A Road Trip To Remember

Published 09 07, 2012 – 12:00 AM Posted by: the bananapaper guy

Recently I took a road trip up to Oregon with my family to enjoy the outdoors and visit some of the oldest and biggest tree’s of the western coast. I enjoyed visiting with my family and sharing knowledge about the trees such as the type of tree it’s age and the breathtaking feelings that come to me when I am amongst these giant ancient forests.

Many of which are over a thousand years old and have managed to survive thoughtless deforestation! Along with all of the spectacular rivers, mountains, wildlife and scenery I did sight a few tell tale signs of man’s greed impacting our Earth.

One thing I noticed from my recent trip was a decreased amount of lumber mills from similar trips that started in 1990.   We are lead to believe that lumber mills are closing down due to environmental concerns. Which would lead us to think that we are not continuing the destruction of forests in our country and managing our natural resources better.

However this is not the case! What I did see and have photographed large ocean freighters being loaded with our lumber and shipped off to China, which then is shipped back to us.   The disturbing part is that we have increased logging and are doing less manufacturing of wood products here in the USA. Which means that fewer jobs domestically and more waste, increased carbons and natural resources being used inefficiently.

There is no logical reason why paper should come from trees for any use at all. I understand industry although I wish that it was more responsible and practiced more methods of being sustainable. If I could have it my way we would not cut trees at all but I have to be realistic about using wood. If we are going to cut trees at all it should be used for beautiful and comfortable furniture and cozy homes.

Upon my return home I was channel surfing and saw a commercial for a show called “American Loggers” as well as “Ax Men”.   Where the entire premise of the reality show was to follow around loggers while they cut and transport our forests to ports where the clear-cut trees are then shipped out to China and back to us, which you do not see in the TV series.

It’s no surprise that a good amount of what’s on television is garbage trying to sell something truly unsustainable, polluting our minds with subliminal messages about inconsequential consumerism. Just like violence has been integrated into entertainment and desensitized viewers, these shows are creating a detachment from our emotions and natural connections to our earth by putting a personality behind a chainsaw and not unique trees which should be recognized as hero’s.

The point is that we should be re-enforcing positive ideas and beliefs about taking care of our planet, not destroying it to make profit.
Yes people have to work to survive there are jobs and careers that don’t involve harming Earths natural resource’s and even possibly helping the environment.

Honestly think about the message that these types of shows are sending to not only our youth and also the rest of the world? In some places Trees are sacred and are celebrated as unique living beings that only enhance human interaction with the natural world.

As I finished this letter I thought of this quote which is my favorite poster in my office that reads: 
”When the Last Tree Is Cut Down, the Last Fish Eaten, and the Last Stream Poisoned, We Will Realize That Money Cannot be Eaten”
- Saying of the Cree Indians

Have Fun,


The Experience Learned During Those Years, Priceless!

Published Feb. 03, 2012 –

I Came across this article from my Kinko’s days,  good memories.  I Sure enjoy my career choice I have made since then, the experience learned during those years is priceless.

24-Hour Photocopying : Kinko’s Thrives on Midnight Oil
March 04, 1986|ALAN GOLDSTEIN | Times Staff Writer

It’s 3 a.m. and the cool winds blowing across the San Fernando Valley send chills down your spine. You cruise along the empty boulevards, past a 7-Eleven, a Denny’s, a gas station–but you’re looking for something else.

You’ve got photocopying to do.

 Fortunately, Kinko’s on Burbank Boulevard in Van Nuys is ready. It’s the only photocopying shop in the Valley that’s open all day and all night every day. Its late-night customers include owl-eyed rock composers, insomniac job-hunters who want to redo their resumes and college students on all-nighters.

 Late-Night Regulars

”Our customers would go crazy if we weren’t open all night,” said Harry Johansing, the store’s 25-year-old manager. “There are people who come in every night at 3 or 4 a.m., like clockwork.”

Of the 284 Kinko’s outlets nationwide, only 65–including branches in Huntington Beach, Fullerton and Long Beach–are open 24 hours.

In the Valley, Kinko’s has a Northridge store that is open until 10 p.m. four days a week but plans eventually to be open round-the-clock. There also is a Kinko’s in Woodland Hills that closes at 9 p.m. on weekdays.

The Van Nuys store is fairly typical of Kinko’s outlets in that it is near a college campus, just a few blocks west of Los Angeles Valley College.

In fact, the very first Kinko’s, which opened in 1969 with a $5,000 loan from Bank of America, was next to the campus of the University of California, Santa Barbara, near Kinko’s headquarters.

”We’re sort of a ‘Big Chill’ company,” said Paul Orfalea, 38, founder and chairman of the privately held firm, referring to the 1983 movie about the reunion of people who attended the University of Michigan in the late 1960s.

