Paper in all colors, shapes, and sizes for the holidays.

By, Uwe Paschen.
 The Holidays and all its paper. May it be the European Christmas or the Japanese New Years, paper will be sold in masses. May this be in form of Greeting Cards, Gift Wrapping Paper or simply paper bags and other papers used over the Year and especially this time of the year where we seem to used a great deal of it for all the New Years and Greeting Cards as well as for the Gift Wrapping and notes, chopping list and shopping paper bags. The list is in deed long and paper is just about any where and every where.
 Amazingly though, the discrepancy of Paper use is incredible through out the World. The USA being the top Paper Consumer on the Planet uses a mind blowing 333 Kg of paper per person and that include even those that can not yet walk nor read or write, yet per person, this compared to the Global average of 48 Kg per Person is incredible.
It gets better though.
 The Average paper used per person in Africa is only 0.5 Kg and in China it is 3.8 Kg per person, India uses 37 Kg per Person, however the paper consumption world wide is growing rather then decreasing even though the use of Computers and internet would have let one believe it would be the other way around. However, this does not seem to be the case, not even in Canada the country with the highest amount of Internet user per Capita.
 Now if we keep in mind that it takes 324 Litres of water, 4 Kwh and 114 Kg of Wood to produce a single Kg of Paper. It really makes you wonder how come this paper is so cheep, However it is not really, since we do not take into account the cost of waste management nor the cost of recycling or the environmental impact cost that this paper does generate.
 The production of each sheet of paper from Wood to paper need about 17 Wh in energy to be manufactured where as each sheet of recycled paper does require only 12 Wh in energy to be manufactured. This would and should already make some once choice easy.Sadly though it does not. http://www.id2.ca/downloads/eco-design-paper-facts.pdf
 Our paper consumption keeps going up each Year. In addition, requires today over 1040 Tons of wood Annually and Globally. North America alone does use 25% of all this with only 5% of the World’s population is quiet an achievement and certainly not one to be praised for. Now mind you the US is closely followed by Belgium and Japan when it comes to paper use and waste per person.
 This Holidays Season would be a great opportunity to change those habits of ours and make them more Eco Friendly. Easy enough to do by simply reducing, Reusing and Recycling Paper. At least that would be a starting point since only as little as 3% are being effectively Recycled today.
 And should you really feel up to it and save the environment, well then stop Wrapping Gifts with fancy gift wrap and go for the good old "news paper" instead. Similar for those greeting Cards, less colour or better yet, only Black and white print no colours at all would make a positive impact. Other then that use thinner paper rather then thicker paper, all those are things that would and will make a huge difference and a greater positive impact on the Eco System. 
 May you all have an Eco Friendly Holliday Season.
Graff to fund at the above link.

Plastic bags should it be, Yes please or no thanks?

By, Uwe Paschen.
 It is that time of the Year once again, where many of us go shopping for the Holiday’s festivities, may we be Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Atheist, Hindu or even Muslim, we all have great celebrations coming up in the next four to twelve weeks.
 From Hanukkah to the Chinese New Year it is the season of great celebrations for all around the Globe. Parties are being held, as well as family gatherings and community events.
 Now, one thing all this has in common is the shopping in supermarkets, Farmer Markets and stores to buy the Gifts, the food and the decorations for the festivities to come.
 This of course does require packaging, and transportation as well as means to get it all from the Stores back home and there comes in a handy little idem called the chopping Bag.
 Now, until 1957, we used to go shopping with our baskets and cloth bags or even little carts we dragged behind us. However, since 1957 we have discovered the plastic bag that made its début in the US and by 1960 had spread around the Globe like a wild bush fire. To the point that by the 1970th it could be fund almost any where on this planet and has been causing major problem ever since.
 Since we discard those "trow away bags" so easily, they can be fund not only on land fields but also along roads, in Rivers, in the Forest and even on mountain pics and in the Ocean. There they cause great harm and kill million of birds, animals and fish that are trapped in them and most of them suffocate. This is no easy way to die or be killed what so ever.
 We discard about 1.5 Million Tons of Plastic bags each Year and most of this around the Holidays shopping time. Keep in mind that it takes 220 Million litres of Oil to produce those bags every year and this is not counting the additional energy cost for transportation and recycling or land fields. There are 4 to 5 Trillion Plastic bags used every Year, enough to engulf the entire City of New York so you would not even be able to see the tallest buildings any longer. And this with just one Years plastic bags waste.
 North America accounts for 60% of all this plastic bags waste and Europe for 20% the rest is more or less divided around the World evenly with Africa having the lowest share of plastic bags being used of all continents.
 Now even though we have recycling facilities and program in some Nations, Fact is, unfortunately, that only 0.6% is being recycle, the remaining 99.4% end up in lad fields as well as in the Oceans ad Nature at large.
 We could do with out and go back to Shopping baskets, Cloth bags and little carts we can easily pull and taken just about any where, some of those are so compact and easy to fold that they fit in a bag. It may be time to Refuse plastic bags given out to us and to ask to use our own cloth bag in stead. Leading by example for a better future for all living creatures on Earth.
 These Holidays do think twice about using a plastic bag and with the New Year around the corner, it may be a great time for an Eco resolution, not to ever use plastic bags again. There are some great cloth bags and carts, that even look sharp and would get you some positive attention as well.
 Happy Eco Friendly Holliday’s.

See Sources below.
garbage for food.
Think twice about taking a plastic bag if your purchase is small and easy to carry.
Keep canvas bags in your home, office, and car so you always have them available when you go to the supermarket or other stores.
Ask your favorite stores to stop providing bags for free, or to offer a discount for not using the bags.
Encourage your local politicians to introduce legislation taxing or banning plastic bags.
Try to go at least one week without accumulating any new plastic bags. If every shopper took just one less bag each month, this could eliminate the waste of hundreds of millions of bags each year.