This is my first round of research for the first cycle. For the past week, I have been researching primarily the benefits and advantages of saving paper and recycling paper. As well as the paper recycling methods. My inquiry question is: What are the benefits and disadvantages of saving paper and going paperless?
We as people, use many more resources in our everyday life today compared to a century ago, a decade ago, even one week ago! Are the majority of people aware of how much paper they use or waste a day? Probably not. We could easily detect the quantity of paper that we have saved, so my first few researches is based on the advantages and the recycling methods.
Paper products may serve as a convenient resource in our everyday lives, but is cutting down 3.5 to 7 billion trees a good thing? (2) First of all, trees absorb carbon dioxide and they produce oxygen for clean quality air and trees help prevent erosion and landslides, but in a blink of an eye, we won't have those kinds of benefits from trees. (3)
Diving into the advantages of saving and recycling paper, there are far more benefits than you think! Once you think about it, saving paper isn't going to cause any harm. First of all, as predicted, saving paper means that you're saving a lot of money. Not buying paper products will reduce the amount of money spent on supplies that link with paper, like paperclips and ink. (4) In the United States, companies spent $120 billion dollars on printed forms in the last year and cut down 68 million trees annually for paper products. (5) Second, a single tree can grow enough to produce, on average, 17 reams of paper, usually 500 sheets. This takes 100 years to grow. Producing 17 reams of paper releases 2110 pounds of carbon dioxide into the air, so saving paper and going paperless is going to make the air quality for us to breathe. (4)
Recycle trash cans. We see them at schools, malls, movie theatres, etc., but do we know what happens to the recycled items once it is removed from the trash cans, particularly the paper products? To start off, the paper products are removed from the bins and placed in a large recycling bin full of other paper products. Then, the paper is taken to a recycling plant, where the products are divided based on types and grades. For instance, the cardboard products and the sand paper products will be classified differently. Once everything is washed off, the paper products will all be mixed together to produce the paper products that we reuse all over again. (5)
Recycling paper has been around for a long time, but unfortunately, it hasn’t been long since people have been taking it seriously. There are many advantages followed by recycling paper products. First, it preserves our raw resources. One ton worth of recycled paper saves about 17 trees. However, paper can be recycled up to 5 to 7 times before the fibers become too short to be recycled again. Second, it saves space in landfills. When paper is recycled, it saves space in the landfills for trash that cannot be recycled. Also, it lessens the need to make more landfills. (6) If there are less landfills made, less methane, a greenhouse gas, will be released into our air. (7) Third, in any businesses, by going paperless or installing a paper-recycling system, it can promote a good and healthy image for the company. (8)
As you can see, there are so many benefits and advantages from reducing the use of paper. I believe if people start to notice the improvement once the saving and recycling starts, it will motivate them to begin or continue to treat trees and paper the way they should be treated.
My action in order to save paper is to use a metal tea infuser instead of the disposable paper tea bags. For the last week, I've been keeping track of how many tea bags I use by counting them on a daily basis. These are my results:
This is the table I have been making from May 5th to May 12th. I started out with 2 tea bags, the amount that I use on an average day. Afterwards, I've improved and worsened. On the second day and the last day, I did pretty good with using one teabag. On the first, fourth, fifth, and sixth day, I used 2 teabags and on the third and second-last day, I used three. I would say that this is a pretty typical week of how much paper teabags I use.