We love trees here at PaperCut. Our software helps organizations print more thoughtfully and reduce paper waste. So, really, the forests of the world are our true customers - every day we’re working to protect them.
Protecting forests is what we’ve been doing since the turn of the new Millenium when Chris and Matt started PaperCut, horrified by the piles of printer paper being wasted by unmanaged printing. Over the last 22 years, conservative estimates show PaperCut saving 280,451 trees from being pulped into printer paper (and it’s probably a lot more!)
We don’t just reduce trees wasted through printing. We also help solve the other half of the print equation, actually planting trees to more than replace the ones cut down for our customers’ printing.
Since 2020 we’ve been planting trees with Carbon Positive Australia for every PaperCut license sold. And now in 2022, we’re launching Forest Positive Printing, a reforestation program to help all our customers transform their printing from a negative environmental footprint into a positive force for global reforestation.
But why do we do all this exactly?
We all know trees are important but do you really know all the amazing things trees do for our climate and world? For UN’s International Day of Forests , we thought we’d write a little love letter to the wonder of trees.
Do you breathe a little deeper while standing or sitting under a tree? Go out there and give it a try. Take a deep breath. The air feels cleaner under a tree because they actually clean the air we breathe. The whole tree is working hard to deliver this. The leaves and bark actually filter out harmful pollutants and disinfect their surroundings.
Trees even release oxygen to help boost that incredible deep breath you experience. If you are under a tree in a city, trees are working extra hard to absorb pollutant gases like nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide, and cleaning up particles like dust and smoke. Trees act like the lungs of the earth!
Trees play a critical role in capturing rainwater and they help minimize the risk of natural disasters like floods and landslides. In a healthy rainforest ecosystem, when rain falls, it’s absorbed by the soil and surrounding trees. They clean our waters and their deep root systems act like filters, removing pollutants and they slow down the water’s absorption.
Healthy, strong trees act as carbon sinks and offset carbon. In fact, trees and forests are the most effective way to pull CO2 back out of the atmosphere. 48 pounds of CO2 is sequestered by mature trees every year. In 2015, the world’s forests stored about 296 gigatons of carbon.
Trees are home. Trees provide habitats for a large number of species and a single tree can be home to hundreds of species of insect, fungi, moss, mammals, and plants.
PaperCut’s Americas offices are headquartered in Portland, Oregon, and you might remember the history and controversy around the protection of the spotted owl.
I’ve never seen a spotted owl, but I do love spotting woodpeckers in Oregon’s forests. To protect the woodpeckers’ habitat, forest management activities should maintain or create large-diameter hollow trees, snags, and logs for nesting.
In addition to trees’ ability to clean our air & water, create oxygen, and cool our planet. Our mental and emotional health also benefit: just viewing trees eases stress, while being among trees and nature can help with anxiety, depression, fatigue. Consider making more time for forest bathing !
There are more discoveries scientists are still uncovering about the power of trees. It’s well documented that trees are social beings and communicate with each other through their roots.
We’ve talked about trees being the most effective way to sequester carbon dioxide, and we now know about 70% of that carbon ends up below ground. It’s stored within the tree until it’s traded for nutrients via the complex root network underground with mycorrhizal fungi. Once the carbon has been absorbed by the fungi, it can stay underground for thousands of years.
There is powerful research being done now about the role Mother Trees (the biggest and oldest of the trees in the forest) play with their larger root systems. Mother Trees? That really makes you want to go out and hug a tree to say thank you for all the gifts trees bring to the world.
How can you save trees?
I hope this excited and inspired you to take action and help protect our trees and forests. A really easy first step is to install PaperCut software, letting us help you save paper and make your printing Forest Positive.
Outside the office, volunteering for a tree planting or forest care day with a local non-profit is fun, easy, and scores your some free exercise in the great outdoors.
Winter and early spring (whichever hemisphere you’re in) is prime time for planting so don’t miss out!
And if planting your own trees isn’t an option, you can always donate directly to forest planting and protection initiatives through non-profit organizations like Carbon Positive Australia , One Tree Planted , or Forest Conservation Fund .