“Here’s some advice. Stay alive.”
From helping out the tributes in The Hunger Games, to saving the human race from zombies in Zombieland, and now saving the forests from the human race, Academy Award-nominated actor Woody Harrelson does it all. Woody is an environmentalist at heart, and also happens to be the co-founder of Prairie Pulp & Paper Inc. A couple weeks ago, the company announced the United States debut of their new “Step Forward Paper.” After 15 years of research and development, the company has created a paper product that is made of only 20% wood fiber! The other 80% is actually made of wheat straw waste from farmers. This could be a huge “step forward” for the paper industry in that it may allow them reduce the amount of trees needed to produce paper. According to the Rainforest Action Network, somewhere between 3-6 billion trees are cut down annually, and half of that is used for paper!
Go figure…Woody likes trees
Harrelson has always had an interest in the environment, and has been very vocal in the past in regards to his views on making land available for logging. According to an interview with R P Siegel at Triple Pundit, Woody realized that “even if you are successful in stopping logging in this or that forest, it just comes up somewhere else…So the thing to do is to look at the way that paper is made.” And that is exactly what Prairie Pulp & Paper did to develop their new product made out of an alternative material. Woody’s company claims that buying TWO packages of Step Forward Paper instead of normal paper SAVES ONE whole tree. That’s pretty amazing!
Personally, I think this is a great idea, and I love seeing innovative sustainable products like this come out. Not only does it decrease the amount of felled trees, but it also has a very low environmental impact, especially as the industry would be reusing agricultural waste from farmers. This could be a very sustainable practice. However, other previous attempts at “fixing” the world’s problems need to be considered. Though we may benefit from saving trees, we may negatively impact something else, such as the wheat industry. Only time will tell, and certainly more research needs to be done on using wheat for paper and other products. For now, it appears that the actor may have found a feasible sustainable alternative to using virgin fiber to make paper. Cheers, Woody, I’ll drink to that!