoul using recycled signs, large artificial trees, and materials to depict the paper-making process. In addition, we made reusable paper with school children as an education program that demonstrated the value of saving paper. Participating in this experiment gave the children a chance to rethink how precious one sheet of paper is.


10 Ways of Saving Paper

    1. Read magazines online or share a subscription with a friend. You'll save money as well as paper. Tell the magazine companies you read that you'd like them to print on recycled paper.
    2. Instead of using so much tissue try to use a handkerchief.
    3. Recycle all your wasted paper. Use both sides of the paper. If you get junk mail, use the backside of the paper as a memo.
    4. Cut down on paper waste and use fewer wood products (Zero-waste and Zero-paper movement). Try to cut down your use of paper by one half.
    5. Do not use disposable goods, especially cups,  chopsticks, and spoons.
    6. Eliminate printer and fax cover sheets. Reduce size of printed pieces and rethink before you press the 'print' button. Does it really need to be printed?
    7. Use e-mail instead of paper memos and reduce the number of messages you print out.
    8. Sign up for automatic bill payment and ask companies to e-mail you a statement.
    9. Buy recycled and reused paper.
    10. Keep recycling.


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