We know that the main ingredient of paper is fibre. This fibre normally comes from trees. Nothing new here either. For that matter we also know the environmental effects of our disproportionate use of forest resources.
A few numbers can, however, help us to better bring into focus the extent of the progressive global deforestation. A study conducted in the United States whose results were published in Science point- ed out that in 12 years, worldwide, a forest area 5 times the size of Italy has disappeared. The study was carried out by analysing 654,000 satellite images, through the help of Google Earth. The impact on the climate was also noteworthy, because, from 2000 to 2013, deforestation caused 14.5 billion tons of CO2 emissions, around 13% of the total amount produced worldwide, to remain unabsorbed. Scientists have had the opportunity to gain insight into these alarming numbers, arriving at the consideration that half of the forests lost in the past 10,000 years was destroyed during the last 80. All of this also weighs on the ecosystem and on life forms, which are built on very delicate balances. The extinction rate of plants and animals is very high and, according to scientists, it will increase 10,000-fold by 2050.
Becoming aware of the global data allows us to understand that each day there is a big responsibility behind each of our purchase and consumption choices. Certainly, none of us expects to change the progress of the planet from one day to the next or with a single gesture, but if, on a daily basis, even when carrying out ordinary activities like leafing through a newspaper or selecting a packaged product, we make an ethical purchase and we pay close attention to the correct disposal of paper through proper recycling, we can achieve much for everyone.