Saving Habitat, One Birthday Card at a Time

Since I started volunteering with Roots & Shoots I have become more acutely aware of how my everyday actions have ramifications on the well being of chimpanzees, and the environment in general.  Paper usage is one aspect of my daily life which I have a strong degree of control over, and which I’ve made some changes to lately.  I make contentious paper decisions and feel good about them, knowing that I could be helping to preserve a chimp’s forest home.

I have always been mindful of my paper consumption, for example printing double-sided and using as little paper as possible.  However, I haven’t always been as attentive of the type of paper I was using.  Now that I am involved with Roots & Shoots, I have been inspired to take a good look at my habits and have made some adjustments.  There are two symbols I now look for when buying paper products:

  • Recycled paper
  • Forestry Stewardship Council (“FSC”)

I was buying a birthday card for my aunt last week and as I looked through the selection, I turned each one over to see if it was made from recycled paper.  I was actually surprised by the number which had recycled content; there were plenty of options to choose from.  What’s more was that the price was comparable to the other cards that did not contain any recycled paper.  So I didn’t even have to spend much (if any) more to buy a card that was better for the environment, and better for chimps.

The FSC logo is something I look for when buying printer paper and envelopes.  This symbol means that the timber used to make the paper is from a forest that has met strict rules for being managed in an environmentally and socially sustainable way.  Since we can’t avoid using paper in many situations, it’s good to know that the paper we are using is from a regulated and sustainable source.

My involvement with Roots & Shoots has helped to open my eyes to the need for change and given me ideas for the types of changes I can make in my everyday life.  By making conscientious paper purchases we will help to reduce the rate of deforestation, allowing chimps to have more space to swing through the trees and raise their young.

What positive paper choices have you made lately? Share your story on the Roots & Shoots Facebook page!

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