Say NO to paper pollution with this digital innovation
Embrace the world’s first microwaveable notebook and say goodbye to paper pollution!
The latest creation of Rocket Innovations Inc. brings you all the freedom of a traditional pen and paper experience in an environmentally safe package.
This remarkable product allows you to write any notes on the paper and upload them directly to cloud folders of your choice, over a variety of services, meaning you can access them at any time with your smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop PC.
But it’s when the notebook gets full that the magic starts – because you can erase the contents of the book by microwaving it. Yes, that’s a thing now. Simply put a glass of tea or water on top of the notebook and microwave it for one minute and you’ll be left with a wonderfully blank notebook, ready to receive your new notes which you can back up to the cloud once again.
This, though, is much more than a fancy digital toy for hipsters. The Rocketbook notebook series provides a much-needed stepping stone for to reducing the consumption of paper in our society.
The paper industry has had significant impact on our environment and way of life. When the printing press technologies along with modern and highly mechanised wood harvesting methods became widely available, paper quickly turned into a cheap and accessible commodity. As a result, levels of consumption and waste generation have skyrocketed.
Paper production and you
Paper manufacturing poses of paper pollution threats to our environment. The pulp mills (the factories that turn wood into fibre boards) significantly contribute to air, water and land pollution whilst discarded paper is a major contributor to landfill, accounting for nearly 35 per cent by weight of municipal solid waste pre-recycling.
The paper recycling process is also harmful in of itself as it produces sludge and the paper production industry is ranked as the third largest contributor to environmental pollution in the west.
The United States and Canada alone are responsible for the releasing of well over 100 million kilograms of paper-related toxins into the environment each year.
On a larger scale, the pulp and paper industry ranks fifth in terms of energy consumption. That accounts for around 4% of our world’s total energy usage. Exceedingly wasteful, it uses more water per ton of production than any other industry in existence and over the last forty years, the worldwide paper consumption has risen by more than 400%.
On its own, the production and manufacture of paper accounts for nearly 35% of all trees harvested in the world.
Today, the paper production industry has reached a monstrous size. Scientists estimate that by the year 2020, paper mills will be producing around 400 million tons of paper and paperboard on a yearly basis.
That doesn’t mean we should immediately discard paper and never look back. The written word, along with the paper it’s been preserved on, has played a significant role in the development of our cultures and societies. Without it, society would never have come as far as it has. But the wasteful over consumption of paper needs to stop.
Using paper to preserve knowledge is one thing; using it to make bags, magazines and countless newspapers in a digital age is a different matter.
Paper pollution and deforestation
In 2006, more than 6.5 million trees were cut down in order to provide US consumers with about 16 billion paper coffee cups. The entire venture also used about 4 billion US gallons of water and produced 253 million pounds of waste.
There is more to the paper industry than just paper pollution. It’s also a major contributor to deforestation. Massive amounts of trees being cut down because of our inability to control consumption leads to the systematic destruction of entire areas over time, putting forest eco-systems at risk.
Animals trying to adapt to their rapidly changing natural habitat go out of sync with the eco-system and experience reduced fertility and increased mortality rates. This problem can be observed all around the world – in both established First World locations and developing countries alike.
Paper pollution and its effects on air quality
Paper pulp production releases sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2). Largely considered responsible for acid rains, these toxic chemicals have a horrible effect on our environment, especially when coupled with the systematic removal of trees. Mature trees, our natural consumers of carbon dioxide and producers of oxygen, are capable of producing about 100 kilograms of oxygen per year. I made a separate article on decreasing your carbon footprint. If you’re interested – click here.
How paper pollution contributes to waste generation
Pulp and paper mills discharge solids, nutrients, alcohols, lignin, chlorates and transition metal compounds. Highly dangerous for the river and ocean ecosystems, this waste matter can oversaturate water bodies with nutrients, causing overgrowth and change to various ecological characteristics. Together, this is highly disruptive to nature’s balance.
Paper waste also makes up about 40% of the total waste in the United States, accounting for up to roughly 72 million tons of paper-related waste every year. This waste, when coupled with other widespread toxic hazards like inks, dyes and polymers, can be potentially carcinogenic.
While recycling methods mitigate this somewhat, they’re by no means enough to keep the situation in check.
At the end of the day, preserving the world that we were born in for the future generations is up to us and us alone. What would we rather have – a bunch of fancy colourful magazines, paper bags and disposable cups, or beautiful forests and picturesque valleys?
I’ve made my choice. What about you?