Each Ton of Recycled Paper Saves 17 Trees

Surprisingly, not many people know that paper comes from trees. I guess it’s one of those things that people don’t give a second thought about. Like when was the last time you thought about how glass is made? Or where plastic comes from?

Unless you’ve studied basic-level sciences, not many people are aware of how pivotal trees are in keeping this world, and us, alive. A brief biology lesson tells you that humans need oxygen to survive, and the biggest oxygen production unit on Earth is trees. Not only do they let us breathe, they are home to thousands of species of animals and insects. They keep the soil stable, and prevent erosion.

In short, removing trees is bad for us and our planet.

Because trees are useful in so many other materialistic ways, such as for firewood and building material for homes and furniture, they are being cut down at an alarming rate. Global warming is a major cause for concern everywhere, and it is mostly a consequence of loosing dense forests that once covered large portions of land.

While asking man to stop building out of wood is the best option, a more viable alternative is to recycle what we have already taken from Mother Earth. Paper is used everyday, every minute. Electronic devices are doing a great job in replacing the need for printed material and books, yet consumption of paper remains.

Rather than throw paper you no longer need in the thrash, a great and more profound option is to recycle it. Gather newspapers, magazines, annoying newsletters and pamphlets you’re most likely never going to need and have them recycled.

According to the University of Southern Indiana, “Each ton (2000 pounds) of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 380 gallons of oil, three cubic yards of landfill space, 4000 kilowatts of energy, and 7000 gallons of water. This represents a 64% energy savings, a 58% water savings, and 60 pounds less of air pollution!”

So recycling paper not only saves tree, it saves you, me and everybody else on this green planet.

Four Times Trees took Center Stage in Art History

Along with providing  food, shade, greenery and oxygen, trees have long served as a pillar of inspiration. They have silently stood by while humankind has progressed, and given us the spark to move forward. An apple tree was responsible for giving us Newton’s theory of gravity, when a falling apple fell on the English scientist’s head. Likewise they have inspired famous names in science, art and American literature including writers like Faulkner, Kerouac, Welty and Wharton.

One very famous depiction of a tree in the history of art is by none other than famed artist Van Gogh. Painted in October 1889, an oil on canvas painting named Mulberry Tree features – yep, you’ve guessed it – a single golden Mulberry tree is one of the artist’s best works. He painted the famed tree between epileptic attacks, and an asylum in Saint-Rémy he checked himself into. mulberry-tree

In an ambitious project, art duo Christo and Jeanne-Claude wrapped trees with 592,015 square feet (55,000 square meters) of woven polyester fabric. The project took around 10 days to complete and left on the trees for another 3 weeks. The polyester billowed in the wind, creating “dynamic volumes of light and shadow and moving in the wind with new forms and surfaces shaped by the ropes on the fabric.”

 Christo and Jeanne-Claude Wrapped Trees

Sculptures with branches, with or without leaves or flowers, makes regular appearances in the art community. But it was in 2009, Roxy Paine’s most ambitious work, Maelstrom, that took New York’s breath away. Sitting on top of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, it gave viewers the sense of being immersed in the midst of a cataclysmic force of nature.

Roxy Paine’s Maelstrom

Over a hundred years old, this timeless work of art, known as Autumn Trees, is a product of Egon Schiele. It now belongs to a private collector, and is an echo of his portraits featuring spindly limbs of nude models and himself.