New paperless system not all good

By Patrick Gallagher
February 7, 2011

This past December’s announcement of the change to the online bill payment system by the college’s Business office has been done for effective reasons. It has also been one more sign of change to a family that is seeing “going green” as a negative force.

There are always two sides to an argument or decision. In this case the decision is not being challenged or labeled as wrong; it is merely that the recent stereotype of “going green” needs some truth injected.

As a son and a member of a family that relies on a paper company to provide for a household, I am just one in that population. My father works for Xpedx, a paper company located all around the U.S., which is just one company under the larger International Paper Corporation. Xpedx is a company that works primarily in printing and publishing, manufacturing and retail of such products.

This whole revolution of “going green” has directly and forcefully impacted my family, Xpedx and the entire paper world.

There are thousands of activists every day that challenge these companies by saying that they are destroying the environment and that companies like them are to blame for many of the worlds environmental problems. Yet these activist and protestors have failed to see the other side of the issue and some of the truths behind it all.

In a series called, “Pixels Vs. Paper: Are pixels greener than paper?,” International Paper shows that the use of trees and paper are not as damaging as many may be lead to believe.

“Every day the paper and forest products industry plants more than three times the number of trees than are harvested — paper is truly renewable and sustainable,” taken from the Pixels vs. Paper sustainability series that offers truth into this debated topic.

Many people argue that using electronics is more efficient and less damaging when the truth is that, “the amount of electricity to run a computer for five months could produce enough paper for the average person to use for an entire year.”

Paper is also biodegradable, which is one of the largest points to make. Nearly 60 percent of all paper is recycled while only 18 percent of all electronics are currently being recycled.

These facts and realities must also be heard in the argument because it is these paper companies that worry most about our sustainability of natural resources. There are strategic plans that are formed to properly act in the best interest of everyone and these plans are followed with prompt and focused actions.

The college made a conscience and well-developed switch to online bill pay. They did not go off of the “going green” fad but properly examined their situation and acted accordingly in the best interest of their students.

A large population of the country relies on the sale and use of paper and printing to supply an income and provide for a family.

I would like to also point out the fact that I am not in any way saying that we should all litter and pollute. I am merely adding a new perspective on the situation. I am completely and totally behind any environmental activist that promotes recycling and finding renewable resources. I believe that we need to take care of our world in order to leave a better and more stable world for our future generations.

Anyway, if the air and soil isn’t clean then these trees that are made into paper won’t be able to develop and create all of the paper that we use today. It is often humorous how the world goes around and around in one gigantic circle.

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Patrick Gallagher

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