Muir Woods Good, Paper Bad

Janice next to a majestic California redwood at Muir Wood National Monument

Long-term travel will certainly change your perspective on things. Take Muir Woods National Monument, for instance. Redwoods are the gentle giants of the forest world. One glance at a tall, melancholic redwood is enough to turn even the hardest city dweller into a mandolin-strumming crunchy.

Example: Was in an office supply store the other day and saw shelves of printer paper. You know; those heavy, thick packs of 8-1/2 x 11 paper that look like neatly wrapped gifts. After strolling the hallowed grounds of Muir Woods, but I was horrified to think about defenseless trees, chopped down, ground into pulp, mixed with water, and turned into paper – bulk paper, wrapped in more paper. Seems downright inhumane. No offense, International Paper.

From now on, though, we’re thinking about buying paper only made from tree alternatives: hemp, plastic, eco-friendly products. One Ventura, Calif.-based company called Ecopaper is making paper by spinning fibers out of things like sugar cane, coffee and bananas. There you go. Put those fruit peelings to good use.

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