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Fast Facts on Paper Use

Paper Life CycleThe typical U.S. office worker uses about 10,000 sheets of copy paper each year.

In 2004, Stark State College purchased more than 19,200 reams of virgin paper – or 9,600,000 sheets of paper!
Replacing this amount of paper with 30 percent post-consumer content would:

  • Save 373 trees
  • Save 118 million BTUs of energy
  • Prevent 35,422 pounds of greenhouse gasses from entering the atmosphere
  • Keep 10,358 pounds of solid waste out of the landfill

Replacing this amount of paper with 50 percent post-consumer content would:

  • Save 621 trees
  • Save 197 million BTUs of energy
  • Prevent 59,037 pounds of greenhouse gasses from entering the atmosphere
  • Keep 17,263 pounds of solid waste out of the landfill

Replacing this amount of paper with 100 percent post-consumer content would:

  • Save 1,242 trees
  • Save 394 million BTUs of energy
  • Prevent 118,073 pounds of greenhouse gasses from entering the atmosphere
  • Keep 34,526 pounds of solid waste out of the landfill

Environmental impact estimates were made using the Environmental Defense Fund Paper Calculator. For more information visit http://www.papercalculator.org.

Tips to reduce paper use

  • Duplex (printing and copying on both sides of the paper). Many copiers and printers can be set to default to duplex so that you don’t need to remember to set the duplex mode each time you use it.
  • Avoid copying whenever you can. Ask yourself who will use the document, and whether there is another way to transfer the information, such as e-mail.
  • Reformat documents by reducing margin, font size, or eliminating unnecessary images. Microsoft Word has a useful “shrink to fit” option under “print preview.”
  • Save one-sided copies that were mistakes to use for printing drafts or for notes. Keep a box labeled “for scrap” near the copier.
  • Shrink the image if copies are for your own filing; this is an option on most copiers. Four pages, if reduced 65%, will fit onto one double-sided sheet and still be readable – and take up less space in the file cabinet.
  • Copy on demand; avoid making extra copies just to have on hand.

The Paper Lifecycle at http://thepaperlifecycle.org/