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They Recycle Whole Trees

Kinko's Copy Centers plants trees to replace those destroyed to produce the paper used by the company.
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Like many businesses nowadays, Kinko's Copy Centers, a partnership of 120 independently operated printing and publishing services, based in Ventura, Calif., is an active paper conservationist. But for at least three of its affiliates, recycling sheets isn't commitment enough. They recycle trees, planting a new one for every tree mulched into copy-paper stock.

This summer Kinko's of Salt Lake City, a 9-store company in Utah, is reforesting Flaming Gorge, a camping area whose trees were destroyed by borer beetles. And come December, the company will coordinate a program that urges Christmas-tree buyers to purchase live pines from participating nurseries and return them in January for permanent planting.

This spring another regional partner, 30-store Kinko's of Ohio, bought 36,000 seedlings -- an estimate by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources of the replacement value of the copy paper the company used in 1992 -- and on Arbor Day turned them over to local forestry agencies. But it's not always that easy to settle the score. When 3-store Kinko's of Arkansas gave the city of Fayetteville some 819 adult trees, overwhelmed officials there asked Kinko's to cool it for a while. This year the company will hand out 35,000 seedlings to residential planters instead.

But all Kinko's men can't put Mother Earth together again, Salt Lake's marketing director, Bob Walker, says with regret. He's posting a plaque in Flaming Gorge that asks visitors, when they return home, to seek out other businesses willing to remedy the ravaged landscape rather than just recycle.

A company wishing to underwrite similar new-tree planting should contact the U.S. Forest Service (202-205-0957). The federal agency arranges for local purchase of new trees and will supply information regarding projects being conducted at regional chapters. -- Phaedra Hise

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How Many Trees Does Your Office Use?
Every 23,000 sheets of standard-size high-quality copy paper means one felled adult loblolly pine, calculates Peter Ince, a research forester with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service in Madison, Wis. A seedling that's one to two years old -- the age of the trees available in quantity for replanting -- requires 15 more years to mature to that adult stage.

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Even the Lights Have Eyes
Studies show that businesses could save as much as 75% of their lighting bills with systems that automatically turn off lights when people leave such areas as private offices, hallways, and toilets. But the electronic devices assigned to detect human comings and goings sometimes turn off lights even if people haven't left an area. Understandably, business has been slow to adopt the quirky technology.

The National Lighting Product Information Program -- sponsored by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI), the Environmental Protection Agency, regional utilities, and private agencies -- recently conducted tests of ultrasonic and infrared occupancy sensors. For a report ($30) evaluating products and installations that won't leave you in the dark, call RPI's Lighting Research Center at 518-276-8716. n -- Robert A. Mamis

Last updated: Jun 1, 1993




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