|Ordered from a catalogue lately? Enjoyed a concert? Written a
letter? Received one? You've probably answered "yes" to all of
these questions but you couldn't have accomplished any of these
things without paper or wood.
Try and think of something you do during the day that has
absolutely no relationship to a paper or wood product. Eat? If
you sampled a piece of fruit today, it's likely it came from a
tree, was wrapped in a protective paper covering and shipped in
a cardboard box. Drink? Coffee beans grow on trees and your
morning pick-me-up at work was probably served in a paper cup.
Drive anywhere? Those car or bus tires are made from rubber,
which is a forest product. Comb your hair? Brush your teeth? The
implements you used are derived from a wood product. Write
anything? You did it on paper, no doubt, or printed a final copy
Surprised by any of this? Most people are. We simply don't
focus on the role that forest products play in our lives.
Understandably, the paper and wood industry tries to sharpen
that focus, especially during the third week in October, which
is National Forest Products Week. This week was set aside by
Congress almost 40 yeas ago to call attention to what we do.
As it stands, you don't have to be concerned about where the
next chest of drawers, or cedar fence, or paperback book is
coming from. Our product is renewable and plentiful. Today, the
net growth in the country's forests exceeds harvest by almost 33
percent. Nationally, we have more trees today than we had 70
years ago, which is two-thirds of the forestland that existed
when Columbus discovered America. And while you are considering
all of this, give some thought to the fact that the forest
products industry employs 1.6 million Americans as foresters,
biologists, mill workers, engineers, loggers, managers,
hydrologists and educators. The industry ranks among the
nation's top 10 manufacturing sectors in 46 states and
contributes more than $230 billion to the Gross Domestic
Indeed, you don't have to be concerned that the coffee won't
be available to get your day started. You can also count on your
morning fruit being on the table. You can walk into your
driveway confidant that your car, complete with rubber tires,
will carry you to work.
- The cloth in your clothes is often colored with dyes
that come from trees.
- Every American uses the equivalent of a 100-foot tree
- The Chinese were the first to make paper as we know it
today from a mixture of mulberry bark, rags and hemp.
- The rayon in your shirt or skirt comes from wood fibers.
- Packaged juice boxes come from wood pulp.
- Last year 94% of all homes built were made from wood.
- Inch to inch, wood is 16 times more efficient as an
insulator than concrete, 415 times as efficient as steel,
and 2000 times as efficient as aluminum.
- Most picnic baskets are made of wood.
- Of course, paper plates, cups, napkins, handy wipes,
disposable tablecloths, magazines, newspapers, packaging,
stationery, catalogs and maps are all made from wood pulp.
- About 1/3 of the U.S. – 731 million acres – is forested.
- Private owners account for 58% of the nation’s 483
million acres of commercial forest land, forest industry
owns 14%, and government owns 28%. In the South, private
landowners own over 90%.Each year, some 1.6 billion
seedlings are planted in the U.S. – more than five new trees
a year for every American.
- The Forest industry plants more than 43% of those
seedlings; 40% are planted by non-industrial private
landowners; and 16% by government.
- The average single-family home (2,000-sq. ft.) can
contain 15,824 board feet of lumber and up to 10,893-sq. ft.
of panel products.
- Aluminum framing requires 20 times as much energy to
produce as wooden wall studs, steel studs require almost
nine times more.
- The U.S. paper industry has established a new goal to
recover for recycling and reuse-by the year 2000 one half of
all the paper Americans use. An earlier 40% goal by 1995 was
achieved two years ahead of schedule.
- As a result of careful forest management, the white-tail
deer population has grown from 4.5 million to over 16
million in the past 30 years, wild turkeys have gone from
near extinction to more than 4 million today.
- In the 1970’s, scientists knew of only 200 pairs of
Northern Spotted Owls. There are now more than 3,510 owl
- The industry employs over 1.4 million people and
produces wood and paper products valued at more than $200
billion each year.