Go paperless, go green. Not really!

How long have we been hearing that? Well, it’s not true, it doesn’t save trees and it doesn’t make our planet greener.

Over the last 30 years “going paperless is going green” has been the slogan of hundreds of corporations  trying to sell you on the idea that if you pay online or view your bill online, you will save trees. The facts don’t bear it out. What is true is, if you go online, the corporations save money on postage and they get their money faster. What they have been doing is called “green washing”.

Over the last several years, over 150 of the Fortune 1000 companies have removed that slogan from all of their communication. Yes, you can still view and pay your bill on-line but not because it saves the planet, because it saves them money.
Paper and print is a better choice when it comes to the environment. In fact the electronic communication industry has more than double the carbon footprint of the paper and print industry. Print is down and electronics are up solely based on the recycling of the product. Over 75% of all paper and packaging products are recycled. Some go to remaking paper and paperboard but most are turned into fuel to create energy for the paper manufactures. How’s that for be good stewards of the planet! As for electronic waste, about 15% of all e-waste worldwide is recycled. That means 85% is going into landfill containing hazardous substances like cadmium, lead and mercury creating emissions, which can include dioxins, furans, and cyanide.

Are you really saving trees when you “go paperless”?. Less than 3% of paper and packaging is being harvested on public forest and it’s from the waste produced by the lumber industry. Paper is produced by forest farmers on private land and who plant 20 times more trees than they cut down. To the farmer the trees are a crop and if they don’t keep planting trees, they have no crop.

Lastly, I see myself as a good environmentalist. Our planet needs to be around for our grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Seek the truth and separate hype from facts. If we destroy the third planet from the sun we can’t just up and move to the moon quite yet. See some other facts at www.twosidesna.org or download this study”


Published by

Brad Weston

Brad has over 35 years of print and marketing communications experience. In his older years he is still a bit of a “smart-ass” but is working on being less obnoxious. He thrives on being an alchemist, seeing things of value when others do not.