We're finalizing our "outfits" for Cocofloss, and we've been learning how to evaluate paper costs in the process. Today, I realized that I've written, read, eaten, drawn, doodled, unboxed, wrapped, "origamied", happy mealed, and discarded my way through SO much paper without really understanding paper's impact, and so I thought I'd share our insights with you.
Our goal: We want to create a vivid, delightful home for Cocofloss, and we want to feel good about our paper choice.
To consume paper in as tree-friendly of a manner possible (sounds paradoxical, we know), we found two major things to consider:
How sustainable are tree farming practices?
Can we use recycled fibers?
In the paper world, the Forest Stewardship Council ("FSC"), an independent and international nonprofit, is the chief body that sets the standards on forest products and eco-friendly designations. The FSC’s vision is that humanity can meet the world’s need for forest products without compromising forest health for future generations. Forest owners need to meet 10 principles and 57 criteria to earn the FSC certified designation. Principles include long-term stewardship of land, respect and conservation of indigenous communities, protection of environmental biodiversity and integrity, detailed planning for forest management, and monitoring to assess forest conditions and impact.
While the FSC has received some criticism over the years around controversial certifications, we admire the strength of their vision. They’ve created positive economic incentives for farmers and paper manufacturers to pursue environmentally sound practices. They also serve as a powerful example of market-driven environmental governance.
Papers come in 0 to 100% post-consumer waste (PCW) content. PCW refers to materials that have been manufactured, sold, and recycled.
While only a third of paper materials are from recycled sources today, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has found that making recycled paper produces 35% less water pollution and 74% less air pollution than making virgin paper. To put things in perspective, recycling one ton (2,000 pounds) of paper would save enough energy to power the average American home for six months, save 7,000 gallons of water, 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by one metric ton of carbon equivalent (think of burning 100 gallons of gasoline!).
With all this in mind, we're close to finalizing our material choice, and we're excited to share Cocofloss's latest paper suit this summer. It'll be eco-conscious, bright, and full of Aloha.