Breath Of Ecology

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I imagine that during this stay-at-home period of pandemic, unless they're TV couch potatoes, lots of people are doing more reading.


Whether it's newspapers or books from which they are receiving their news and enjoyment, it's the wide production of paper from mainly trees, flax plants, and cotton that's responsible for those pages.


Most paper is produced from the cellulose of trees, and the worldwide consumption of paper has risen by 400% in the past 40 years, leading to deforestation. Fortunately, most paper companies plant trees to help regrow forests.


Paper made from bamboo and sugar cane is eco-friendly for printing and sustainability, but somehow, they are being overlooked by manufacturers. Hopefully, we will see more of these resources used in the future.


The papermaking process developed in east Asia as early as the 2nd century, and China is presently the largest manufacturer of paper, followed by the U.S.


Newspapers contain lignin, a major element in wood, which, in the presence of light and oxygen, turns yellow, while paper made for books and documents is made from sulfite pulp devoid of lignin.


There are several categories of paper including that for art, writing, invitations, wrapping, and cardboard, but the most common that we use is a mere .0071" thick.


Some thoughts for the next time we're writing or flipping pages.

Written by:  Sr. Joel:  a Dominican Sister of Peace who lives in Springfield, KY.  She is a native of New Orleans  and has been a teacher, school and parish administrator, social worker, religious educator, and missionary.  She has written "Breath of Ecology" for local newspapers and has published a book under the same title.