Who depends on print and paper more than anyone else this time of year? Why, Santa of course! A handwritten letter is still the method of choice for sending Christmas wish lists to the man in red. According to the U.S. Postal Service, hundreds of thousands of letters addressed to Santa Claus arrive at post offices across the country each December. Santa’s helpers, through programs like the USPS’s 100-year-old Operation Santa® program, respond to many of these letters, making holiday wishes come true for needy children.
In addition, the USPS provides a fun way for Santa to reply to children’s letters — complete with the North Pole postmark! The Greetings from the North Pole Post Office program adds to the excitement of Christmas and is ideal for getting kids interested in letter writing, stamps and penmanship. To participate, letters to Santa must be in the mail by December 7.
The time-honored tradition of putting ink on paper, sealing the envelope and dropping a letter to Santa in the mail is one of those very personal, tactile experiences that’s impossible to capture with an email. It’s also a very sustainable way to communicate with the North Pole’s most celebrated resident. In fact, we have it on good authority that Santa, a fellow known for keeping lists, uses the following “Top 10” to remind people that print on paper is a sound environmental choice.
Santa’s Top 10 Facts on Print and Paper Sustainability
- Paper is made with wood fiber from trees grown in sustainably managed forests. Wood, when sourced from well managed forests or plantations, is a renewable material with many advantages over non-renewable alternatives. (World Wildlife Fund)
- More trees are grown in the U.S. and Canada – through planting and natural regeneration – than are harvested each year. (U.S. Forest Service, Natural Resources Canada)
- Between 1990 and 2020, U.S. net forest area increased by 18 million acres – an area equivalent to 1,200 NFL football fields every day! Net forest area in Canada remained stable at around 857 million acres during the same period. (UN Food and Agriculture Organization)
- Logging to make paper is not considered a cause of deforestation because the trees are expected to grow back through natural regeneration or sustainable forestry practices. (UN Food and Agriculture Organization)
- 58% of the forestland in the U.S. is owned and managed by private forest owners, which include nearly 11 million family forest owners who typically own less than 100 acres. 89% of wood harvested in the U.S. comes from these private forests, which provide most of the wood for domestically produced paper products. (U.S. Forest Service)
- The demand for sustainable paper products provides a strong financial incentive for landowners to manage their land responsibly and keep it forested rather than selling it for development or other non-forest uses. (Dovetail Partners)
- In the United States, paper is recycled more than any other material, including plastics, glass and metals. (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency)
- More than 66% of paper and paper-based packaging produced in the United States is recovered for recycling, and in Canada nearly 70% is recovered and recycled. (American Forest and Paper Association, Forest Products Association of Canada)
- Over 65% of the energy used to manufacture U.S. paper comes from renewable, carbon-neutral fuels, primarily wood-based biomass. (American Forest and Paper Association)
- The print, paper and mail value chain supports 7.4 million U.S. jobs and contributes $1.5 trillion in sales revenue to the U.S. economy. (EMA Foundation)
Click here for more facts on the sustainability of print, paper and paper-based packaging.