This was written in response to the Daily Athenaeum article, “Ending our dependence on paper will better the environment.”
Last Wednesday, The Daily Athenaeum published an editorial urging West Virginia University to go paperless as a response to the devastating impact paper production has on the environment. While paperless is ideal, it is not realistic. There is however a way to make paper that doesn’t use wood. Paper can be made from a renewable, cheap, and fast growing resource; hemp.
The USDA reported that one acre of hemp produces as much paper as four acres of trees. And unlike trees, hemp can be harvested annually. Hemp paper can also be recycled several times over (wood-based paper can’t).
The North American Industrial Hemp Council reports that hemp paper is pulped using less chemicals than wood. Traditionally, the process of turning wood pulp into paper necessitates the use of whiteners such as chlorine and bleach, which contaminate local water supplies. Wit
Students for Sensible Drug Policy agrees that using electronic means to deliver coursework is a great forward-thinking idea. We all should be willing to work towards that goal, which will no doubt reduce paper waste at West Virginia University. However, a completely paperless university could never exist, and the problem of where our paper comes from keeps coming up. We need to look for more sustainable, and more environmentally friendly sources. It’s time for West Virginia to seriously consider hemp.
Make sure to leave comments on the original article on the Daily Atheneaum’s website! Ending our dependence on paper will better the environment
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