Orfalea, who studied business and finance at USC, gave the company his nickname, Kinko, which he picked up in college by letting his red hair grow long, curly and kinky. Orfalea opened his first shop during his senior year, which turned out to be a good time to enter the business.

The 1970s and early 1980s were a boom period for the photocopying industry–which now includes about 20,000 stores nationally–because new, better-quality machines took business away from less-efficient offset printers.

Steady Growth

Kinko’s sales have grown at an average of 20% annually since it opened, according to Orfalea, who said 1985 sales were more than $40 million. Kinko’s shops are run as 50-50 partnerships between the company and independent entrepreneurs.

Fast growth hasn’t brought the company fat profits. Orfalea said Kinko’s profit margin is about 2 cents on the dollar, quite low by industry standards. Larry Hunt, former chairman of the Chicago-based National Assn. of Quick Printers, said profits for copy stores average 20% of sales despite the high cost of copying machines.

Hunt said a ream of copy paper, or 500 sheets, costs a store around $2 but brings in $25 with a charge of 5 cents a page. Kinko’s profits may have been kept low, Hunt speculated, by the expense of operating 24-hour-a-day shops.

On the other hand, he conceded, the long operating hours may help Kinko’s draw business from college campuses because students “have weird hours.” Orfalea said 24-hour-a-day shops are good investments, even when business is slow, because they inspire customer loyalty by always being open and by doing overnight jobs.

A Slow Night

The Van Nuys store, which opened in 1974, had one of those slow nights last week. George Gaddie, a 22-year-old Kinko’s employee, kept busy cleaning photocopiers and completing overnight copy orders. Typically, he said, customers straggle in about every half hour.

At about 3:40 a.m., as Gaddie copied newspaper articles about the Philippines while listening to rock music, the lone customer was Conrad Gleich. The manager of a reggae band called Uptown All-stars, Gleich stacked piles of photocopied press releases for the band’s coming appearances.

”I’m up past my bedtime,” said Gleich, 33, who wears his frizzy hair in a ponytail. But he said he often works into the night because the quiet helps him to concentrate. 

More than an hour after Gleich left, the next customer arrived, wearing a blue velour running suit. Laurie Beattie, 22, a sales representative for McNeil Consumer Products, the Johnson & Johnson subsidiary that makes Tylenol, was working late on a special project.

Beattie was preparing for a 9:30 a.m. presentation to pharmaceutical wholesalers titled “Tylenol–A Solid Comeback,” aimed at easing fears over recent discoveries of tainted Tylenol capsules.

 Beattie asked Gaddie to make 500 copies of an advertisement that ran in newspapers for distribution to drugstores, explaining how customers may exchange Tylenol capsules for the company’s new, coated caplets.

Beattie said she has been making late-night trips to Kinko’s for years, beginning as a student at Arizona State University. “I work odd hours, I guess,” she said. “But then again, I don’t think anyone should dictate when I work and when I sleep.”

Can Children Become Sustainability Thinkers

Published 01 27, 2012 –

Children can Become Sustainability Thinkers


We can leave the world better than we found it, through our children and learning ourselves a long the way


Sustainability Is a Way of Thinking and Living- 

To me, sustainability implies a way of thinking and living. I have choosen to teach children, students, friends and family that our dear planet Earth is a closed system and that everything is inter-related. Healthy natural cycles are essential to the well being of this system. I like them to understand their part in our system, to care for our planet and others to feel empowered that they can make a difference.

  Developing an Appreciation for the Natural Environment

 Children can initially develop an appreciation for the natural environment, its creatures and other human beings around the world. We can share ample opportunities for both play and active exploration opportunities outdoors to develop respect for nature. Reading books and watching educational programs can help them experience the amazing diversity of life on our planet when there is not the opportunity to go outdoors.

Learning about the Earth is not just about facts. Sharing Nature with Children suggests teaching less and sharing more.

Sharing with children the bare facts of nature (“This is a Redwood tree”), I like to tell them about my inner feeling in the presence of that Redwood tree.

In nature, encourage children to experience the wonder by looking at ordinary things in great detail – a leaf, a snail crossing the trail, the underside of a fern, life under a rock. 

Emphasize Our Connection With Others


Sustainability goes beyond the environment as well, it includes people. It considers the present and future quality of life in a community -economic, social and environmental.

I believe education should emphasize our connection with other people and species, and between human and planetary systems. We are connected to other people, other species, and other lands through the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the items and materials we use everyday, and our common reliance on a healthy environment. By gaining an understanding of this global interdependence, children become better equipped to make everyday choices that respect the rights of others and lessen their impact on the Earth’s life support systems.

