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9,000 Pounds of Carbon Dioxide Averted, 100 Trees Saved

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Hundreds of community members brought their confidential files to Prevail Bank branches in Wisconsin Rapids, Marshfield, and Eau Claire to be shredded and recycled.

In 12 hours, 100 trees were saved from being cut, mulched, and pulverized. No, there weren’t communes of individuals using themselves as human shields, rather hundreds participated in three free Shred Day events organized by Prevail Bank. Nearly six (6) tons, or 11,500 pounds, of paper was collected for recycling purposes.

According to the University of Southern Indiana’s paper recycling calculations, six tons of paper can save 100 trees, 53 barrels of oil, nearly 18 cubic yards of landfill space, 23,600 kilowatts of energy (which, to a teenager’s gaming delight, would power a desktop computer and monitor for 2.5 days), and 41,300 gallons of water, enough to fill three 24’ above ground pools.

“Recycling paper is a simple way for America to reduce its carbon footprint,” said Nathan Quinnell, president of Prevail Bank. “The public’s response to our events was astounding. If this success is duplicated in May when we have six other events scheduled, 18 tons of recycled paper will be collected. That’s a lot of trees. ” said Quinnell.

Americans use 85,000,000 tons of paper a year; about 680 pounds per person. If America recycled just one tenth of its newspapers, the country could save approximately 25,000,000 trees a year. Trees absorb carbon dioxide. For every ton of paper recycled, 17 trees are saved. Those 17 trees will absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide from the air each year. On the flip-side, burning a ton of paper creates 1,500 pounds of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is one of the greenhouse gases, that if over abundant, can trap and hold too much heat within the Earth’s atmosphere thereby causing global warming. The rising average temperatures could cause ice caps to melt, oceans to warm, rising sea levels, extreme weather events such as heatwaves, heavy downpours and wildfires, disrupted access to food, and an increasing spread of disease such as malaria.

Prevail Bank is doing its part. It has scheduled six additional Shred Day events: May 10 (10–1 PM) at Prevail Bank Medford, May 11 (10–1 PM) at Prevail Bank Owen, May 11 (11–2 PM) at Prevail Bank in Baraboo, May 12 (9–5 PM) at Prevail Bank Stevens Point, May 13 (8:30–5 PM) at Prevail Bank in Wausau, May 18 (1–4 PM) at Prevail Bank in Phillips. Participants do not need to be customers of Prevail Bank. Three boxes per person is the limit.

“Prevail Bank is very cognizant of its effect on the environment, in addition to the welfare and economic stability of the communities and the people we serve,” shared Quinnell. “We’re passionate about giving back and pursuing what is possible.”

Other ways to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere include: using renewable and clean energy sources, reducing travel by car or plane, buying long-lasting products, shopping seasonally and locally.

Those Prevail Bank branches that accumulated the 11,500+ pounds of paper were located in Wisconsin Rapids, Marshfield, and Eau Claire.