What Printer Users Should Know About National Forest Products Week

Every year since 1960, the President has proclaimed the third week of October to be National Forest Products Week. At Freedom Paper, we believe everyone who buys paper for their wide-format inkjet printers should be aware of some of important statistics that will be highlighted during this year’s National Forest Products Week from Oct. 15-21.

In his proclamation, President Trump said, “During National Forest Products Week, we recognize the invaluable contribution forest products make to our daily lives, the forest products industry’s importance to our economy, and the incredible beauty and recreational opportunities provided by our Nation’s woodlands…Our Nation is blessed with millions of acres of forested lands. These lands produce abundant renewable and sustainable natural resources that support our economy. They provide 2.4 million jobs, primarily in rural communities across America, and produce products that help improve our everyday lives.”

celebrating forests

The proclamation also notes that, “America’s thriving forest products market helps protect and preserve our abundant forests for future generations. Demand for forest products encourages landowners to replant and maintain healthy forests, knowing that through proper stewardship and responsible management, our precious forests will continue to contribute to our economic prosperity and quality of life…We acknowledge and celebrate the many uses of our parks, forests, and woodlands, and we honor the dedicated Americans who work to ensure our forests remain productive and magnificent for future generations.”

Pulp and Paper from Sustainable Forests

In a blog post about National Forest Products Week, Phil Riebel of Two Sides North America encourages Americans to “Celebrate the Sustainability of Paper from Well-Managed U.S. Forests.” He notes that wood products are not only used for paper and packaging but also for furniture, homes, railways, and fuel. Wood cellulose that is released when wood is processed into pulp is used to make products such as ping-pong balls, sports helmets, nail polish, and synthetic fibers for clothes and towels.

He explains that growing healthy, growing forests are an important part of our culture and play a key role in absorbing carbon dioxide, releasing oxygen, and storing carbon over time.

Many forest products, such as pulp and paper, come from sustainable forests, which have increased in size since 1990. Forest area in the U.S. increased from over 302 million hectares in 1990 to about 310 million hectares in 2015. (A hectare is 10,000 square meters or 2.47 acres.)

A fact sheet about sustainable forest management says the notion that going paperless saves trees gives a false impression that forests are a finite resource that is being destroyed: “In truth, North American forests are a renewable resource that is continuously being replenished using sustainable forest management.”

By providing a dependable market for responsibly grown fiber, the North American paper industry encourages landowners to continue managing their forestland instead of selling it for development or other non-forest uses. Studies have shown that the areas of the world that consume the least amount of wood experience the greatest forest loss.

Plus, pulp and paper-making plants have made substantial progress in increasing their use of renewable energy sources and reducing their carbon footprint. According to a fact sheet on energy usage in paper-making, “Roughly two-thirds of the energy used by North American pulp and paper mills is self-generated, using renewable, carbon-neutral biomass in combined heat and power systems.”

When paper and printing are responsibly produced, Two Sides North America believes that print on paper can be an effective, powerful, and sustainable way to communicate ideas and information.

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