May Day to Paper

May Day Tree Pole

By Kay Wilt

Today is May 1st or May Day.  I remember May Day as a child with school celebrations that included May Pole dancing on the playground which could result in a pretty amazing ribbon wrapped pole, or a colorful mess. And making May Baskets of construction paper filled with spring flowers for your mom and grandmother. In researching the history of May Day, I found that English villages in the Middle Ages all had Maypoles, which were actual trees brought in from the woods in the midst of rejoicing and raucous merrymaking. Maypoles came in many sizes, and villages were said to compete with each other to show whose Maypole was tallest.

Which led me to thinking about trees . . .

That are made into paper . . . that magically become direct mail . . . that travels through the postal system into your mailbox to entice you to buy products and services.

At Johnson & Quin we make our living by producing direct mail. We belong to Two Sides, an independent, non-profit organization created to promote the responsible production, use and sustainability of print and paper. Two Sides recently released an infographic on Paper and Sustainable Forestry. You can download a PDF of the infographic here – Paper & Sustainable Forestry Infographic.

Paper Infographic

We are often led to believe that using paper is bad for the environment and that forest practices always lead to eroded lands and fewer trees – not so in North America! Here is some of the information illustrated on the infographic and other facts –

  • Forests in the U.S. and Canada grow significantly more wood than is harvested each year.
  • Over the last six decades, the net total U.S. forest area has increased by over 3% and the net volume of trees on timberland has increased by 58%.¹
  • Most paper is made using wood by-products (chips) from the lumber industry and recycled paper rather than whole trees.
  • The U.S. mailing industry (including paper, printing, paper and print suppliers, graphic design, and mailing distribution) supports 8.4 million jobs (about 6% of U.S. jobs) and $1.3 trillion in sales revenue, more than 8.6% of U.S. gross domestic production.²
  • Over half of the forestland in the U.S. is privately owned and 89% of harvested pulpwood comes from private land.³
  • The income landowners receive for trees grown on their land encourages them to maintain, sustainably manage and renew this valuable resource.

As Two Sides states on their website – Print and Paper is recyclable, powerful and based on a renewable resource.  In a multimedia world, it continues to be highly effective and can be a sustainable way to communicate when produced and used responsibly. For more information on Two Sides North America see their website at www.twosidesna.org.

Enjoy a wonderful May Day!

  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2012
  2. Envelope Manufacturers Association Foundation, 2012
  3. U.S. Department of Agriculture, 2012
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