Jun 30

Do You Really Need To Print That?: The Carbon Footprint of Copy Paper

When discussing the ecological cost of paper, most people focus on the inputs: the trees and resulting deforestation, the water usage, etc. But it’s easy to forget that paper and paper products leave a little something behind too. A pretty good size carbon footprint. Here are our calculations for the carbon output from copy paper:

A 500 sheet package of typical 20 lb copy paper weighs 5 lbs. Therefore, each individual sheet weighs .01 lbs. Compositionally, paper is about half cellulose, which in turn is about half carbon. The amount of carbon in a single sheet (.0025 lbs.) is then multiplied by 3.67 to account for the weight of the full CO2 molecule.

A single sheet of paper produces roughly .0092 lbs of CO2. 500 sheets produces 4.59 lbs of CO2.

According to a survey findings in Europe, an average office worker uses 10,000 printed pages per year. Nearly one fifth are printed needlessly. The CO2 created from these unnecessary pages weighs almost 16 lbs.

For ways to reduce your office paper usage, click here. We recommend not printing these tips off and posting them in your office.

For what you can’t reduce, you can offset your paper usage with Standard Carbon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>