That's a Lot of Paper


I was reading Core77's design blog the other day and they linked to this article.  It's from the Cincinnati Enquirer mentioning local excitement over the prospect of an IKEA coming.  While I was quite excited about the prospect of tastefully-designed interiors coming to the Midwest, I was a little more interested in another fact: the articled mentioned that IKEA's catalogue is the world's highest distribution annual free publication - with 175 million copies.

Wow-that's a lot of paper, but just how much?  My estimate: imagine a forest half the size of Manhattan being cut down every year to print that catalogue.

Here's how you get there:

1) Conservatree estimates that a tree can produce 8,333.3 sheets of copy paper, and the paper likely used in the catalogue (mechanical/groundwood) gets twice that.

2) Apparently the last catalog was 370 pages.

3) Forests have a tree density of ~300-1100 trees/hectare.  Let's be generous and give IKEA 800 trees/hectare.

A couple of conversions and you end up with 48.56 square kilometers of trees.  In comparison, Manhattan is 87.46 square kilometers.  That's a whole lot of trees...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

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