Fun Facts about the White House & Rockefeller Center Christmas Trees

By Paige Wills in Facts About Deforestation, Facts About The Paper Industry, How Paper Is Environmentally Friendly

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree in New Y...

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          Many of us know about the Christmas trees that are placed in the White House and Rockefeller Center. However, many of us may not know the history or some fun and interesting facts about the trees.

            Here are some fun facts about the White House Christmas tree from christmastree.org:

  • The tree is a 19-foot balsam fir
  • It was grown on a farm near Neshkoro, Wisconsin
  • It was planted 18 years ago
  • The tree was hand-selected by the White House Superintendent of Grounds
  • It is located in the Blue Room
  • Nearly 100,000 visitors will see the tree
  • The  tree’s farm had to qualify for the national contest by first winning state and regional competitions

         Another tree icon during the holiday season is the giant Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.    

          Here are some fun facts about the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree from rockefellercenter.com:

  • The tree is generally a Norway Spruce
  • It is illuminated by 30,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights, which  is approximately 5 miles of wire
  • The tree is topped with a Swarovski crystal

          Here are some more fun facts from nyctourist.com:

  • The tree is recycled each year
  • Approximately 3 tons of mulch is donated to the Boy Scouts of America
  • A large portion of the trunk is donated to the United States Equestrian Team, and it is used as a jumping obstacle.

         According to about.com:

  • The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree has to be a minimum of 65 feet tall and 35 feet wide.
  • It is usually 50 years or older
  • The farthest the tree has ever traveled is from Canada
  • The tree travels in the middle of the night with a full police escort.

          It’s nice to know these trees are appreciated in our society. I mean the tree gets a police escort! It’s also nice to know that environmentally-friendly lights are used and that the trees are recycled instead of simply being thrown away.

         Although I do enjoy the large Christmas trees, it is sort of bitter sweet. If you think of how many years it took the tree to reach that size, it bothers me that we just cut it down for our own enjoyment. On the other hand, I do believe the trees help bring our country together are a symbols that everyone can appreciate and enjoy.

         What are your thoughts? Does the recycling of the tree justify it being cut down? Have you ever seen either one of these trees up close in person? Do you think we should and will continue the tradition?

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Office Depot will offer Delivery Option of Recyclable Paper Bags instead of Cardboard to Reduce Waste

By Paige Wills in Facts About Deforestation, Facts About The Paper Industry, How Paper Is Environmentally Friendly, Why Choose Paper?

Office Depot’s “Green” store in Austin, Texas.

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         Do you ever order office supplies online and receive a giant cardboard box that is over-sized and filled with more plastic bubbles than the actual content of the box? Most people wouldn’t consider office supply stores environmentally-conscious. However, Office Depot wants to change the negative image associated with office supply stores. It’s doing so with the roll-out of its GreenerOffice Delivery Program.

         Office Depot customers who receive deliveries will be given the option to receive their supplies in paper bags instead of cardboard boxes, according to an article from environmentalleader.com titled “Office Depot Aims to Save 20,000 Trees With Paper-Bag Roll Out.” The GreenerOffice Delivery Program aims to reduce 3.5 million pounds of waste.

            Customers will receive items in paper bags, which are made up of 40 percent post-consumer recycled content. The paper bags will be protected during shipment through the use of reusable plastic totes, which contain 60 percent post-consumer recycled plastic.

             According to the article, in the first year, Office Depot plans to replace about five million cardboard boxes. The company aims to reduce 4.5 million pounds of cardboard with 0.9 million pounds of paper, thus saving approximately 20,000 trees, or 3.5 million pounds of wood-based resources.

“Office Depot’s material footprint from cardboard use is significant,” said Yalmaz Siddiqui, director of environmental strategy for Office Depot. “This program, championed very effectively by our Supply Chain team, delivers a triple win: our customers win because the paper bags are more convenient to open and recycle; Office Depot wins because we continue to enhance our environmental leadership; and the ecosystem benefits because fewer materials are needed, and less waste ends up in our landfills” (Article).

         As you can see, Office Depot is taking strides in the right direction. This program will help reduce deforestation by eliminating unnecessary waste. Hopefully other companies will follow in Office Depot’s footsteps.

         For more information, go to Office Depot’s website and watch this short video about the program.

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Buy Qualifying Paper Post-it® Greener Notes or 3M™ Recycled Products, Plant Two Trees

By Paige Wills in Facts About Deforestation, Facts About The Paper Industry, How Paper Is Environmentally Friendly, Why Choose Paper?

Spruce Saplings. Possibly self-seeded, these y...

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            According to Post-it® Brand’s website, for every qualifying Post-it® or 3M™ recycled product you purchase and register between April 1 and December 31, 2011, Post-it® Brand will plant two trees. The goal is to plant 100,000 trees. 3M™ has partnered with American Forests, a leader in forest restoration, to ensure the success of their “Plant a Tree” program. For a list of qualifying products, click here.       

            If you buy qualifying Post-it® or 3M™ recycled products, go to this website and register. It’s a simple process, just follow the steps. You can even dedicate the tree in honor of someone. There is also a list of where the trees will be planted.

            According to the website, trees will go toward the following projects:


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  • Cave Gulch Maudlow
  • Arbutus Lake Kirtland’s Warbler Habitat Planting
  • Clearwater National Forest Restorations
  • Burn Canyon Fire Reforestation

           For more information about these four projects, follow this link to the website.

