Tree-Free was founded in 1999 with the goal of being the most transparent, most environmentally friendly greeting card company. At the time, the only “green” alternative was Recycled Greetings, and Steve Silverstein, the founder of Tree-Free, picked up a Recycled card and couldn’t find out what the recycled content was, whether it was post consumer recycled, and whether there was a way to do things better.
Tree-Free has printed their cards on a variety of different papers leading up to the present, starting with Kenaf, a fast growing plant related to the hibiscus. We have printed on bamboo, on hemp, and most recently on 100% bagasse (sugarcane waste pulp). Currently, we are focused on using post consumer recycled paper. About 35% of municipal solid waste by weight is paper and paper products. At Tree-Free, we are committed to reversing this trend.
By printing on 100% post consumer recycled paper, we are saving 2,405 mature trees, 1,121,858 gallons of water, 1,078 million BTUs of energy, 75,098 pounds of solid waste, and 206,850 pounds of greenhouse gases a year! (Calculations based on research by Environmental Defense Fund & other members of the Paper Task Force.) Not only are our papers processed chlorine free, but they’re Green-e certified, and made with electricity generated from wind power. Not to be outdone, our envelope paper is produced from 80% reclaimed wheat straw, an agricultural by product.
Our new state of the art printing facility has dramatically increased our sustainability and decreased the amount of paper used and wasted. How much you ask? An estimated 10 TONS per year, that’s the equivalent of 111 trees! We’ve also recently switched to solar energy! Our 200 panel photovoltaic array will provide roughly 65,344 kilowatt hours per year of clean, renewable electricity. That’s enough electricity to power 10 average New England homes per year! We’ll be reducing our carbon footprint by 59,985 lbs of carbon pollution annually.
With the completion of our new home, we’re bringing our printing and production under one roof — Tree-Free’s on-site operation will be 100% powered by the sun. That’s right! Believe it or not, New England received 30% more of the sun’s energy than Germany, the world leader in solar installations.
TREE-FREE’S PAPER SUPPLIERS ARE WORKING TOWARDS BEING CARBON NEUTRAL.
Wind power is the fastest-growing green energy source in the world. At present, it is the least expensive, most developed and fastest to build. The natural energy of wind is converted into electricity through a wind-powered turbine. The turbines high-tech windmills can be grouped into wind farms. They are responsible sources of energy because they allow multiple uses of land, don’t disturb wildlife, blend well with the landscape and provide alternate sources of income to farmers and landowners. By investing in wind energy, our suppliers are reducing our impact on the environment as well as aiding the growth of this emission-free, renewable energy.
Carbon neutral is an emerging international trend that can describe products, operations and activities which have had their emissions calculated and reduced where possible. The remaining carbon dioxide emissions are then “offset” through credits that fund renewable, emission-free energy projects such as landfill gas fuel capture, biomass fuel and farm methane fuel capture. The carbon offset market allows businesses to recognize and financially support the shift from fossil fuel to renewable energy.
OUR PAPER MILLS SOURCE ENVIRONMENTALLY SUSTAINABLE FIBER FOR THEIR PAPER.
Our suppliers are required to provide documentation demonstrating sound environmental practices and responsible forestry management. If the wood pulp comes from a forest that has been certified for FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) standards, we can be sure that the natural resource has been managed responsibly.
OUR PAPER DOES NOT USE ELEMENTAL CHLORINE BLEACH IN ITS PAPERS.
All Tree-Free virgin fiber paper is “elemental chlorine free” (ECF). ECF papers are made from recycled fiber that has been bleached using alternative chlorine compounds instead of elemental chlorine. ECF pulps greatly reduce harmful byproducts.
Our 100% recycled papers meet the more rigorous standards for Process Chlorine Free (PCF) coding. PCF paper is made with fiber recycled from post consumer waste and is unbleached or bleached without chlorine compounds. PCF paper is the most environmentally preferable type.
Tree-Free is equally committed to manufacturing here in the USA. Inside every journal, there’s a paragraph that tells this story:
Thanks for going Tree-Free. Every purchase of a Tree-Free journal saves trees, and jobs! By using recycled paper, we keep our forests tree-full. That’s more trees creating shade, producing the air we breathe, and absorbing harmful greenhouse gases. And by producing here in the USA, we not only guarantee quality, but guarantee jobs. This limited edition product was made in New England by a family owned bindery that has been in operation for over 50 years. And with your help, for a long time to come.