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Saving American Trees—with Paper

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It's a common assumption that if paper comes from trees, then using paper must be bad for forests, right? Wrong, according to Boise Paper. American-manufactured paper actually benefits our nation's forestland and is a driving force in maintaining it for future generations, the company notes. 
"It may seem counterintuitive, but the responsible production and use of paper is sustainable and helps keep forest land in the U.S. as forests," said Kate McGlynn, product environmental steward for Boise Paper. "Using wood-based products like office paper actually gives American landowners incentive to sustainably manage their forests."
If you're striving to "go green" this Earth Day, here's some good news: your office paper is green, as long as it comes from a responsible producer. Here are a handful of ways that paper use and production can support a healthy, forested landscape for future generations, Boise Paper points out: 

Supporting Sustainable Forest Management. About 90% of wood harvested in the U.S. for products such as paper and lumber, is from trees grown on private forestland—land used to generate income for families and businesses. By providing a dependable market for responsibly grown trees, manufacturers like Boise Paper encourage landowners to manage their forestland, rather than sell it for development or agriculture. In fact, the net total of U.S. forest area has actually increased since the government started the Forest Census in the 1950s, with millions more acres of forest today than we had a generation ago. 

Taking Advantage of a Truly Sustainable Product. Paper is a unique material, derived from a renewable natural resource and also recyclable. Over the past few decades, recycling efforts in offices, schools, and homes have been extremely successful, and today, the majority of paper products in the U.S. get recycled. Recycling paper products allows wood fibers to be used again and again. And, critically, it keeps paper products out of landfills. It is a misperception that using recycled paper saves trees. It is actually this redirecting of waste from landfills that makes using recycled paper good for the environment. Paper with recycled content provides a market for the avoided waste. 

Encouraging Strong Ecosystems. The role of foresters today is to nurture a natural process. U.S. foresters follow sound scientific principles, as well as national, state, and local requirements, to grow forests in a healthy way. The goal is to preserve the ecosystem and encourage continual growth. The real threats to U.S. forests include forest fires, degradation, and poor management -- all of which a healthy forestry industry can help prevent. 

"We've come a long way since the destructive logging practices of the past," McGlynn said. "Today, responsible forestry practices in the U.S. support our natural ecosystems and resiliency. By using wood-based products when we need them and choosing paper that is responsibly sourced, each of us can help sustain the future and health of our forests." 

Boise Paper is a division of Packaging Corp. of America, headquartered in Lake Forest, IL. Boise Paper manufactures a full line of quality papers including imaging papers for the office and home, printing and converting papers, and papers used in packaging, such as label and release papers. Through its Paper with Purpose® promise, Boise Paper commits to delivering excellent value while sustaining environmental, economic, and social resources for future generations. 


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