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How Many Trees Can Be Saved by Outsourcing Your Shredding?

As humans, we cut down 3.5 to 7.5 billion trees per year. That number is difficult to fathom, but paper and document shredding might be able to help the issue.

People cut down trees for a variety of reasons. For example, to create items of out wood, paper or other source materials. Trees may also be cut down to pave the way for something else to be built entirely.

With the deforestation that takes place on such a wide scale today, we are losing many important aspects of our planet. The loss of trees means the loss of many species of wildlife. In some cases, it can mean the loss of entire ecosystems.

Cutting down trees can increase climate change. It can also lead to the loss of habitats and jobs for those who live in those areas, but what can we do about it?

Did you know outsourcing your office’s paper and document shredding could cut down on your carbon footprint significantly?

Outsourcing Paper and Document Shredding

Recycle to Save the EnvironmentBefore discussing how outsourcing paper shredding can positively impact the environment, let’s take a moment to discuss other reasons why outsourcing is such a good idea.

Offices typically only destroy documents after they are no longer useful, but they often neglect to destroy other documents because they are too important to simply toss away.

Leaving old confidential information around could result in a security breach, not to mention it takes up extra space in your office.

Our document shredding service is triple-A certified with the National Association for Information Destruction (NAID), which means you don’t have to worry about us handling your company’s sensitive information.

Additionally, our operation is completely HIPAA compliant, meaning you can trust us with the outdated and confidential patient and medical files. We even provide a certificate of destruction once your documents have been taken care of.

The Impact of Non-Recycled Paper and Wood on the Environment

Not recycling wood and paper products leaves a huge carbon footprint, which leads to major consequences on the environment.

In order to produce just one week’s Sunday paper, contractors must cut down 500,000 trees.

Currently, Americans use approximately 85,000,000 tons of paper per year. If your office does not recycle its paper, you’re contributing greatly to that total. This breaks down to 680lbs of paper per individual in the United States.

Additionally, the average American home throws out 13,000 pieces of paper per year. Most of this is “junk mail” and other unwanted items. If this is what a small family does per year, think of the impact of throwing away all of your office’s junk mail and paper.

If you don’t shred your paper before you recycle it, most of it ends up in a landfill. In fact, paper products made up 27% of the items in landfills in 2010.

In 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency listed paper as the most common item found in landfills. In fact, there is double the amount of paper found in municipal waste landfills than the second highest leading waste product, plastic.

How Shredding Can Impact the Environment

Recycle to save the EnvironmentAfter shredding your confidential information, we recycle all the paper for future use. As you may be aware, recycling can help cut down on deforestation. Paper materials, especially, can be reused to create new products.

The shredded paper does not go to landfills, which keeps it out of our precious natural resources. Instead, it can be sent to mills to produce a new item for consumer use.

Outsourcing your paper and document shredding can make a huge impact on deforestation. The Environmental Protection Agency states that one ton of recycled paper can save 17 trees, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space and 360 gallons of water.

Additionally, processing recycled paper produces 70% less air pollution than non-recycled paper.

A ton of recycled paper can also help save 165 gallons of gas. This is because the gas that would have been used to cut down the trees and mill the paper has been conserved for use for a different purpose.

When it comes to Paper Free Office Solutions, we have increased the amount of recycled bale tonnage we shred each year, including a whopping 344% increase from 2015 to what we project the final total to be in 2018.

Products Made from Shredded Paper

The number of products made from shredded paper is fairly diverse. After your paper is shredded, it goes to a mill where it is reborn as a new product.

Most shredded paper becomes paper towels, tissues, or bathroom tissue. In some cases, it reincarnates as paper, going back into your office after having been recycled. Using recycled paper is a great way to further reduce your office’s carbon footprint.

Shredded paper can also become part of other products, including fibers for newspapers, roofing felt, chipboard, insulation, and products like egg or milk cartons.

Using recycled materials costs much less for the paper mill. According to a University of Southern Indiana study, a paper mill that has been designed to accommodate recycled paper costs 50% to 80% less than a paper mill that exclusively uses new paper. This represents huge savings for their bottom line, as well as a way to help the environment.

How to Start Having Your Files Shredded?

If you’re ready to take the next step, you can begin by sorting out what you would like the paper shredding company to do. You can go through your old files and figure out which ones need to be destroyed.

Once we’re finished shredding, you can be assured that your documents are gone and no longer pose a security risk. You can also be sure that your paper is going to a good place, and not the town landfill.

For more information on some of our services, visit us here.