Where'd You Get That Paper?

How green are you? If you are quite committed to the environment, you'll have an interest in making sure that you only buy paper for your office from sources that get a good grade for being green. How can you decide whether or not to show your concern to your office supply business? Here are some tips:

Good Examples

The companies from which you purchase paper should issue statements about their policies and act with alacrity when confronted with consumer concerns. They should also look for ways they might offer products that are more sustainable. In this manner, responsible companies can make a huge change for the better within the marketplace, by forcing competitors to follow their good examples.

Unsustainable Practices

In order to take responsibility for the environment, a company must establish a chain of custody for their paper office supply products. Companies should determine the source of every paper product they purchase. If these sources have any connection to endangered forests or are produced through controversial or unsustainable practices, businesses should give these products a wide berth. Don't just accept the supplier's claims on faith. You will need to verify what he tells you about his products' origins.

We have a responsibility to protect the last forests on earth. We cannot accept logging in these areas for the sake of producing more and more paper products. We need to preserve rare species and forest types, ecosystems, and the species that depend on those ecosystems. Companies that sell office supplies need to be encouraged to stop stocking products from these areas and to take their business to more green-conscious suppliers.

It's also important to avoid buying paper from controversial sources such as plantations. Plantation forestry robs forests of their natural ecosystems by the dense planting of only 1-2 tree species followed by too-frequent logging cycles and applications of chemicals. This robs forests of their built-in diversity, ruins the habitat of most of the indigenous wildlife, and affects water quality and carbon storage.

Office supply companies need to be vigilant in not accepting sourcing from illegal forestry management or trade. They should refuse to purchase from any operation that violates the rights of the indigenous people, refuse to accept items created from trees that have undergone genetic modification or other unsustainable or controversial practices and avoid concerns that alter forests for purposes other than nature intended.