           Many people may not think about recycling their sticky notes. However, Post-it® Notes are recyclable. Sometimes it’s easier to simply throw it away rather than recycle that little piece of paper.  Just think of the amount of sticky notes that are thrown away daily. What if all of those little square pieces of paper were recycled? It could make a huge impact and reduce waste in our landfills.      

           Not only are Post-it®Notes recyclable, but Post-it® Products include a minimum of 30 percent post-consumer content.

Will forests, like this one on San Juan Island...

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            In addition, Post-it® Brand offers a green line. For example, according to Post-it® Brand’s website, Post-it® Greener Notes and Recycled Notes are made from 100 percent recycled paper and plant-based sticky adhesive. “All Post-it® Notes are SFI Chain of Custody Certified: Paper used comes from forests that are well-managed where trees are replanted.”

           Here is a short YouTube video about Post-it® Brand’s Sustainability efforts.

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The Other, More Green Side of the Paper Industry

By Paige Wills in Facts About Deforestation, Facts About The Paper Industry

A deciduous broadleaf (Beech) forest in Slovenia.

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           When most people think of the paper industry, the first thing that comes to mind probably doesn’t have to do with the planting of trees. Most people think of the destruction of forests to produce paper. However, the paper industry has taken major strides to prevent the destruction of forests.

            Just like any other industry, the paper industry must make sure there are enough resources to produce its product. The truth is, without trees, the paper industry would not be able to produce paper. Therefore, in order to guarantee the future of its product (paper), the paper industry must ensure there are plenty of resources (trees) available.

           In fact, according to the American Forest and Paper Association, AF&PA, the United States has 20 percent more trees today than it did 25 years ago. “Private landowners in the U.S. plant about 4 million trees each day—five trees each year for every man, woman and child in America (AF&PA).”

“Today, the U.S. forest products industry’s goal is to sustain and expand a renewable resource-our forests-while providing the recyclable and essential products that the public uses everyday. In fact, AF&PA requires member companies to support sustainable forestry practices as a condition of membership. AF&PA works with Congress and federal agencies to seek laws and policies to enable sustainable forest management on public and private land, provide a reliable fiber supply for the forest products industry, and provide adequate federal funding to maintain healthy forests and research innovations in forest management (AF&PA).”

            Here are some fun facts about forests from the AF&PA’s website:

  • One-third of the United States is forested—751 million acres.
  • Sixty percent of all forestland in the U.S. is privately owned.
  • Privately-owned forests supply 91 percent of the wood harvested in the U.S. State and tribal forests supply approximately 6 percent and federal forests supply only 2 percent of the wood used by the forest products industry.
  • Over 25 percent of private U.S. forestland is certified to one of three sustainable forestry management certification systems: the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Forest Stewardship Council, or American Tree Farm System, as compared with 10 percent of forestland worldwide.
  • Insects and disease threaten 58 million acres of America’s forests.
  • A single tree can absorb more than 10 pounds of C02 each year.
  • In the U.S., forests and forest products store enough carbon each year to offset approximately 10 percent of the nation’s CO2 emissions.
  • Two-thirds of the nation’s drinking water comes from forests.

          What are your thoughts?

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25,000 trees will be planted in honor of the Oprah Show’s 25 Seasons

By Paige Wills in Facts About Deforestation, Why Choose Paper?

Harpo Studios, headquarters of talk show host ...

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           May 25, 2011 will mark the end of Oprah’s career as a talk show host for the Oprah Winfrey Show. Many celebrities and stars have stopped by the show to honor and thank Oprah for all she has done, especially for her dedication to education, reading, and books.

           Oprah has been a major supporter of books and book clubs. If a book landed on Oprah’s book club, it was almost always destined for success. According to Oprah’s website, to honor her, Target rebuilt a school library that was devastated. The school was able to rebuild the library, but it sat empty because the school did not have the funding to stock it.

Oak trees, Southampton Common. These trees lin...

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            To honor Oprah’s 25 seasons, Target and the Heart of America Foundation are planning to rebuild 25 school libraries across the country.

             In addition, 25,000 oak trees will be planted in honor of Oprah, including one tree in front of each of the new libraries. Here is a quote from Diane Sawyer on Oprah’s Farewell Show Part 1:

            “Over the years, Oprah has often said that her favorite place to read is under the stately oak trees that surround her Santa Barbara home.”I’ve always thought that maybe the closest Oprah is to heaven is when she’s sitting in one of her big oak trees,” Diane says. “I think I know why you love those trees so much: They start with just a small seed, and then the first shoots and those saplings start to spring up. Then, the tree starts to grow and there it is with the deepest roots and still looking straight up at the sky. The stronger the wind, the stronger that tree standing there on the horizon. And that is like life, and that is like you and that is like The Oprah Winfrey Show.”
            To further honor The Oprah Show’s 25 seasons, Diane tells Oprah that in front of each of the new libraries, a giant tree will be planted. “The Oprah tree,” Diane says. “Standing and inviting every one of those children to bring their books and their hopes and their fears and to know that you are there to embrace them.”

Book photographs

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            This just reinforces the ideal that books are vital to our country’s future success.

            Do you believe Oprah has played a pivotal role in education and the promotion of the importance of books?

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