Share about the world’s human geography demographics. Look at a miniature global village where you break down our population demographics into 100 people. Discuss food miles and where and how things are made.   Let them know that we are all part of the same web of life and that we are all inter-related.

  Sustainability Involves

Making Conscious Decisions

Sustainability involves making conscious decisions about how one’s actions impact the environment, our community, and the world. This goes far beyond the 3 R’s – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Moving towards a sustainable future involves a change in the way our society thinks and behaves. We can think about the choices we make each day. We can understand the greater impact from our decisions such as choosing a present for our friend’s birthday, eating lunch at a fast food restaurant and even choosing a career to pursue.

Children can be empowered early on to take part in sustainability by helping them discover small ways they can take individual and group action to make a difference. Our children are the future. We choose to help them gain the understanding and motivation to help change the world.

Discussion Questions on Sustainability for Children and Students


The following are some discussion questions that will help our children or students move towards becoming “sustainable thinkers.”

• What natural systems create life on our planet? (air, water, energy)

• What is a food chain and a food web??

• What is a habitat??• What is an eco-system??

• What are the many functions of trees??

• Why is the planet currently loosing trees??

• What is the current population growth??

• Where do most of the world’s population live??

• What is the average annual income there?

• What is global warming and its causes??

• What types of pollution are there and its causes??

• What are renewable and non-renewable resources??

• What is your ecological footprint??

• What is organic food??

• Why is organic food more expensive??

• Where is our food grown??

• What are food miles??

• Who is growing our food??

• Where are your clothes made??

• Who is making the products you buy??

• Who has access to more sustainable choices??

• What are ways you can make a difference??

• How can you use less (i.e., reduce)?

• What do you really need to live happily??

• How can we help others??

• What are some positive contributions people, organizations and countries are making?

Activities to Encourage Sustainable Thinkers


Start a nature journal

• Set up a compost bin

• Start a small produce garden (or container garden)

• Take regular nature walks

•Visit a dump and recycling depot

• Visit an organic farm

• Plant or adopt a tree

• Collect non-perishable foods items for local food banks

• Fund-raise for a world hunger aid organization

• Raise money for a child’s education or environmental project

• Study in detail a localized ecosystem such as an old log

• Collect your garbage for a day (or week)

• Check out the movie Garbage Revolution!?

• Draw or paint a picture of a sustainable world

• Take out a globe and track down where everything in a room comes from

• Educate others by making posters for your community centre or school bulletin board

• Write a story or poem to share with others or have published.

Please contact us to share your ideas!

Love ya and thanks
Harry Johansing

Posted by: The Banana Paper Guy

Recycling: Bringing Old Things to Life

Published March 26, 2010 – 10:44pm
Posted by: Patrick

Old Papers

Newspapers, magazines, old notebooks and cardboards make up a huge percentage of all recycled materials. Although it still takes considerable amounts to produce a single ton of new paper with recycled materials, using recycled paper saves three tons of virgin wood pulp for every ton of recycled paper product.  Newspapers and magazines and all other types of paper are first shredded. These are then bathed to remove all the ink and impurities. These results to a fine pulp which is then mixed with wood chips to strengthen the fibers. The fibers go thru the normal process of creating paper where the pulp is emptied into a screen and drained. The drained material is then passed thru heated rollers where they are flattened. The pressed paper is then rolled and sold as materials for creating newspapers and magazines which starts the cycle again.


More than 90 percent of all beverage cans in the United States are made from aluminum. This metal has been used for beer or carbonated beverages because they are both tough and light. Billions of aluminum cans are produced in the US alone to meet the huge need for this type of container. Aluminum is ideal for use in beverages because they are able to withstand the pressure of carbonated drinks without sacrificing weight in the process. The shiny finish is also ideal for providing a nice background for printing labels.  Aluminum cans are first shredded and melted into sheets were they are used then sent to production lines where are they shaped into cans or various products. Aluminum is not only great for making cans for beverages but they have also become an important component in car bodies. Because they are both lightweight and strong, using aluminum in car bodies decrease gas consumption.   Aluminum is the third most common element. Aluminum accounts for about a 3rd of the earth’s crust. But aluminum could not be found in a pure form, it is often mixed with other materials and separating it takes a lot of energy. Although aluminum is readily available for mining, the main benefit of recycling aluminum is the huge saving in energy cost in producing new aluminum from scratch.

Tin Cans

Tin cans are just steel containers which have been coated with tin. The tin is separated from the steel by dipping them in a tin removing solution and finally removed thru the process of electrolysis. The steel is then collected and shipped to different production sites where they are forged for a variety of purposes. The tin content is also sold to pharmaceuticals and chemical companies or recycled for the production of new tin cans.



Glass products are first crushed into small and finer pieces. The broken glass is run thru machines which separate impurities such as paper and metals. The broken glass is then mixed with sand, limestone and soda ash all basic components of glass making. The mixture is then melted and blown into new glass products.

