Many of our customers are printing on recycled paper as way to “go green.” It’s a great way to save trees, and the cost difference from virgin paper to recycled paper made from 30% post-consumer waste (PCW) is not much.

So how many trees are they saving?

The Paper Calculator

Using papercalculator.org, one can compare virgin paper to other papers (e.g., recycled paper made from 30% PCW). After you plug in your values, it calculates:

  • Trees saved
  • Waste reduced
  • Water saved
  • Energy used
  • Etc.


It’s really cool and works well for projects such as… 400 copies of a 300-page book OR 1000 copies of a 150-page book. Once you have your weight calculated, you just set up two paper types and the amount of recycled content (in pounds) and calculate.

Here’s the formula for calculating the weight for 50# white offset paper (i.e., copy paper):

  1. Take your page count divided by 2
  2. Multiply it by your total quantity
  3. Multiply that by .00984
For example:

400 copies @ 300 pages (50# paper, 8.5×11 size)

300 / 2 = 150 sheets
150 x 400 = 60,000 total sheets
60,000 x .00984 = ~590 lbs

Results:

Virgin paper uses the equivalent of about 7 trees
Recycled paper (30% PCW) would use only 2 trees

Virgin paper uses 5,627 gallons of water
Recycled paper (30% PCW) would use 774 gallons less

Virgin paper produced 269 pounds of waste materials
Recycled paper (30% PCW) would use 100 pounds less

So how many trees are you saving?