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Well, If “saving” trees isn’t the issue, why do we want to recycle paper? We recycle paper mainly to save landfill space.
If you're still not convinced, consider that more often than not a tree is not cut down for making paper at all, but instead cut down for making boards and planks (dimensional lumber) used for buildings. Paper is then made from the leftover scraps from those sawmill operations. Almost none of the tree is wasted after it is harvested. Bark is used for fuel, and wood chemicals are extracted and used to make products such as pine solvent and cleaning agents, turpentine and gums.
If going totally paperless still sounds like the better option, consider that greenhouse gases are the main cause of global warming. Burning fossil fuels, such as natural gas, oil and coal, is a major source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The pulp and paper industry largely utilizes renewable energy sources that are considered carbon neutral to generate steam and electricity. This means that the CO2 emitted from their combustion is organic in origin, and as such, is viewed as neutral in terms of climate change contribution. Sustainably managed forests are approximately carbon neutral. They form a mosaic across the landscape in which the growth of trees over a large area will compensate for the carbon lost through annual logging of a much smaller area. Additionaly, consulting firm McKinsey & Company projects that computers, data centers, mobile phones and telecommunication networks could be among the largest emitters of greenhouse gases by 2020. Going “paperless” does come with a cost.