Mobile Phones

Ever wondered what happens to old mobile phones? With more and more people using mobile phones, these devices are fast becoming one of the top electronic wastes products. Many of us have been unable to let go of these electronic devices because upgrading is usually done not because the old mobile phone is busted but more about personal preference. Many would conclude that these devices generally end up as trash as buried in landfills. This however is not true as almost 60 to 70 percent of the mobile phone could be recycled. But the fact is, most of the old cellphones are stored away in a closet especially if they remain operational.


The Positive Effects of Journaling

 – Published February 23, 2009 –

Having dyslexia, I have been told that there are many things I would not be able to do in life. This never stopped me from doing what I wanted to do. Over the years of making fine environmental papers, journaling has become a passion of mine. Amazing things are always happening as a result of this practice.  I would like to share the positive effects of journaling with you. Positive Effects of Journaling Why Keep a Journal? One of the practices that have changed my own life is the regular habit of journaling.I encourage – and challenge – my family, friends and co-workers to begin journaling in an effort to become their best selves.

Here is some of my thinking on why journaling is a powerful tool for personal discovery and performance:

1. Journaling allows you to take fuzzy thinking and distill it into precise language. Do you remember when you were in school and you thought you knew the material for an exam only to meet with a study group and realize after discussing the material, that there were gaps in your understanding? Having a conversation about something forces you to find specific language for your thinking. Journaling is a conversation that you have with yourself. The more you journal, the more precision of thought you build. This brings great clarity to your life. With greater clarity, you can make choose different choices required to create new changes.

2. Journaling allows you a place to process unfelt emotions. In my life, I have come to realize that most people have a great deal of anger that resides within them (along with many other latent emotional baggage). Emotions affect our daily choices, often at a subconscious level. Many people act in overly aggressive or hurtful ways, blaming the other person, rather than assuming personal responsibility and investigating the deeper reasons why they are behaving as they do. Writing in a journal will allow you to process anger, sadness or hurts that you may have sustained along the journey of your life. This releases you and allows you to find greater freedom and make better choices, both professionally and personally.

3. Writing in a journal allows you to record your dreams. Dreams create hopefulness. The more intimate you can become with your dreams and the longings of your heart, the greater inspiration you can bring to your days. This promotes positive energy, which creates a richer experience of life.

4. Writing in a journal allows you to deepen your understanding. The mere action of writing something down allows for a more effective integration of learning. When you go to a seminar and take notes, memory will be ‘stickier’ than if you do not take notes. In the same way, journaling allows you to learn from life. It allows you to let your days serve you. You become wiser each day.

5. Journaling deepens commitment. The very act of writing things down deepens your resolve to make good things happen in your life. Take 15 minutes to write about the day you want to create and the choices you are dedicated to making in order to create an excellent day. This simple act will allow you to be much more proactive rather than reactive as you live out the remaining hours of this day.

Try it. Watch yourself learn, change and grow – quickly and effectively with journaling

• Life Mapping – Start with the big picture of your life.

• Awareness – Learn to go deeper and to be more expansive.

• Unraveling Subconscious Shadows – Get clear about what you want.

• Goals – Clarifying what I want in life.

• Commitment – Clarity builds willpower.

• Healing – Focus healing the past and feeling better about yourself.

Manifesting Goals and Creating What You Want what you want. Master anchoring, integration and co-creating.

Time Management – Overcome chaos, procrastination, time wasting and more

• Motivation – Tap into and maintain your natural power and passion.

• Creativity and Imagination – This single page will give you lots of new ideas.

• Life Purpose – Clarify your direction and destiny in life.

• Know Your Soul – Capture ways in which Soul works through you

• Decision Making – Make clearer, more creative and more fun choices.

535 million trees

Published February 3, 2009 – 2:42pm Posted by: The Banana Paper Guy

Americans use approximately 31.5 million tons of printing and writing paper each year, an amount requiring over 535 million trees and countless gallons of oil to produce (the figure of oil usage, you’d be embarrassed to know).

More paper products are now recovered than sent to landfills in the US, yet 65 percent of used printing and writing paper still ends up in the waste stream.  The pulp and paper industry ranks first in use of industrial process water, third in toxic chemical releases, and fourth in emissions of the air pollutants known to impair respiratory health.   Simple changes in our paper use and purchasing practices can help limit the depletion of forests and loss of habitat, reduce pollution and decrease the stress on our landfills.Purchasing products that are chlorine-free and include post-consumer fibers will reduce the strain on natural resources, promote resource conservation and waste reduction, and minimize toxic emissions.

Please choose environmentally-friendly papers for your school and office needs, carefully read the labels know the sourcing!