Saturday, February 7, 2009

Millions of Trees Saved

No, you didn't imagine that your paper is getting thinner and less newsy.

Newspapers in the United States consumed 16 percent less newsprint in 2008 than the year before. That's 5.2 million tonnes, down from 6.2 million tonnes -- or a clean 1 million tonne, according to an item in Editor and Publisher this week.

The decline in newsprint consumption is accelerating as papers move more content online and cut back on pages and page widths in the paper product. Things may get worse for newspapers, but better for the trees in 2009.

Newsprint use was down nearly 24 percent last December, according to E&P, which cited the Pulp and Paper Products Council. Newsprint companies are reducing output to meet lower demand, which is also good for trees. U.S. paper mills are running at only 80 percent of capacity. Naturally, prices are falling too.

Although the decline of the traditional newspaper business and business model is lamentable, there is always and upside and this is it. Fewer trees will be sacrificed to print newspapers that fewer and fewer people are reading.

That's newspapers 0, Earth 1.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Somewhat connected to paper conservation, is the fact that -- not knowing how long there will be an Orlando Sentinel -- we have opted for quarterly billing.
For more than 20 years, this had been an annual payment for us. But betting 13 weeks at a time even seems riskier than we prefer.
Somehow I don't trust the Zelltergeist would refund the unused part of an annual payment, should the building on Orange Avenue sink into a financial sinkhole.