It’s widely known that trees benefit our environment and communities. They combat climate change and cleanse our air by absorbing carbon dioxide and other toxins; they produce oxygen; they shade and cool surrounding areas; and they can increase property values by 20%. Yet most consumers don’t know that they can maximize these environmental benefits—and even curb deforestation—by using paper and paper-based packaging.
This may sound counter-intuitive without first understanding that the trees used to make paper and paperboard are harvested from sustainably managed forests. Just like the fruits and vegetables we eat, trees are planted and replanted specifically for commercial use. In fact, managed farms plant approximately 4 million trees per day—3 to 4 times more than they harvest.
Yet these commercial forests must remain profitable if their owners are to maintain them as such. If demand for paper products drops, owners may seek out more economical uses for their land, such as property development. It’s estimated that 20 million acres of forestland will succumb to commercial development between 2000 and 2050—and once a forest is developed, it’s never coming back. Thus, to protect our country’s forestland and sustain the environmental and social benefits of trees, we must do what we can to promote the use of paper and paperboard packaging.
One way to begin this important work is to participate in PPC’s TICCIT Program. Short for “Trees in Cartons, Cartons into Trees”, TICCIT is a community outreach initiative that educates school children on the positive environmental impacts of trees, the sustainability of paper and paper-based packaging, and the benefits of recycling and composting. Open to PPC members and non-members alike, TICCIT provides all of the resources an organization or educator needs to instruct students on the benefits of trees and paper to our eco system, including free, downloadable class lessons, a customizable powerpoint, and the opportunity to purchase discounted saplings that can be distributed to children with planting instructions.
This year, TICCIT Week will take place on the week of Earth Day, April 20–24. For more information on how you can harness PPC’s TICCIT program to promote the use of paperboard packaging—and thereby help to save precious forestland—visit paperbox.org/TICCIT.