The State Of Our Office Supplies

Even in our green-conscious world, most paper is still wrought from the fibers of virgin wood removed from our forest ecosystems. Current forestry practices still hurt our wildlife, our water quality, our climate, and many other attributes related to these forest ecosystems.

Informed Decisions

Large businesses are some of the biggest consumers of paper. That means that business owners have a chance to make a difference in our environment by making paper purchases based on informed decisions. Thanks to environmental groups like ForestEthics and Dogwood Alliance, office sector environmental paper policies began being instituted back in 2002. Each year sees more companies jumping on the bandwagon toward preserving our forest ecosystems by making responsible office supply choices.

Businesses have begun to press that more paper be sourced by forests that have certification by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Companies are avoiding purchasing paper from producers who log in endangered forests, convert forests to tree plantations, and promote the production of trees through genetic engineering in locations such as Indonesia and in the Southern states of the U.S.

Motivating Conservation

Thanks to the efforts of these companies, these businesses have accrued the ability to motivate conservation projects as well as projects intended to improve forestry practices within the Southern United States.

Still, paper produced in endangered forests is still traded on the market. So caring businesses can be happy about their progress, yet remain cautious consumers. Of course, there's always room for improvement.

No matter whether you're buying bulk paper for a Fortune 500 company or school supplies for your first grader, being conscious of the environment and taking responsibility begins with these three steps:

*Use less paper.

*Know where your paper comes from and refuse to use paper from endangered forests, forests being managed in a way that is unsustainable, or from other dubious sources.

*When choosing paper, buy those products with the highest percentage of post-consumer recycled content. The remaining percentage should carry Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.

There are nonprofit organizations (NPO's) dedicated to this subject and you can always consult them for help in deciding which companies are your best bets for buying paper that is produced in a manner that takes responsibility for our environment. If you fail to obtain information on a given concern, don't hesitate to take a close look at the policies of the producers and their paper sources.