With Saving for Nature - Call Issued by the Ombudsman for Future Generations

Every time we recycle a ton of paper we save 12 trees, spare our water resources and contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change. The first day of March, the Day of Recycled Paper, now also marks the starting day of "Save@Work – Energy Teams at the Workplace", an EU-wide competition aimed at saving energy. The Hungarian patron of the competition is Marcel Szabó, Ombudsman for Future Generations.

Hulladék Munkaszövetség, a widely known and recognized Hungarian civil environmental organization launched its environmental initiative, the Day of Recycled Paper, ten years ago, on March 1, 2006, in order to draw attention to our society's wasteful consumption of paper and the environmental advantages of its recycling. On the occasion of this anniversary, Ombudsman for Future Generations Marcel Szabó welcomes and offers his support to this important social awareness-raising initiative, asking every one of us to give a thought to its message and do our best in the interest of frugal and reasonable use of paper in our everyday lives. It is well known, thanks to the awareness-raising activities of civil organizations, that recycling one ton of waste paper may save 12 fully grown trees from getting cut down, while paper may be recycled up to 5‑10 times. The paper industry's energy and water consumption is significant; therefore, frugality and awareness-driven recycling, simultaneously with saving our living environment and drinking water resources, enjoying constitutional protection, also contribute to mitigating the effects of climate change, thus serving the preservation of the living conditions of future generations.

In addition to packaging, office paper consumption is also significant. The Ombudsman calls attention, in particular, to the fact that using recycled office paper can result in significant savings, and two-sided printing, optimally, can reduce the use of paper almost by half. Modern printing devices are already capable of two-sided printing; it is worth taking advantage of this capability. Working versions and drafts may even be printed on the empty side of used office paper. In addition, we can use a small trick. Some while ago, an American student generated worldwide attention demonstrating that the typeface Garamond produces smaller characters than the most frequently printed font, Times New Roman, of the same point size without noticeably reducing readability. Using this font not only results in savings in the use of office paper, but also requires significantly, even by 20 percent, less ink. In many cases, printers can be operated in eco-friendly mode, also resulting in considerable savings. The Ombudsman for Future Generations feels it is worth considering the wide propagation of such simple but efficient methods of saving resources.

Another important international environmental initiative, the "Save@Work – Energy Teams at the Workplace" energy saving competition also starts on the 1st of March under the patronage of the Ombudsman for Future Generations and with the participation of an Energy Team consisting of the volunteers of the Ombudsman's Office. This initiative is aimed at raising energy-awareness among the workers of the public sphere in order to reduce energy consumption, even by 10-15 percent, both at home and at work without costly investments in energy efficiency via changing their habits and routines. Tens of thousands of workers in 180 public buildings in nine Member States of the EU participate in this one-year-long project; from Hungary, local governments of four districts of the capital and eight rural towns have joined the initiative. The Hungarian partner of the project is the GreenDependent Institute that have already achieved significant success with similar initiatives; the Institute provides assistance in measuring energy consumption habits and identifying possibilities for energy saving. On these prominent occasions, Ombudsman for Future Generations Marcel Szabó asks everyone to contribute to protecting Nature through saving energy both at work and in their everyday lives.