Act Locally

Every day, all of our choices and actions can contribute to the preservation of large forests such as the Amazon rainforest and the boreal forest. Where do the products we buy come from? Which large companies do we encourage with our purchases? Which environmental organizations do we support? How can we raise awareness of ecological issues in our communities? It’s up to you to figure out how to become a responsible and involved citizen!

Paper Statistics

  • Nearly 80% of the world’s old-growth forests have already been destroyed.
  • The average Canadian uses 193 kg of paper every year, compared to 11 kg for citizens of the former Soviet Union and only 1 kg for Chinese citizens.
  • Every year, the equivalent of half of the forest of Mount-Royal Park (approximately 45,000 trees) is cut down to produce the direct mail advertising delivered door to door to Montrealers.

    Source: RÉCIT national de l'univers social

  • Over 900,000 flyer bags are delivered every week on the Island of Montréal, which is more than 47 million per year. These bags contain 11,000 tonnes of paper, the equivalent of over 3 million phone books. If, in the best case scenario, this mass of paper does not end up in landfills, it costs Montrealers over $1 million to recycle it!
  • Eighty-year-old trees are cut to produce newspapers that take on average only 20 minutes to read.
  • The average Canadian uses about 100 rolls of toilet paper per year. This is the equivalent of 4.6 km of paper.

  • Source : RÉCIT national de l'univers social

  • If each Canadian household replaced a single roll of toilet paper made from old-growth forests with a roll of recycled toilet paper, nearly 50,000 trees would be spared.
  • Over 40% of the world’s industrial logging goes into making paper, which is often only used once before it is thrown away.
  • The pulp and paper industry is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases. The production of recycled paper reduces these emissions by 47%.

  •  Source : RÉCIT national de l'univers social

  • Paper comprises roughly 40% of the solid waste burden in the United States, a higher percentage than any other type of product.
  • Each tonne of recycled paper saves 20 to 30 trees.
  • If sorted properly, high-grade paper can be recycled up to seven times.
  • Roughly 70% of office paper ends up in landfills..

  •  Source : RÉCIT national de l'univers social

 Student working document :

Sources :

Greenpeace Save the Boreal Forest campaign

External links to find out more:

Trucs pour réduire sa consommation de papier : Aux arbres citoyens !

10 Ways to reduce paper consumption

Practical Guide to Increasing Paper Efficiencies

Greenpeace’s Shopper Guide to Ancient Forest Friendly Tissue Products

Organisez des manifestations Anti-Kleenex dans votre communauté!

Take action against Kleercutting in your community

Tout sur le papier et sur les moyens d’en réduire la consommation

Paper recycling entry on Wikipedia. Including rationale for recycling