Wednesday, April 22, 2009

So, You Don't Need to Recycle? (Updated)

What you are looking at is hundred of logs. Logs that were cut out of our Northern Minnesota forests. These logs are waiting to be turned into paper. Paper for writing, crafting, wrapping, and even wiping (need I explain?)
The "wood yard" is filled to capacity at this time of year (I would need an aerial view to show you all of it) The hundreds of logs above have now turned into thousands if not millions of logs that have been logged. They fill the yard this time of year because the trucks can't drive on the road due to break up (the weight of the trucks is too much when the snow and ice are melting, it would ruin the roads during this month long period... so they have to shut down their operation.) There are dozens of stacks this size lined up waiting. They are waiting to be turned into paper. Several miles down the Hwy. there is another plant waiting with a similar amount of wood to be turned into OSB boards (for construction). I have been told before that when the wood yard is full here it would only keep the paper factory running for four days.

This is one of many stacks of logs.
(Shot taken across the Hwy)

Now, logging is one of our main industries here in and around the Bemidji area. It is a livelihood and generates a major part of our income. From the loggers, to the business people who service them. I just think it is important for people across America and across the world to realize to see what it takes to generate the massive amounts of paper we use. You can not respect it if you can't understand it.
Same stack with vehicle to give perspective. Pic below is of me looking up, I felt quite small.

Setting up a small waste basket next to your trash basket is such an easy thing to do. Taking a few minutes to figure out where to drop off the paper for recycling would take less time then brewing a pot of coffee. Using both sides of paper before your recycle it is another great idea. Fianlly, committing to dropping paper off at said recycling location is something you can do ... now that you know what goes into making that piece of paper.
Before you show up with your picket signs (made out of recycled paper) please note that the loggers and wood companies practice a sustainable plan with the Forest Stewardship Council. One manager explained it to me as this -"... for every tree we log, we replant two." This is the dummy version of what they do, as I am sure there is far more involved then that.
But when you come across an area like this in the middle of the woods....
it makes you respect the paper you use a little bit more.
This area will take at least 30 years to regenerate itself.
(Click to enlarge the photo - notice the dense forest all the way around the clear cut)

All photos taken by myself -
bottom photo taken by dearest
at our hunting shack,
"way up north", MN


Unknown said...

I just read "The Lorax" to my five-year-old ... that's what your picture reminded me of. Incredibly powerful (and disturbing, of course) image : (

Homer and Queen said...

You always have such great photos! Do you take them all?

namaste said...

beautiful photo; can't wait for more.

Alicia @ boylerpf said...

I remember going to International Falls as a youngin' and the smell of the paper mills really made one think about what goes on into producing anything out of paper. Clear cutting the forest has so many other ramifications besides the trees. Great pics...great always!!

Memories Of Mine said...

Thanks for showing us. I still wonder what happened to the paperless office. I get angry at work when I go to the printer to collect 2 pages and see the amount of uncollected documents just sitting there. Of curse they end up in the recycle bin but that is not the point.

TheChicGeek said...

Really great post, Jules. Makes a person think...and that's a very good thing :D
I'm glad they plant two trees for every one they cut. I appreciate you bringing this to the forefront of my mind :)
Thank You!
Have a Happy Day!

Adan said...

amazing. completely amazing. i am humbled and just realized how ignorant to this i was. i watch AX men on discovery all the time, but you put it in a different perspective.

those who cut down the forest are the first ones to make sure it's rebuilt.

loved this post!

Vicky said...

Even though I am only a few hours from you I have never seen the log piles up close like this. It does give you pause to reflect on what your paper habits are :) Little things you do every day add up. From paper to napkins to paper towels. We're working really hard at home to use less as a habit. But this really hits home why we should. Great post!!

Sandra said...

Thanks for this. It puts an image to it.

namaste said...

That is soooooooo amazing. Thank you. I'm going to show my son this tonight. It helps to get an image!