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Clearcut logging, British Columbia (almost half of this forest was cut to satisfy paper demand)


Old growth redwood forest still standing, California

Did you know:
Using wood to make paper is a fairly recent innovation. Linen, straw and hemp were the primary material sources for paper throughout the centuries. It was not until the 1850's when Friedrich Gottlieb Keller created a revolution by crushing wood with a wet grindstone that our vast natural forests began to fall for the production of paper.

Currently, 90% of the world’s paper is manufactured from wood pulp, but in the United States less than 1% of the total pulp produced is manufactured from nonwood, tree free alternatives.  
- Rethink Paper, 2001

TREE FREE PRIMER

There are four different tree-free fiber sources from which paper can be made:

1. Agricultural Residues*
Examples: Sugar cane husk (also called ""bagasse"); Cereal straws – barley, oat, wheat, rice, rye... Husks and straw left in the fields after harvesting of the main crop.  Integrated with soil management, this represents an enormous resource opportunity worldwide.
*TreefreePaper.com believes this to be the most environmentally beneficial source for paper fiber. Your purchase makes use of an existing waste stream and there is plenty of it. As well as providing a diversion from virgin pulp, you are helping to eliminate the greenhouse gas pollution from what would otherwise be burned in the fields!

2. Fiber Crops (also called On-Purpose Cropping)
Examples: Hemp, Kenaf, Jute and Flax… These are crops planted and harvested specifically for their fiber and require dedicated tracts of land and agricultural inputs. It could play a roll in responsible eco-agriculture on a large scale, eg. Rotating kenaf with corn, soybeans or wheat. There exist dedicated proponents of these methods and TreefreePaper.com will continue to support these eco-pioneers by promoting their efforts as market efficiencies develop. Stay tuned.

3. Textile and Cordage Wastes
Examples: Cotton linters after ginning for textiles, cotton and linen scraps, old rope… Already being used in specialty papers, currency, letterhead and, although good, does not represent a large opportunity for additional tree fiber diversion.

4. Wild Plants
Examples: Wild grasses, Sisal, Bamboo... These are some of the oldest and most beautiful types of paper made and are produced primarily on a small scale.



There are hundreds of thousands of acres of sugar cane worldwide available for paper production waiting for you to choose treefree.

Additional inspiration to go TREE FREE:
An excellent E/ Magazine article on the current state of paper usage in the U.S., including information on tree free alternatives: Read the article here.

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