Did You Know, Trees

Tree Free Paper

While so much has gone digital, there is still nothing like holding a “real” book in your hands. Nothing compares to that new book smell. But what exactly are you sniffing? From where does that paper come?

If it’s tree-based there is an 85% chance those printed pages used to stand tall in the form of a softwood coniferous tree. Softwoods used for making paper pulp include fir, hemlock, larch and pine. Hardwood trees are used less often, but those that are pulped for paper include aspen, birch, eucalyptus, maples and oak.

Prior to the popularity of using tree pulp, hemp dominated the market. If you were rich enough to own a book in 1883 or prior, those pages would have been made from hemp. For more trivia on hemp paper check out an earlier post on the subject here.

Hemp is currently making a resurgence due to changing laws surrounding the legalities of growing the plants. It is superior to tree products in pretty much every conceivable way, including sustainability. Grow hemp!

Kenaf is another rising star in the paper industry. Related to cotton, one acre of kenaf yields as much paper fibre in a growing season as an entire acre of yellow pine will produce in twenty. Grow kenaf!

As bleak as things can look at times, there are important changes being made and lots of reason to be hopeful for the future of our planet. The rapidly growing trend towards tree-free paper is just one example of how the tides are turning. Book lovers can now look forward to a future where they read a book while sitting beneath a tree, instead of from off it.

Photo by Mehrad Vosoughi on Pexels.com

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