The Times, they are a-fellin’

There’s a widely quoted trivia fact on the web: that the publication of a typical Sunday edition of the New York Times takes 63,000 trees.

Wow. That’s pretty striking number, if it’s right. But does anyone have a source for it?

There are about 1.5M subscribers to the Sunday edition, so I’m guessing they sell about 2M copies in all. That means a single tree gives you only about 32 copies. Does that sound right? The paper is pretty bulky on a Sunday, but still… I don’t think the economics would work out if that were the case. How much does a tree cost?

Of course, they may be very small trees…

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And obviously trees are a renewable resource. So what’s the panic? Unless Sweden decided to move to soy beans, obviously.

@dave hodgkinson:
but how long does a tree need to grow and how long will a single copy of a newspaper be used?
It is not so that you put a tree into a replicator to get a new one.
And a tree is a living thing, far more important for earth than many others.

And even if that number of trees should be wrong: I think it is real waste to kill trees just to get newspapers. Hey, theres the internet!

All news are old after one day, so why take the trouble of chopping trees, put them into a factory, make paper out of them, put it to a printer, print the newspaper and then deliver it to some place so people can read it and throw it away? I think THIS is real waste of resources.

Ah, so we don’t recycle at all?

And the answer that is that the environmental impact is not in the paper, it’s in the water use, bleaches and inks with weird metals in.

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